The Susan G. Komen Foundation is an international initiative intent on raising awareness and funds for the research and treatment of breast cancer. The foundation is extremely active in the United States but also hosts races throughout the world. On the weekend of September 22nd-24th, the Race For The Cure makes its way across the pond to Bologna. Participants can expect many of the traditional hallmarks of a Susan G. Komen event, with a slight Italian twist, of course.
The event is held over the course of three days, making time for exhibitions, educational opportunities, and community building activities. Doctors and specialists are on location offering briefings on overall health and early cancer detection. Stands are organized for children to partake in arts and crafts activities with various other health and wellness vendors set up to display their wares. On the day of the race, there are two main events. The first is the traditional 5k race, wherein participants attempt their best time while running through a course of cobblestone streets and ancient buildings. The second event follows a similar path but is a 2km stroll through the city. Both options offer participants the opportunity to explore an incredible city on foot and to take part in an event alongside locals.
After the race concludes, there is live music played from the Piazza and food vendors all around town. If you’re looking to continue the celebration, and want to explore the region a bit, a local food tour is a great choice. Modena, a nearby town, is the indisputable home of Balsamic vinegar. Go for a balsamic tasting in the Modena region, only a few minutes drive from Bologna. Once your palette is sated with the tastes and aromas of locally crafted vinegar, wind your way up the road a bit further to Parma. Parma has much the same relationship with Prosciutto that Modena has with balsamic. Stop in for an informative and delicious tour of the history and making of prosciutto, with plenty of opportunity for tastings.
Only a half hour’s train ride from Bologna, you’ll find Florence, one of the most beautiful cities in the country. If you’re still looking to stay active after your race through Bologna, opt for a biking tour through Florence. This gives you an excellent lay of the land as well as keep you on the health kick you started in Bologna. If instead, you’d rather stick to the theme of being a foodie in one of the most delicious countries in the world, there is plenty of opportunity for that in Florence. Try out a traditional food tour through the old city and uncover all of the flavors and ingredients that have been a staple in Italy for centuries.
Have you ever participated in a Susan G. Komen event anywhere in the world? How about one in Italy? What local Italian delicacies have you had the opportunity to explore in their natural setting? Do you prefer larger cities in Italy or small, hillside towns?