Venice is, of course, a wonderful place to visit. But running in Venice? One would think that between the maze-like layout of narrow, cobblestoned streets and the crowds, it would be difficult to find a good place to run in Venice. But, surprise, there are actually some good spots — you just have to know where to go! If you’d like to have an in-person guided running experience in Venice, we highly recommend our friends at Go! Running Tours.
The best places to run in Venice tend to be along the water: the paths are wider, more seamless, and the views are great. Three choice spots are Riva dei Schiavoni to the Giardini (gardens), and adjoining Sant’Elena area, Zattere, and Fondamente Nuove. Giudecca, the Lido, and Burano, all islands on the Venetian lagoon and easily reachable by Vaporetto, offer good waterside running with fewer crowds. We’ve also included routes in Mestre, the gateway to Venice for many, and in the seaside resort town of Jesolo. Just south of Venice, the seaside/beach towns of Chioggia and Sottomarina offer some wonderful waterfront running. As for running the interior part of Venice, we wouldn’t hazard to design a route, but if you go early or during non-crowded times, you can get yourself pleasantly lost in a stroll/run…even doing a few laps around some of the larger squares!
For the main part of Venice, it’s best to run early to beat the crowds. Also, be aware of the heat in summer and occasional street flooding in any season. For getting around Venice, on the island you’ll be relying a lot on your feet. The Vaporetto water bus system and ferries are the main form of transport, which can be used creatively for one-way runs and to access neighboring islands.