Where to run in Rome
Rome, there’s no place like it: romance, chaos, language and breath taking views. It’s a travel destination on everyone’s bucket list, a magical city that captivates with the Colosseum, the works of Bernini, the Trevi Fountain and of course, the food! Spending your days exploring and your nights out until the last bottle is empty can leave you feeling lethargic and your waistband a little tighter. As a traveller you don’t need a gym to stay fit, just a pair of your trusty runners. There are so many areas both within the city and a bit further out that are perfect for burning off some calories.
The first place to go for a run is below the Lungotevere, which has a great running path in the heart of the city, separating Trastevere from Piazza Venezia. The Tevere is a flat run that can be started from Ponte Sublicio, near Porta Portese to Ponte Milvio (9.33km one way) passing by Castel Sant’Angelo and Isola Tiberina. The area is quite open for bikers and also has large boulders and staircases that can be used for interval exercises like lunges and box jumps.
If you want to run in the city centre the best time is early in the morning, also known as “Runners’ Morning”. This time of day the city is still partially asleep allowing you to explore the cobble stone streets, close up views of the monuments and the silence of Rome before she wakes up. It is truly beautiful watching Rome wake as the sun takes its place centre stage.
However, if you are more into nature or want to deal with little to no street interactions there are some great parks you can use for running. They require a bit more effort to reach depending on where you are staying but they are definitely worth it!
Villa Ada is located northeast of the city. It’s the second biggest public park in Rome and from here you can make your way to Villa Borghese. Besides the famed Borghese Gallery, the park is made up of lakes, paths, and fountains. You can also take a breather at the Pincio hill and enjoy its fabulous view of Piazza Popolo.
Villa Pamphili is the biggest park in Rome. It’s located on the west side of the Tevere near Trastevere and has ample space for running and some outdoor gym equipment to get in a set of chin-ups, push-ups, or the perfect squat.
Reaching Gianicolo Park, near Villa Pamphili, is a bit of a challenge thanks to the steep incline; however this is great for strengthening the core! It’s all worth it at the top where you’ll find panoramic views of Rome from the Il Fontanone (the big fountain) and the statue of Garibaldi on the Gianicolo Hill.
Parco della Caffarella, located near Furio Camillio, is another great space to run. It’s protected from development and if you are lucky you may come across the grazing sheep whilst passing the farm and the many archaeological sites of interest.
Parco degli Acquedotti is a bit further down Metro A and makes up part of the Appian Way Regional Park. It is also protected from development and has a lot of history. Over the years, Parco degli Acquedotti has been a popular film location, most notably in The Great Beauty and La Dolce Vita.
On top of these green, sporty spots, there are other areas you can run in Rome; check out Stadium of Marble (stadio dei marmi), where you can train like an Olympian surrounded by marble statues. Circo Massimo, the first stadium of ancient Rome and now a park of relaxation is good for running laps. One kilometer away is a second park, (Porta Capena Park) with public gym equipment for the extra burn with other fitness enthusiasts. Ostia Antica, located in southern Rome, boasts ancient roads that will take you past great ruins, farm fields or even all the way to the sea, which is about 3 km away.
For those looking to go the distance, Rome offers you an opportunity to participate in the many marathons throughout the year, for example, the Rome half marathon in Ostia (March), Rome Marathon (Maratona di Roma) (April), Race for a Cure (May) and Rome Half-Marathon Via Pacis (September).