Europe

Sicily, Italy

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Sicily

Luca Volpi

The large Mediterranean island of Sicily, just off the “toe” of Italy’s “boot,” is an autonomous region of Italy with a rich history. Today, this popular tourist destination is known for its unique art, culture, and cuisine. While most visitors flock to the larger cities like Palermo, Catania, and Siracusa, the picturesque coastal towns and quiet mountainside villages of Sicily are unique destinations in and of themselves. Our guide to running in Sicily includes a cluster of wonderful routes in Palermo, plus some of other favorites across the island.

We’ve mapped runseeing tours of Palermo, Catania, and pedestrian-friendly Taormina. There are also lots of waterfront running opportunities on the lungomari (seaside roads) of Isola di Ortigia, Cefalù, and Giardini Naxos. Movie buffs will love seeing the filming locations of The Godfather and Cinema Paradiso, while adventure seekers may choose to run Mount Etna or Monte Pellegrino.

Sicily’s extensive and efficient railway system is a great way to get around, and it hits most of our main routes. Buses are also a cost-effective option once you get outside the main cities. For our farthest flung routes (like those in Savoca, Forza d’Agrò, and Palazzo Adriano) a ride via car or taxi is helpful. Note that Sicily’s weather is especially hot and sunny in summer, so plan carefully and hydrate!

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Santuario di Santa Rosalia (Palermo)

Sicily, Italy

When visiting Palermo, pay a visit to Santa Rosalia, the city’s patron saint with this tough 3.6 km mountain run. We recommend the Via Santuario Monte Pellegrino path rather than the road. Beautiful but challenging! Can also take a bus up and run down.
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Palermo: Parkruns

Sicily, Italy

Looking for some fun and friendly competition? Palermo hosts a selection of Parkruns (a free 5 km) throughout the city. Even if your timing doesn't work to join the group, these are good ideas for nice routes in the area!
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The weather for running in Sicily is good year-round. Summers are hot but not too humid. Still, it’s warm to hot from June through September, with temperatures reaching into the high 80sF (30C). Fall and spring are milder and gorgeous. Winter is also mild, with highs in the 60 range (15C) and lows in the mid-40s (6C). Layers are helpful. Winters are also rainier, while summer is almost rain free.

Most tourists stay in the major cities in Sicily, including Catania, Palermo, and Syracuse.

Other (more quiet) destinations are Cefalu, Taormina, Agrigento, and Messina.

Check out RunninginItaly’s calendar of running events in Sicily.