Fitness lovers rejoice! Rome isn’t only about pizza, pasta and gelato. With a walkable yet extensive historic center, plenty of green spaces, and a bike path along the Tiber River, there are plenty of opportunities to get moving as you tour the city. There are also several options for gyms and yoga studios in the city if you crave a more intensive workout. Read on to find out how to get your heart-rate up and combine fitness with pleasure in Rome.
Outdoor Activities: Running and Bike Paths
Rome’s Tevere, or Tiber River, snakes throughout the city, making for many photogenic opportunities and offering a natural running path down along its banks, referred to as the Lungotevere. You’ll find a demarcated bike path for cyclists, a walking or running area, and plenty of gorgeous vistas – particularly if you stick to the center. The Tiber extends beyond the city, so you can run as far as you’d like. Insider tip: make your way over to the stretch between Ponte Sisto and Ponte Mazzini to catch William Kentridge’s Trials and Laments street art project, featuring large-scale friezes that depict the city’s victories and defeats over time.
A stroll down the ancient Appian Way is a great way to soak in some history and see marvelous Roman scenery along the ride. One of the earliest and most important roads for the empire, it was developed in 312 BC and is the reason ‘all roads lead to Rome.’ The archaeological park is a unique opportunity to step back in time, literally walking (or riding) on the original cobbled flagstones, now weathered over millennia. You’ll pass ancient burial tombs and Christian catacombs – such as the Circus of Maxentius, the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella and the Catacombs of Saint Sebastian – and see plenty of rural countryside as well.
Rome is a surprisingly green city with many parks and gardens to combine your workout with a little art and culture. Villa Doria Pamphili near Trastevere and Villa Ada in North Rome are favorite parks for running and cycling because they’re large with plenty to explore. Central Villa Borghese is another good bet, slightly better suited to runners because it is smaller but perhaps even more beautiful: with a racing track, small lake, a great view of the city from the Pincio terrace and the city zoo, it packs a lot in one space. You can also opt to rent surrey bikes to take a ride around the park with a group of four.
Indoor Exercise: Local Gyms
If you’d prefer to get your workout at a fitness center, the EasyFitClub in Trastevere is the biggest and most complete gym in Rome. With an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, fitness classes and a dedicated Pilates studio, it provides everything you could want in a gym, with easy access to the historic center. EasyFitClub is also convenient because the gym opens at 6am on weekdays and has long hours on weekends and holidays: not something to take for granted in Rome.
Located inside Termini station, Health City is strategically located for access via bus or metro. Although it’s on the smaller side, it has recently been renovated and is a good choice if you are located nearby. It opens at 7am on weekdays, 9am on weekends and offers courses ranging from Zumba and spinning to Capoeira, hip hop and Aerodance.
For a little bit of glam with your workout, try out Madonna’s Hard Candy gym, located right beside the Colosseum. This trendy fitness center launched in September 2013 and offers workout classes such as Addicted to Sweat, Body Design and antigravity training. Hard Candy is a modern, American-style gym with many cardio machines, free weights, spacious changing rooms and steam showers. Naturally, its pricier than other gyms in the city, but you pay for the atmosphere.
Mind & Body Workouts: Yoga and Pilates Studios
Zem Yoga Studio Roma
Zem Yoga Studio Roma is a bright, modern space that couldn’t be more central: with windows overlooking Corso Vittorio Emanuele (one of the main streets of Rome), it offers peace and tranquility in the middle of all the action. A popular place with both locals and expats, community-building is a central tenet of the studio and drop-ins are encouraged. The studio offers heated and non-heated vinyasa and hatha yoga classes in English and Italian.
RYOGA is an active yoga studio in Trastevere that offers 50 weekly classes ranging across all yoga styles, from hatha and ashtanga to power vinyasa and warm tin. It also offers a couple of Pilates classes, Ayurvedic consultations and private courses. With an almost entirely Italian team, it is geared more towards locals – but this could be a great way to improve your Italian and make friends in the neighborhood.
For a more intensive yoga workout, try True Power Yoga at Ego Yoga, a studio located within walking distance from the Vatican in the Prati district. More physical than relaxing, it will get your heart-rate up and your body sweating in minutes. Ego Yoga is the only studio in Europe that has been certified by Mark Blanchard to teach his progressive flow-vinyasa style yoga. The studio also offers ashtanga and anusara courses to a dedicated community of yoga lovers.