Despite how crowded the city center looks, if you don’t want to have the same old experience of using a running machine in your hotel, there are some wonderful places to run in Rome that will give you some interesting perspectives on the city.
While we do not recommend the hazardous pursuit of running through the crowds and the traffic in the city center, there are parks galore, a Mussolini-era running track, a great dual-use cycle path alongside the river, and finally there is a genuine ancient monument to run round!
Lined with huge Fascist-era statues of athletes, the Stadio dei Marmi (‘marble stadium’) is in the Foro Italico, Mussolini’s university of sport, and is just next to the Olympic Stadium. It’s usually open to the public and is an unusual place to get your exercise. Nearest transport: Flaminio Metro station (Linea A) then Tram #2 to Piazza Mancini and walk across the Ponte Duco D’Aosta. The track is just behind the 1930s university buildings.
The Circo Massimo (‘Circus Maximus’) is right next to the Palatine Hill in the center of the city. At 620 feet long, and according to Pliny seating 250,000 people, it’s the largest sports stadium ever built, and is where ancient horse races used to take place. The emperor built a terrace on the edge of his palace so he could watch the games. Only one end of it is being excavated; the rest is still a long grassy public space and is a popular place for locals to exercise. Nearest transport: Circo Massimo Metro station (Linea B).
Running 6.5 miles to the very edge of Rome, the Pista Ciclabile to the north of the city center provides a unique, rural riverside aspect to the city, far from the traffic. Though designed for cycling, it is very popular with joggers, and its southern end can be found in the popular Ponte Milvio area. Nearest transport: Flaminio Metro station (Linea A), then Tram #2 to Tiziano then a 5-minute walk north across Ponte Milvio (‘the Milvian bridge’). The path here is called ‘Lungotevere Milvio’ and starts just to your right as you exit the arch of the bridge.
Villa Borghese – a beautiful tree-filled park on a gentle hill. Nearest transport: Spagna Metro station (Linea A).
Via Appia Antica – an original Roman road, lined with ancient tombs. Be careful of your ankles on the ancient cobbles though. This is on the south-western edge of Parca della Caffarella, which is a vast park with many trails suitable for running. Nearest transport: Piramide Metro station, then a 10-minute walk down Viale Marco Polo.
Villa Ada – another vast and beautiful park in it, with some gentle rolling hills and a beautiful lake, though less convenient by public transport. Nearest transport: Sant’Agnese Metro (Linea B) then a ten-minute walk down Via Panaro, or the ‘Urbano’ commuter train from Flaminio train station (next to Flaminio Metro station [Linea A]), getting off at ‘Campi Sportivi’ (‘sporting fields’) and a two-minute walk down Via della Moschea.
Wherever you decide to run in the city, it will give you a new perspective on the city, and allow you to see the sights away from the tourist traps.