Jogging in Italy

Running in Italy

Most of the world is not as health-nutty as modern America, but the concept of cardio workouts seems to be catching on. It's also a great way to get a different take on a new place.

In Italy, jogging is called "footing"—as in "The Villa Borghese park is closed today because American President Bill Clinton is footing there." (Yes, this has happened to me more than once.)

Ask where and when the locals jog, and join them for a run.

Or find a yoga studio.

Or look for folks doing early morning tai chi in a park.

Doesn't mater what it is. Go find wherever locals are following the same zen you are.

Running in Rome
Duration: 2 hours
Private: $290 per group 
Book: Reserve it

Runner's Tour of Rome

For a runner there are few more sublime experiences than jogging past the Pantheon or through the ancient Circus Maximus where, 2000 years ago, Roman athletes tested themselves in Olympic-style games. Although a little hilly and offering up a varied terrain of cobblestones and other ancient fare, Rome is a paradise for runners who like to see things while they job.

This two hour tour is in the company of a Context Rome staff person or docent who is also a runner. We will take in the sights on a leisurely-paced run through the city. Although lasting two hours (more or less), the idea is to mix touring with running by making numerous stops along the way. In general, we will design a course that visits most major sites, with an eye towards those that are most exhilarating on a jog...

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Book ahead

While for some activities you can just show up, this is one travel item you really should try to reserve in advance.

Popular activities like cooking classes can sell out.

Many are available only on certain days of the week, so it pays to know that you'll have to set aside, say, Tuesday morning for that guided market walk with a local cookbook author.

Many of the best activities are available by advance booking or appointment only—particularly wineries. Some vineyards welcome walk-ins, true, but many more will give you a cellar tour and wine tasting only if you call ahead a few days (and those tend to be the ones most liberal with the free samples).

If you have your heart set on dining in a particular restaurant, go ahead and call ahead,even if it's just earlier on the same day—though a day ahead is preferable. I have found that a corrollary of Muphy's Law applies to this aspect of travel. Any restaurant I am particularly keen on but blithely assume I can just waltz into will inevitably be filled to the brim: no tables available. However, half the time when I do book a table in advance I'll end up being the only guy in the place (nor near enough for my advance booking to feel like overkill). Still, better safe than sorry. Reserving a table is quick and painless; getting turned away at the door can be crushing.

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