Italy Travel Tips

Italy Travel Tips
If you enjoy competing in running races but are getting bored with your typical race courses, consider running in Italy. The change of scenery can be motivating, and there are ample opportunities for carbo-loading on Italian pasta. However, while running is a popular Italian activity, using running shoes as walking shoes will have you pegged as a tourist. Italians are pretty fashion conscious, so opt for comfortable walking shoes when dining at restaurants.

The Ferrari of Running Shoes

If you're in the market for a new pair of running shoes and want something that will stand out in a crowd, consider purchasing them in Italy. The Pininfarina Group, famous for designing the Ferrari, has teamed up with Fila, the athletic shoe manufacturer, to create what they call the "Ferrari of running shoes." If the idea of Ferrari running shoes seems over the top, consider the running shoes made by the 60-year-old Italian athletic shoe company, Diadora, which makes a trail shoe and a basic running shoe. Of course, these shoes can be found in the United States. However, it's cheaper to purchase them in Italy.

Hash Hound Harriers

Those looking for a unique running experience should consider contacting the Hash Hound Harriers. This zany organization describes itself as "serious drinkers with a running problem." Their events are geared for all levels of fitness. The race organizers lay out a trail made of either flour or paper. However, the trail has some false clues, which adds to the fun. According to the website, cheating is encouraged, and racing or competing is actually punishable. At the end of the race, the winners must drink an entire pint of beer, while everyone else sings songs. If they can't finish it, they have to spill it over their heads. This might be a viable event to attend with your less fit friends. Most of the participants are American ex-pats, so English is spoken.

Placentia Marathon for Unicef

The Placentia Marathon for UNICEF takes place in March in Piacenza, a small, northern Italian town, which is about an hour from Milan. There's also a half marathon on the same weekend. As its name implies, the event is a fund-raiser for UNICEF. Since it's in a small town off the beaten path, it does not attract as many competitors. However, this is a chance to get a more intimate look at the Italian lifestyle and running scene.

Comitato Organizzatore Placentia Marathon for Unicef
Fermo Posta - succursale 8
via Perfetti, 1
29100 Piacenza
0523/364094

Rome Half Marathon

The Rome half marathon takes place in June. The race begins at 11 p.m. and gives you the opportunity to see the Eternal City lit up at night.

RomaMezzamaratona - Rome Half Marathon
Viale B.Bardanzellu, 65
00155 Roma - Italia
+39 06 40 65 064

Article Written By Lisa Mercer

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

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