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Rome, Venice, Florence: Lodging close to parks for a morning run?

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Rome, Venice, Florence: Lodging close to parks for a morning run?

Old Nov 12th, 2009, 09:38 AM
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Rome, Venice, Florence: Lodging close to parks for a morning run?

In the dreaming stages of planning our first trip to Italy, with luck perhaps in May or June of 2011.

I'm starting to make lists of hotels and reading about the various neighborhoods, and could use some advice about which neighborhoods in each city would have access to a large park for a run first thing in the morning, without having to get on a bus or something. The Boboli Gardens in Florence looks pretty neat, is it even possible to run in Venice?!?

Not sure of our budget yet, 150-200 Euros a night?

In London once we stayed on Bayswater road right on Hyde Park, it was a perfect location for us.

Thanks
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 11:25 AM
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The Boboli Gardens is NOT a running park. It is a tiered park up a hillside and costs money to enter. It is more like a botanical garden than a park.

The Borghese Gardens in Rome would work for running. Also, both Rome and Florence are bisected by a river, so running along the river at some points might work. In Venice you might have a good run at the east end on the long flat stretches near the public gardens.

I know there was a thread in the past that discussed all these options, so you might do a search to find other suggestions.
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 11:28 AM
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Here are links to a few threads that discuss some options:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rence-rome.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ng-in-rome.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ng-in-rome.cfm
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 11:39 AM
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I love to run on vacations. Luckily, I' the one in our family to locate lodging, so I factor convenience to running locations in the decision-making!

I rarely run in parks, because they're sometimes not centrally located, and I'd prefer to run where there are more people and sites to see.

Venice is difficult, but you can do it! In the Canneregio, there are a number of straightish "streets." We've stayed at Hotel Giorgione several times, which is at the Castello end of the Canneregio. From there, I can run down to the end of the island (the end that's closest to the airport), using Fondamenta Nuova and then over to Fondamenta della Sensa (you'll need to check a map to see this). On our last trip, we stayed at Casa Santa Maria Formosa, near the Campo of the same name, and I went from there, through Piazza San Marco (fabulous in the early morning), then all the way down Riva deglie Schiavoni to the other end of the island; there's a park there, plus that route is along the Grand Canal. Both routes, obviously, have a bunch of bridges. My biggest problem is that I have no sense of direction, so I did get a little lost returning to my hotel.

In Florence, we stayed in the Santa Croce neighborhood, at a lovely B&B called Casa dei Tintori. From there, I ran across the Arno and up to the Belvedere fortress. Oops - that didn't work, because it was closed at that time. So from there, I ran down, then back up to Piazzale Michelangelo. That was fantastic, with great views over the city, and at that hour, just a few other people. If I'm thinking of the right gardens, Boboli Gardens is only open during the day, so if you run before 9 or so, that wouldn't work (and there's a charge to get in).

In Rome, we've stayed several times at a place close to Piazza Navona, Residenza Canali ai Coronari. From there, I can easily run over to the river, and then pretty much any direction from there. Once, I ran around Castel Sant' Angelo, then up to Saint Peter's. Another time, I ran up to Piazza della Popolo, past the Ara Pacis. Both routes were incredibly scenic. I'd kind of like to run in the Circus Maximus, but staying over there would be inconvenient to everything else, and to run to there from Piazza Navona would be spending more time on running than I'd like to while on vacation.

In both Florence and Rome, I was running primarily on small side streets, and at 7, which was the time I usually went, there was very little car traffic, so I usually ran in the road (rather than on the tiny sidewalks).

All the hotels mentioned are in your price range. Enjoy your planning!
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 01:34 PM
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Thanks, I certainly will! I did read about running around the circus maximus, that seems quite cool.

Thanks for the threads ellenem, good info.

DH and I aren't real great at running on streets, those cobblestones and curbs seem to leap up and grab our toes. Park paths are a bit easier to cruise along on.

