Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Run in Rome!

It was a great 10 days in Italy, the last five of which we have spent in Rome. The Eternal City is certainly an amazing place, Mom, Darcy and I have had a great time and look forward to coming back again, hopefully for the 2017 Rome Marathon!

I went for two runs while I was here, and this post will be about my first one -- a run from our apartment near the Vatican to the Colosseum.

(Travel tip: If you travel to Rome, look to find an apartment or B&B as opposed to a hotel. Not only will you save a lot of money, you will have a much more comfortable experience.)

Last Tuesday we took the fast train from Milan to Rome. And by fast, I mean fast, the train reaches a top speed of 300 kmh, or just under 190 mph! It is roughly 350 miles between the two cities and we made the trip in right around three hours!

Wednesday started out a bit rainy and our day began with a public audience with Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square. Explaining the whole "audience" thing is a bit difficult for a one-handed typist like me, so let's just say it was awesome. The audience began with Francis riding through the crowd in his vehicle, and I was about 20 feet away when I took this photo.

After doing a couple more things during the day, I finally made it out in the late afternoon, during rush hour no less! The trip would be right around five miles.

Like my run in Milan, it was very urban, albeit with much better sights! After leaving our apartment I headed out onto one of the main streets, and first had to go through this massive tunnel, which was kind of symbolic because when you get through the tunnel, the city opens up in front of you.

Next, it was across the Tiber River, which like the city it runs through has a history of its own. While crossing the bridge I noticed a nice running path along the river, but didn't get the chance to run there. Next time!

Once across the river, I began getting closer to the heart of Rome, and the activity around me started picking up. There were lots of cars, buses, motorcycles and scooters, and tons of people. At times the sidewalks were so busy I had to jump down onto the street, which was kind of cool because I kind of imagined I was running a race and they were spectators.

I didn't run all that fast, mostly because of the people but also because I was trying to focus on my directions. Like Milan, streets and alleys go everywhere, and I admit that I did get off track once, meaning the run probably added up closer to six miles.

I went past a lot of really cool and beautiful things, and as I got closer to the Colosseum I came up on a place I knew nothing about but was absolutely struck by its beauty. This is Italy's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and it is just MASSIVE. It's a very imposing place, not just because of its size, but the fact it was built on top of a hill means it towers over everything around it. 

I actually explored the area a little, and drew some inquisitive looks in my running garb! I think that will also be on the list of places I want to see the next time we visit.

From there it was about a half-mile to the Colosseum, which sits at the bottom of a bit of a downhill. The area around it was crazy busy...I found out the next day the time I was there was the time the Colosseum closed for the day. Still, like many things in Rome, I was stunned by the Colosseum, and a little bit in disbelief that I was there and seeing it with my own eyes.

I took a few photos and walked around the area a bit. It's just so hard not to look at the Colosseum and
imagine the history, to realize you are walking in the same footsteps of people who were there almost 2,000 years ago. It's very awe-inspiring.

I didn't stay long as I wanted to be back to our apartment by dark, which on that day was about 5:30 since in Italy they had turned their clocks ahead the weekend before we did here. Like my run in Milan, I just followed the same path back that I had taken out, just to be safe.

Still it was an awesome run, and you can see more photos below. On Saturday I went on a run up to the historic Olympic Stadium, and I'll put up another post on that one.


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