Like much of the ones we visited in Italy, Florence is a beautiful city. Old majestic buildings surrounding cobblestone and brick paved narrow streets, what’s not to love? As beautiful as it is, running in Florence can be a bit tricky–think narrow sidewalks and tourists standing in the middle having a photo shoot–but we think it’s worth it to take in the sites and get the most of your time. Plus, there’s an enormous amount of Tuscan food to sample post-run. We didn’t love the restaurants we tried here for the most part, but have heard great things about taking a cooking class.
This is a short, roughly 3 mile route through the major sites of the city. The outside of these sites are beautiful, making them a good fit for a quick stop to view and snap a pic. The narrow and crowded streets can be a bit of a challenge to navigate so an early morning start would be best for this route.
A Running Route in Florence, Italy (Total run length: 2.9 miles)
Start: Piazza di Santa Maria Novella
A pretty piazza with a beautiful church, the starting point is good for taking a quick pic or grabbing an espresso before you head out. From here, head down Piazza degli Ottaviani two blocks to the river. Once at the river turn left. Run along it past the Ponte Vecchio, or through it if you’re inclined and it’s not too busy.
(0.8 mile) Cross the river at Ponte alle Grazie (next bridge past Ponte Vecchio).
On the bridge itself there are good views of the Ponte Vecchio, and good views of Florence from the other side if you want to stop for pictures.
(0.9 mile) Turn Left at the other side of the bridge onto Lungarno Serristor.
Take this along the river for a short stint before turning right to go through Piazza G. Poggi. This will take you under an archway and up a long set of stairs to the top. If the gate to the adjacent rose garden is open, this is a nice way to the top as well.
(1.3 mile) At the top of the stairs turn left for a brief interlude to the Piazzale Michelangelo.
This spot had our absolute favorite views of Florence. We ended up back up here later in the night (walking) for the sunset, we highly recommend it! Once you have your fill of the views, turn around and head back down the stairs and across the bridge the way you came.
(1.9 mile) Turn left after you get back across the river back towards Ponte Vecchio.
Backtrack briefly along the river until you reach the Museo Galileo, turning before you hit Ponte Vecchio.
(2 mile) Turn right into the Piazzele degli Uffizi.
Pass the Uffizi gallery on your right. Shortly after this you hit the Piazza della Signoria. There is a copy of Michelangelo’s David on your right upon entering the plaza. Cross to the left side of the plaza and exit at the top left corner, straight onto Via Calzaiuoli.
(2.5 miles) The street opens up into the Piazza del Duomo.
Do a final lap around the Duomo, taking in this beauty from every angle, to get you to the finish.
(2.9 mile) Finish at the Duomo.
Florentine sites seen along the run:
- Piazza di Santa Maria Novella
- Ponte Vecchio
- Piazzale Michelangelo
- Uffizi gallery
- Piazza della Signoria
- Piazza del Duomo
Additional options for running in Florence:
Signa to Florence leg of Renaissance Ring trail – about 8 miles once on the path
Take the train to Signa from the main train station in Florence, Firenze S.M.N. On the last page of this PDF there are specific instructions for how to find the path once you get there, about 0.5 – 1 mile from the train station depending on which stop you get off at (there are two).
The path follows the river all the way back to Florence. It passes through the countryside, with views of surrounding mountains. The nearby train tracks and power lines impeded our view a bit, this felt more like a typical cycling path to us. However, it makes for a great longer run without interruptions and was not very crowded when we went on a Sunday in February.
Cascine Park (Parco dell Cascine) – distance varies
Follow the river just West of the city center to this park. It’s a beautiful European style park, with a path along the river and throughout the interior. This is also the end of the above mentioned trail.