Running along the Arno River in Florence can be a spectacular experience–especially if you go early before the crowds line the walkways. The Arno flows east-west and divides Florence into the Centro Storico (historic center) to the north and the hillier, less crowded Oltrarno (“over the Arno”) to the south. In the central part of Florence, the Arno River walkways are tree-lined and spacious, and numerous historic bridges provide great views of the city and opportunities for loops of various lengths. Below is our guide to the best sections for running along the river, with distance options, using Ponte alle Grazie as a good starting point. Our route is on the north bank. Best south bank section is opposite Cascine Park.
Heading West from Ponte alle Grazie, north bank. Good walkways along the north bank, to Cascine Park. Once in the park, can run through the park, or along the river. West of the park, best running on north side gravel paths. From Ponte alle Grazie, cumulative distance (km/mi):
Ponte Vecchio: 0.5/0.3
Ponte Santa Trinita: 0.75/0.5
Ponte alla Carraia: 1.0/0.6
Amerigo Vespucci: 1.4/0.9
S667/P.Veneto/Beginning of Cascine Park: 2.2/1.4
Passarellla dell’Issolotto/Cascine Park: 3.8/2.3 (can cross over to south side)
End of Park/Monumento All’Indiano (north side): 5.7/3.6
Heading East from Ponte alle Grazie: On the north side, nice running for nearly 1 km to Piazza Piave. Then a bit busier for 0.5 km along the main road, then nice waterside paths to San Jacopo al Girone, getting progressively more pastoral. On the south side, it’s good running for 4 km from Ponte alle Grazie to Via Marco Polo along the main road and then the Viale dell’Albereta.
From Ponte alle Grazie east on north side (km/mi):
Piazza Piave: 0.7/0.5
Ponte Paolo Borsellino: 3.7/2.3
San Jacopo al Girone: 6.6/4.1 Dirt Path.
Add-Ons: Trails in Cascine Park; Run up to Piazza Michelangelo
- From Ponte alle Grazie, it's 5.7k to the end of the park, and and 9.1 km total. Can also run up to 6.6 km east from the bridge
- About 100 foot gain in either direction
- Ponte alle Grazie, or any other point
- Good bus access on either side. Light rail in central sections
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