This April, Rome will hold the 35th official Rome Marathon in which over 12,000 athletes from around the world will run a 42 kilometer course through the city’s historic streets. With a starting line in front of the 2000+ year old colosseum, the course continues by winding through thousands of years of history and tradition. Runners can expect to pass Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Basilica, Piazza Navona, and the Spanish Steps. Especially for visitors to Rome, the marathon is an excellent way to get acquainted with the city and learn to master the (sometimes treacherous) cobblestone steps.
For those not planning to run the 42 kilometer course (we don’t blame you!) but who still want to wind through the alleyways and main sights of Rome, a walking tour makes a great alternative. The marathon route encompasses some of the most famous sights of the city and makes a great jumping off point for any tour through Rome. The Colosseum, a world renowned structure with over 2000 years of history is the icon of the city, and rightly so. A walking tour of the Colosseum and other Roman monuments offers an engaging way to get to know the city by foot, without having to keep pace for miles on end! Check out our tour recommendation.
The marathon has grown into one of the main events of the city and as such, runners are invited to a special participants’ mass. The service will be held the evening before the big event on Saturday, 1 April, at 6:30 pm. The service, as designated by the vatican, will be valid for Sunday obligation and will take place at the Church of Artists in the Piazza del Popolo. Not a marathon runner or family member but looking to visit some of Rome’s most incredible churches and cathedrals? Walking tours of the holiest city sights are an excellent way to take in the historic culture and can be booked here.
If there’s one thing we can guarantee about marathon weekend it’s that, with 12,000 international runners in town and miles of streets closed down, traffic is sure to be more congested than usual. If you’ll be in town during this weekend we would recommend organizing a tour that includes transport, as professional drivers will have the most efficient routes mapped through the city. There’s nothing worse than having a day eaten up just trying to navigate around the street closures. Hop on a cozy bus and relax with an audio guided tour of the Vatican Gardens, leaving the driving to the professionals- book.
Whether you’ll be running the marathon, observing from the sidelines, or staying as far from the madness as possible, Rome will be buzzing on the weekend of April 2nd. Make sure to make your tour bookings with plenty of time to spare and enjoy the energy of the Eternal City.
Are you a marathon runner? Have you ever thought about running the Rome Marathon?