Where to bike & run in Rome. Most people find that walking the streets of Rome is enough physical activity to fill their day. But if you are a fitness fanatic you’ll want to continue your training even on holiday. The Roman drivers are slowly (and begrudgingly) learning to share the road with cyclists. In the early morning and evening runners hit the streets. If you run on the sidewalks it is essential to run without headphones because you need to be alert to cars and others surrounding you. I prefer to run at the parks because it allows me to listen to music without worrying about traffic or the stop/start of stoplights and music fuels my runs. Leave the iPod at home if you plan on sticking to the streets.
Here are our favorite places to run and bike in Rome (see map below locations):
Parco di Terme di Caracalla
Viale Delle Terme Di Caracalla (pictured above). This is my go-to spot to run. Parco di Terme di Caracalla has a 1.2k dirt path. Some people may be turned off running the same loop over and over. I love it because it’s easy to keep track of distance and traffic free . The park also some equipment for pull-ups, incline sit ups, platform jumps and whatever other exercises you conceive. I prefer this park over the nearby Circus Maximus. Several years ago large, loose gravel was placed at Circus Maximus that basically left the ground on the lower track in poor condition to exercise. It’s too easy to twist an ankle, so skip it.
Rome’s second largest park (after Villa Ada) with 148 acres offering several museums, numerous fountains, a pond and a zoo. All that and there’s still plenty of space for tree-lines sidewalks and paths to run & bike. The Villa Borghese is also a popular spot for picnics, strolls and pick-up games of football so it’s the best option for people watching.
Bank of the Tiber River
The quietest place to exercise in the center is along the bank of the Tiber River. It sits below street level so the chaos of traffic is out of earshot. The west bank of the river has a bike/running path. Several of the staircases leading down to the river have wheeling ramps to make transporting bikes up/down easy.
Just outside of the center is Caffarella Park, part of the Appian Antica Park along the Appian Way. It’s just outside the city center but it feels like you are in the middle of the countryside. The fields of green and trees host over 78 varieties of wildlife and plants – you may even spot sheep grazing in the pasture! Paths vary in surface and width but you could easy spend a day exploring this area (pack a lunch). Like the rest of Rome, there are some ruins throughout the park and there are always active archaeological digs.
Bonus: Church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli
To reach this church near Piazza Venezia you need to climb 126 stairs. Who needs a stairmaster?
Map of where to bike & run in Rome: