We decided that this marathon film wasn’t just going to be about the race, and instead focus just as much on the many great things you can expect to experience on a trip to Rome. The hotel, the restaurants, the museums and the sights (especially the sights you might want to see if you’ve been to Rome before and already visited the more famous monuments). Here’s the film!
Ok, the film shows you what to expect from the marathon, so there’s very little need to say much more except that be patient with the sign up process. Even though it’s easier and to be fair, more welcoming, that other major marathons, you do need to understand that to enter you will need to get their own medical form signed off by your doctor (which may cost you nothing, or it may cost you a great deal depending on your doctor) and you’ll also need to buy a Runcard, which allows you to run in Italy. The process is easy; however, finding where on the website to buy the card was troublesome. As I say, be patient, you’ll get there in the end and the Rome Marathon is definitely worth it.
An excellent couple of bonuses of running in Rome is that you receive free entry to 10 of the city’s museums for you and a guest for the week surrounding the marathon, and you get to eat at awesome restaurants. Add to that the very decent hotels (I have advice about these to follow) and you have the makings of a perfect weekend, or week, away for runners and non-runners alike.
For hotels I recommend either The Beehive (an eco-conscious, luxury hostel/budget boutique hotel) near Termini Station...
...and very convenient for the airport bus and the subway or, if you’d like to stay nearer the race start line in more luxurious, and expensive, surroundings, then Hotel Lancelot is my first choice.
For good value, healthy vegan restaurants my top picks are 100% Bio for dinner, Ecru Roma for lunch and Flower Burger for anytime. To give you an idea of the food available at these places here are some photos. First is 100% Bio, serving organic, very tasty delights created by Chef Thomas.
Then there is Ecru Roma, not far from the historic centre and Vatican City.
And finally Flower Burger, a really fun, cool place in Vatican City itself. The buns are coloured by natural flavourings such as cherry and vegetable carbon. The look will appeal to kids, but the taste will certainly appeal to all.
I mentioned before the museums that you can visit for free if you sign up for the marathon. If you’ve already seen the major sights such as the Coliseum and Vatican Museums then you’ll yearn for something else I’m sure and these minor museums will fit the bill. I just wandered around them all without knowing what I was to see, enjoying whatever was on show, and often I was the only visitor.
Imagine that, a few hundred metres away the major sights are absolutely packed with tourists but you step off the beaten track just a little bit and beautiful buildings and sights will be all yours.
I think the most amazing moment was when I walked into a small side room at the Palazzo Barberini and found myself looking at this painting by Caravaggio, it was absolutely stunning. Usually this sort of art would be the centrepiece of any city’s main museum’s collection but here it was for the curious visitor to stumble upon. It was well worth wandering aimlessly to find this sort of thing. Magnificent!
I’ll finish with a few photos of race day. You approach the race start by walking up to the mighty Coliseum. It was raining hard at this point of the day but nobody seemed to care, we were too hyper with anticipation. You don’t need the theme tune to Rocky to get you pumped up when you’re approaching this great Gladiatorial area.
Then you run as you like – I wanted a 4 hour marathon as I was in training for the MDS, and that’s what I got – and enjoy a grandstand finish as you run back through the old centre and finish where you started, except this time you'll be looking at the Coliseum.
Not a bad backdrop for a ‘holding the race medal’ photo, right?
I hope I’ve persuaded you to visit Rome, and enjoy the experience as much as I did. It’s a fabulous city, one of the best, the people are great and the food and accommodation is top class and, if you choose wisely, very good value. If I didn’t cover what you’re eager to know, please do fire me off an email, I’ll be happy to try to help – firstname.lastname@example.org To discover more, please see https://www.maratonadiroma.it/?lang=en