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Running in Florence - The complete guide


Running in Florence can really be many different experiences. The town is well known for its historical beauty, food, art and architecturural masterpieces (the center of Florence is part of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage) but as a Florentine I know that the town can have many different facets and I’d like to show you some of them. That’s why I have created this complete guide to running in Florence! 

  • Sightrunning Tours in Florence
  • Florence Running Races
  • Florence Running Clubs
  • Florence Running Stores

Sightrunning Tours in Florence

Sightrunning tours are very much what is says on the tin. Its the combination of running and sightseeing with a local guide who shows you both the main sights as well as the local insights, all while working up a sweat. I am the running guide here in Florence, so let me explain more about our running tours in Florence.

Florence Must See – 6KM the idea of this tour came to me while I was running in Paris all alone and I was worried to lose my way while I was wondering around in an early morning run. I knew I could see many things but I didn’t know how many I was missing.

Running in Florence - Forence Must see Tour

The idea of this tour is to let you make a very special morning run through the center of Florence. You don’t have to worry of anything and can enjoy the most important masterpieces of Florentine architecture and art while running. This tour is easy, flat and suitable for any kind of runner but nevertheless full of surprises and small gems hided between each corner of Florence center, such as Ponte Vecchio, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore or the medieval tower houses.

The 10 km “A run with a view” running tour tour is born with the idea to give my guest an exceptional emotion, something they will remember when they go back home a usually it really works! The tour will lead you through the city center to enjoy all the history you can feel step by step running on the ancient stones, and looking at palaces, churches, towers and statues spread everywhere. But at certain moment we will go a little bit uphill, leaving the center between the trees of a small hill overlooking the city, and there is the wow point! You’ll have all Florence in front of you in the worm light of early morning!

The 12 km “Medici run” is the opportunity to look at the city with a sort special historical glasses. I wish to show you how much the Medici Family has left its footprint in the urban and artistic development of the town, with the well known palaces and churches but also with gardens, parks and even a pyramid! It’s an eventful running journey during which you’ll feel the thrill of history running on your back.

Florence is surrounded by hills and the river Arno flows curved between them. Running along the river is another way to read the history of the city and that is why I have created the 15 km running tour “run on the Florence wild side”. This is a path from the city center to the historical mills along the river, which were studied by Leonardo Da Vinci, that puts together ancient buildings and natural landscape with waterfowls. On our way back, with the light of  sun which is coloring the water with thousand of tints, behind us in the morning or right in front of us in the afternoon, the skyline of the Cathedral will surprise you at once.

The historical town used to be surrounded by city walls till 1865 and this as kept the form of the city fairly compact. So if you go on the hills around the city you can have a full view of it in a glimpse. While running “Florence hills tour” you can see how much historical is the Tuscan landscape, made by thousands of years of work in carving each piece of land and planting each vineyard or olive tree. In any season you can enjoy all the colors of Florentine countryside, from the light green of spring to the red and yellow of autumn. And in early morning the red light of the sun rising mixes with the red color of Florence roofs made of terracotta shingles, while you are watching the city by a privileged viewpoint!

Running in Florence - Florence Hills Tour

What about getting it all? I’ve thought that maybe there are runners who would like to share this entire catalog of views and feelings on a single run….and squeeze in a Half Marathon at the same time. That is why I have designed “Florence Grand Tour” during a longer run you can see the historical center with the well-known  architectures and piece of art, but also climb a little bit uphill and have glimpse on the town from above and finally take a long and free ride in the “Florence’s runners paradise” that is the Cascine Park.

The tours are designed in an increasing challenging mode but all the tours are suitable for any kind of runner, you make the pace! And I can ensure you that in Florence there is so much to see that you don’t realize how many kilometers/miles you are running, and even if there is a little bit uphill your effort is always rewarded by a breathtaking view!

Florence Running Races

Florence running community is very active. We have many running clubs and each club organizes its own race and each race is also a very nice occasion to meet other runners, enjoy the run, the incredible sites and the after race refreshment! We are Italians so we are maniac about food! See this blog post if you wish to discover more Florence running races.

Of course in Florence we have also big races like:

Florence Marathon on the last Sunday of November. Our marathon is the second for importance in Italy, after Rome, each year 10.000 runners from all over the world come to Florence for this great occasion.

Florence Half Marathon on the first Sunday of April. The half marathon starts from the incredible square in front of Santa Croce basilica and on the race day you can chose between the half marathon, a relay (10.5. km each) or a 8 Km run, and April is usually a perfect season to run in Florence!

Guarda Firenze in May and the oldest night run in Italy, the “Notturna di San Giovanni” that the next June 22th will celebrate its 80th edition! These are also organised by the Florence Marathon organisation.

Florence Running Routes

There are many places to go running in Florence and as it is not a such a big town, at least the historical center is not, it is pretty easy to a nice run. 

The ”runners paradise” of Florence is the Cascine park. It is an historical park 3.5 Km long so you can have there a 7 Km run. On Saturdays you also have a 5Km  Park Run. If you like to enjoy a longer race you can run along the river Arno. On this route (that can be from 2 km to almost 30 km long) you can enjoy many views on the city center and also pass by famous landmarks like ”Ponte Vecchio”.

Florence Running Clubs

As I’ve written before the Florence running scene is very active and you can find many running clubs. My favourite is Luivan Settignano if you have look at the site you may understand why 😉 ! 

As many other clubs was founded more that 40 years ago and is both a great team with fast runners and a great group of simple guys sharing their running passion.

One of the biggest running clubs of Florence, in terms of affiliates, is G.S. Panche Calsterquarto and is also one of the best races organizer in Florence area (six races each year). Even the olimpic champion Gelindo Bordin took part to one of their races back in the eightes.

Florence Running stores

L’isolotto delle sport” is one  of the stores preferred by Florentine runners. It is not in the city center but is ruled by a family of runners and when you go there you can be sure that you’ll get the best advice on any kind of running gear even if you don’t buy anything! 

Another small store dedicated completely to the running and again ruled by a runner is Irun Firenze. Michele can always find the right solution for what you may need.

If you are in Florence city center then the easiest choice is Game7Athletics which is right on the side on the Cathedral. This is a large store in which you can find all the best known brands.

Florence Running Climate

Any season is the right season to run in Florence! Our town is really not so cold in winter but can be pretty hot and humid in summer. 

My suggestion is to try to run early in the morning, sunrise can vary from 7:30 AM in winter to earlier than 6:00 AM in summer, and the temperatures can be around 0° C/32° F only in January and February. Spring and Autumn are ideal to run at any time of the day, instead in Summer absolutely avoid the hours in the mid of the day, so wake up early and enjoy the town. During the summer you can also find nice to run on the sunset when the temperature is nicer. 

Thanks for reading this far and happy running, 


City Manager of Go! Running Tours Florence


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