Are there pathways along the Arno and Tiber rivers that don't have lots of cross traffic?
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 02:35 PM
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In Venice, stay in Dorsoduro. You can run along the Zattere, which is wide and well paved. Otherwise, the very east of Castello might work, but it's not that well serviced by hotels.
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 03:00 PM
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My favorite Urban run of all time is in Florence.Described in this thread

http://slowtalk.com/groupee/forums/a...681#3491036681
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 03:04 PM
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We too ran along the Zattere in Venice--it was perfect. Wide, paved (not cobbled), and a few bridges to go up and down. There is very little foot traffic if you go early in the morning (around 7:00).

La Calcina is a lovely hotel right on the Zattere. We stayed there 5 days and ran right from our door each morning.
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 04:10 PM
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For father's day a couple of years ago I got my husband a runner's tour of Rome (www.contexttravel.com search for "runner's tour of Rome"). He absolutely loved it - the guide took the runners by several historical sights and provided interesting commentary along the way. My husband said the guide did a good job of keeping the run at a pace enjoyable to all joggers regardless of ability.
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 04:16 PM
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I did not do much running in Italy. I did run in the Borgese in Rome. The only running in Florence does seem to be along the river, we did not stay near the river.
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 04:25 PM
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Venice - We stayed in a b&b on St Elena Island which is a 20 minute walk from St Marks Square. If you use the vaporetto, the stop is right by a small park area. The b&b is just a short walk - maybe a block - across the park from the vaporetto stop.
It is in a neighborhood where the school children come and play. There is a bar with very good pizza and there are a couple of good neighborhood restaurants. There are park benches set along the canal and you can sit and watch the boat traffic or the sunset.

We had stayed in the busy section of Venice on other trips but we really liked this so much more. There is a walkway all along the canal from this park to St Marks Square.

http://www.bbvenezia.com/
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Old Nov 13th, 2009, 02:41 AM
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I am a runner as well and always choose my hotels based on proximity to good places to run.

In Rome, I like the Borghese Gardens so we stay at Capo d'Africa or Sofitel. There are also cheaper options in this area.

In Florence, you have to get up really early to run the sidewalks along the Arno. We stay a bit out of the center and I generally run away from the downtown hub. San Gallo Palace and Hotel Aethenauem are both very solid four stars and in quieter neighborhoods. There is a nice park (not too large though) also in this general vicinity.

Or we stay on the opposite side of the center in the Lucchesi, another nice 4 star. The Balestri is a good 3 star in this area also right on the river. When I stay here, I turn left and head towards the residential area where there are wide sidewalks that are not nearly as busy. I head out as soon as it is light enough to see.

I have no suggestions for Venice as I have stayed in various parts of the city and not found one any better than the other for purposes of running.
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 02:38 AM
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I remember when I stayed in Rome to be near a park. I was at Hotel Fori Imperiali. Nice quality and good value, hotel is close to all major attractions too.

http://www.hotelforiimperialicavalieri.com/location.htm
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 07:08 AM
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I wrote the article for another website Unfortunately run the Planet was bought out and has changed some of their features. It's not as helpful in my opinion

http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/general/rr_running.htm
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 11:37 AM
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Oooo, bratsandbeer, I looked on Google Earth and saw what looks like a huge walkway all along the Grand canal! Amazing!
It's probably only a mile or so to St. Mark's square...
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 12:14 PM
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As a veteran jogger who has jogged all over these towns:

Venice - the ring walkway - by the big canal from San Marco on down is sparsely populated and presents a wide jogging path and once down a bit there is even a park-like setting - Bratsandbeer i think is talking about the same general vicinity

Florence - in recent years there have been developed broad well-paved bike paths all along the Arno River - no cars! And for a large park head up river, passing the American Consulate to a large park thru which the new tram runs - behind the Fortessa area and also bordering the river

In Rome again you have nice bike paths developed along the Tiber - one of the top jogging venues in Rome is Borghese Gardens - the former PM of Italy used to (still?) jogs here in the morning.
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