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- This event celebrates the founding of Rome in 753BC, events occur on either side of April 21st, including; the crowning of Dea Roma, a match of Harpastum, gladiator fights and a Palilia ceremony. We were fortunate enough to be in Rome for the Easter 2019 holiday and the birthday celebration coincided with the Easter festivities. On the 21st, we attended the event in the Circus Maximus and watched the Harpastum players depart for the field. We then returned on the 22nd to watch the grand parade with more than 1500 re-enactors. What a celebration. Thank you Grvppo Storico Romano for hosting this event and in particular to Sergio Iacomoni for taking the time to explain the event and the passion involved.Written 14 October 2019This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- This was my first marathon and first visit to Rome, along with my family from Bath in the UK. We rented an airbnb on Via Cavour, in the Monti region. It was a 10 min walk from our apartment to the start line, but more about that later. First some things I learned about the Rome marathon that might be helpful to anyone considering entering in 2019.
As a non-Italian it's a lot easier to enter if you are a member of a running club, as it allows you to bypass the medical. For the rest of us it's a bit of a nightmare: you need a stamped certificate proving that you've had the requisite tests: urine, electrocardiogram and stress test (spirography). Once you have it you need to scan it and upload it to the registration page of the website. I had my rather bemused local GP do the tests for a cost of £30. Non-nationals also have to purchase a 'runcard' (15 euros). On top of the entry fee of 67 euros (I applied in September) the costs is probably about the same as Berlin. Once you've bought your Runcard and uploaded your certificate you wait for your bib number to be allocated. This took several months - I think mine came through in January. It comes in the form of a confirmation letter, which you have to take to collect your bib...
You have to pick up your bib and registration pack (along with a free backpack) at an Expo centre, about 25 mins subway ride from the centre. The subway is easy to navigate and 1.50 euro each way. Bring your confirmation letter or they won't give you your bib (they didn't ask to see my medical certificate, despite lots of messages saying i had to bring it). I strongly recommend you get to the Expo centre at the earliest opportunity to avoid the queue. I went on Thursday morning (it's open Thurs, Fri and Sat) as soon as it opened at 10:00am and had my bib within five minutes, which was a big relief. Then you're all set for the big day!
Race Day. We were lucky to wake up to a beautiful morning with clear skies, though this would later mean a hot run. As I left my apartment I joined rivers of runners wit orange backpacks making their way to the start - you can't get lost. There was a bit of over-crowding as we made our way to our allotted starting area, filing past the Colosseum, but the bag drop at the lorries containing the lockers is well-organised, done by your bib number. There were quite a few portable toilets but the queues were still long. I think that's standard for most marathons.
Once i made it to my starting area, almost in the shadow of the Colosseum, it was about a 45 min wait in the pen before we were off. Having not done a marathon before I probably got there a bit early, but I wanted to be reasonably near the front of my pen - which was parallel to the Forum, just incredible! The first wave of runners set off at 8:35. I was in the final wave and we started at 8:53 - only 1 min after the scheduled time. All in all not bad for 12,000 people.
As the course doubles back on itself at several points my family were there to cheer me about 200m after the start, then at 10k and about 37k and 41k.
Water stops were every 5km, which wasn't quite enough on a hot day (22C).I stopped at all of them, as did most of us. No food until the half marathon point at 21Km, so make sure you have some gels/chews with you.
The course is generally flat and there's lots to distract you on the way round, including several crossings of the Tiber. There are some dull stretches, especially after the half marathon point until you start heading back into the centre. Then the atmosphere is fantastic and you get to run past the Spanish steps, Trevi fountain and cobbled piazzas, including Navona. Amazing. There's a nasty uphill section in a dark tunnel with about 1.5km to go, where a lot of people walked. Then it's downhill to the finish at the foot of the Colosseum. Picking up your bag and medal is very simple and I was able to meet my family about 15 mins after finishing. The goody bag was a bit of a let down: an apple, energy drink and bottle of water, but after an incredible route i didn't really care.
Overall, I strongly recommend the Rome marathon. Once you've got past the irritating entry system the organisation is generally excellent, the marshals and volunteers all helpful and cheerful and the noise and atmosphere second to none. I recommend staying in the Monti area. It's a short walk from the start, there are lots of great restaurants and cafes and it's off the main tourist trail.
One final tip: Rome is a city for walking and there's so much to see. I probably overdid it in the few days leading up to the marathon with sightseeing and shopping, so make sure you rest up, or (unlike me) plan the holiday part after the marathon...Written 11 April 2018This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- I wish I had read reviews before we went.terrible.€30 family ripoff. It could maybe been barely acceptable if ice rink was real. It was plasticWritten 24 December 2019This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.