“That’s an awful lot of running gear” my girlfriend remarked as I packed for our trip to Italy. “I am going to do an awful lot of running” I responded just before ducking to avoid the shoe (not a soft running shoe) heading in my direction.
While my better half spends her time researching hotels and planning activities, my preparation for a vacation normally revolves around researching running shops and planning running routes. For me, going to a new country is an opportunity to run in a new country and to buy a running top in a new country. And with several Great Run events planned for this year, I couldn’t afford to not run for two weeks.
Some people like to go on bus tours, but I reckon that there’s no better way to experience a city than to run in it.
“And I have yet to find a better city to run in, than Rome, while I learned that there is no better time to run in Rome, than at dawn.”
At dawn the streets are relatively clear of crazy drivers, the tourists are still tucked up in their hotel beds, and given that the sun is only just rising, the temperature isn’t yet in the upper 30’s (I learned the hard way).
And there is nothing quite like running past the ancient ruins of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum as the sun rises.
Apart from maybe running amongst the ancient relics of the Vatican as the sun rises. Standing in almost solitude in St Peter’s Square prior to the arrival of the masses is an experience I’ll forever savour.
But it isn’t just the streets lined with beautiful architecture and stunning viewpoints. Rome is built on seven hills which give ample opportunity to do some hill sprints. Running up and down the Spanish Steps was my personal favourite, although I did garner some strange looks from all the beautiful people adorning the steps in their Italian couture.
Whether it’s running along the banks of the Tiber or running through the tree lined Villa Borghese with the locals, Rome is a beautiful city to run in. And when in Rome, I couldn’t resist getting my own special carved marble moniker
What is your favourite city to run in and what is so special about it?