Running in Tuscany: 10 perfect places all around the region

Here are 10 great places to go running in Tuscany and a map to help you find these locations and join the local runners.

Everyone knows that running is a perfect way to get into shape and that it is actually a great way to increase your overall level of health. It helps if you run in a beautiful place of course, and Tuscany offers many opportunities in this sense.

Arezzo and surroundings

Parco Pertini 

Located in the lower part of the city, extending along the first part of Viale Giotto.

There is a lot of greenery; an area well-equipped for sport as well as the venue for many events connected with running during the year.

Another place to run is Piazza dell’Afiteatro.

Parco Pertini
Parco Pertini - Credit: www.granprixpodismo.it
Firenze and surroundings

Cascine Park: the biggest public park in Florence and the most popular place to go running for people who live or stay for a few days in central Florence.

To get there, head northwest from the city centre (from the Ponte Vecchio, for example) and leave the crowds of tourists in favour of locals who go to the park to walk, run or ride a bike. You can reach it by tram (Line T1 that stops in the park along Viale degli Olmi) or start running from the town centre.

Here’s one potential route: from the Ponte Vecchio head northwest along the Arno and run along the narrow sidewalks (be careful!). You’ll pass four bridges before you get to the Cascine: Ponte Santa Trinita, Ponte alla Carraia, Ponte Amerigo Vespucci and Ponte della Vittoria, all along an asphalt path. After Ponte della Vittoria, the green area you see is Cascine Park. There are three paths to choose from – an asphalt path, a gravel path and a dirt path along the river. They all lead to the other side of the park.

Parco delle Cascine - Firenze
Parco delle Cascine - Firenze - Credit: Parco Delle Cascine Firenze
Grosseto and surroundings

Along the banks of river Ombrone: this is a well-ventilated area, popular but not crowded, with the possibility to do some climbing and to enjoy some beautiful views over the whole city.

The Ombrone is the second longest river in Tuscany. After skirting the eastern outskirts of the city of Grosseto, for about 12 km it flows through the Natural Park of Maremma and finally flows into a delta in the Tyrrhenian Sea, at Bocca d’Ombrone.

The whole Ombrone Valley is a good place to run and landscapes alternate between river vegetation along the waterways, forests and vast areas of Mediterranean zones, where cypress trees and cork oaks shade the streets and mark the boundaries between the various farms.

Ombrone - Grosseto
Ombrone - Grosseto - Credit: Carlo Tardani
Livorno and surroundings

Seafront: the waterfront of Livorno seems to be made for running: from Piazza Mascagni to Ardenza there is a whole strip of asphalt for walkers, cyclists or people who use Segways.

On the one hand, there’s the road that runs along the coast, on the other hand, there’s the sea that cools the air and fills it with salt. Terrazza Mascagni, the terrace with checkered flooring, is a place that lends itself well to sport.

On clear winter days, with fresh air and no clouds, you can clearly see Gorgona and Capraia, two of the islands in the Tuscan archipelago.

Terrazza Mascagni
Terrazza Mascagni
Lucca and surroundings

City walls: the fortified ring of walls around Lucca is more than 4 kilometres long and almost all plain: the perfect location for some great jogging!

The path is shady thanks to the big, old trees all along the route and there are several places to stop and do some stretching. It is a circle trip, so you can enter one of the city gates and finish wherever you started.

Lucca’s walls date to the 1500s and extend along a structure so old that it lends some magic to the physical exertion!

It is definitely a great place for outdoor sports and to enjoy the fantastic views of the city and historical monuments for both locals and tourists.

Lucca's walls
Lucca's walls - Credit: Emilio Dellepiane
Massa Carrara and surroundings

On the seafront from Marina di Massa to Cinquale: the path that goes from Marina di Massa to Cinquale is a long strip of perfectly level road. There is a bike path and walking trail, and cars do not have access to this stretch of road other than to reach the car parks belonging to the bathing establishments.

The presence of the sea a few meters away is felt in the air and many people choose the path all year round.

Another element that makes this place unique is the presence of the mountains not far from the sea, a breath-taking landscape.

Pontile Marina Massa
Pontile Marina Massa - Credit: Matteo Dunchi
Pisa and surroundings

Le Piagge: the Viale delle Piagge is an avenue in Pisa, located in the eastern suburbs of the city, along the right bank of the Arno River, near the ancient Porta a Piagge. Viale delle Piagge is about two and a half kilometres long and is about five feet above the Arno, a great bastion built to prevent flooding due to frequent overflowing of the Arno. The avenue is lined with trees such as linden, sycamore trees, laurel, holm oaks and others.

The end of the avenue farthest from Ponte della Vittoria is called Il Tondo, the place where coaches could once turn around to go back toward the city. All along the avenue there are benches and water fountains.

There is also a green area with gymnastics equipment that can be used for free in all seasons. Le Piagge is a place frequented by locals, tourists and many students who live in the city.

Le Piagge - Pisa
Le Piagge - Pisa - Credit: zanne84
Pistoia and surroundings

Villone Puccini: Parco di Villone Puccini is located just outside the medieval town of Pistoia and it is one of the favourite places to go running for residents of Pistoia. The park is open to the public (open from 9am to 7pm with seasonal variations), while the villa can be visited upon request. The entrance is in via Dalmazia. In Parco di Villone Puccini (with a spring and a bar for refreshments), you can work out along a dirt road in a forest of pines and oaks with a circular route of nearly a mile (including a broad lap of the pond).

Otherwise you can leave the park and continue running in the nearby streets. This path is pleasant and interesting as it runs through an area with no traffic, beautiful vegetation, very scenic in the upper part and with good sun exposure.

It is suitable for those who prefer to walk as well as those who want a real workout.

Villone Puccini
Villone Puccini - Credit: www.giardini-mondo.it
Prato and surroundings

Parco di Galceti: the Galceti Park is the largest green area in the city of Prato. It is located at the foot of Monte Ferrato and occupies an area of eight acres, surrounded by a protected area of 600 hectares.

It is a park, but also a natural science museum with 750 square meters of exhibition halls, a planetarium and an observatory.

Parco di Galceti
Parco di Galceti - Credit: Le foto di Maxi
Siena and surroundings

City centre: some people go to Siena to see the Palio; other people visit the Duomo and other people … to run! Because Siena also offers several trails for runners.

Today we recommend a running route in the city centre: it starts from Piazza dell’Abbadia, reaches the Medici Fortress passing by Via della Stufasecca along the Lizza; then it takes a tour around the fortress, back to Via Garibaldi, Viale Mazzini; then it passes from the bridge of Malizia (above the railway tracks) and turns in via De Bosis, reaching the road-river (2,200 km uphill).

At the roundabout of Siena Nord, the trail turns left towards Via Fiorentina again in the centre and continues along the whole Viale Cavour, coming from Porta Camollia, along Via Camollia, via Montanini and reaching again via Garibaldi, Via della Stufa Secca, for a total of about 10 kilometres.

Porta Camollia
Porta Camollia - Credit: Andrea

Cover image credit: Conson

&
Sport and Adventure