Sight Jogging: Rome in the best time!
I was in Rome before. To an auto test, in which an expensive German car was presented. The car was designed more for older people, occasionally driving on Mecklenburg country roads to golf, not for Italian cities. It was very crowded and so narrow that the car's automatic spacer beeped continuously. The Italians made obscene gestures, ignoring my turn signals, and I was glad when the navigator finally spewed me out of the city. Since then, I associate Rome with abundance and traffic chaos.
The idea of jogging in this city and looking at sights while doing so was not immediately obvious to me when I heard about it. Especially since Rome is not known for its refreshing temperatures. Not even in the fall. But sometimes you are wrong.
In Rome are not 35 degrees, nor is there a soul in the street. Not to mention traffic chaos. As well: It is quarter to six in the morning. Every reasonably normal Roman is still lying in the sheets. I, on the other hand, went a little sleepily down the stairs of my pension and stand in the street, as a Vespa bumps around the corner. On her: Carolina Gasparetto, dark hair, wiry figure, sports shoes on her feet. The woman who had this crazy idea with the "Sight Jogging", which easily replaces any traditional city tour - no, wrong: far surpassed! Behind her on the scooter sits Julia, my personal German-speaking "trainer".
Via del Lavatore, 6:10. Julia and I are trotting slowly towards the Trevi Fountain through cobblestone lanes that look like a medieval movie set after the filming. It smells like a new day, although garbage collection has not cleared the trail of the last night of celebration. Julia is originally from Munich and is only here because her future husband is Roman. Actually, she hates this city: too big, too crowded, too loud. Julia likes to ride a bicycle, but you can completely forget that if you're not tired of life, she says. Since going jogging for tourists with Carolina early in the morning, she has become a bit reconciled with Rome. You quickly know why.
We are alone at the Trevi Fountain. We and a few pigeons and this beautiful milky morning light that looks like a blur. I have to stop. You should not, because of the cycle, but no matter. Julia tells of Baroque popes and coins that can be thrown into the well, which should bring good luck. I do not want to know. Actually, I just want to stand here for a moment and breathe and watch the water splashing over white rocks and the fountain showing off this little private performance just for me.
Then Piazza Navona. The meeting place for tourists. Empty. Completely empty. Not even the souvenir sellers are already there to build their stalls. We make an extra round the fountain before continuing on the Ponte St. Angelo to St. Peter's Basilica, behind whose dome slowly the sun is peeping out. She can stay away from me. The first visitors arrive at St. Peter's Basilica at 6:25 in the morning. We walk back over the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele. I am amazed at how well it runs a) on Roman cobblestones, and how well I endure b), even though Julia and I are chatting all the time. Julia knows a few nice stories that are not in every guidebook: that the Piazza Navona used to be flooded from time to time for fun water games by the nobility, for example, or that the Romans chose the snow-white, boxy Monumento Nazionale either as a "wedding cake" or as a "chisel" "call. I ask them for trendy restaurants, nice shops and haunted corners that you do not necessarily find as a tourist. She changes the route a bit for us, and we walk down Via Pellegrino, a picturesque street that leads directly to Campo de 'Fiori, where one antique shop joins the next.
Shortly after seven we are back in front of my pension. The sun is coming through now, and the magic of this morning will soon be gone. At the end we sit in a small bar, drink a well deserved cappuccino and enjoy the last minutes of silence before Rome finally awakes. Over the entire route, which lasted an hour, we met about five people, not counting St. Peter's Cathedral. According to statistics, around 50,000 tourists every day are traveling in the 2.5-million-metropolitan metropolis - after this round, they feel more like a felt Lüneburg. It is amazing how a city only seems to gain in size through a visible mass of people.
Carolina Gasparetto came up with the idea of "Sight Jogging" because she worked as a fitness trainer in a very large and very expensive hotel in Rome, whose name she does not want to name. She also works as a personal trainer for some wealthy people whose name she does not want to include. But through these jobs she discovered wonderful jogging routes through the middle of her city and discovered that in a short time, she would get a good overview of Rome. Perfect for foreign business people who want to use the time before their daily appointments in the morning, or tourists like me, who like to jog and traditional city tours rather boring. Meanwhile, she has ten fixed routes in the program - some lead right through the city, others also have the Borghese Park or greener outskirts with it. Special requests are fulfilled at any time.
The next day I find myself on a mix of Route 6 and 8 concentrated history: Roman Forum, Circus Maximus, Kollosseum and Capitol. Since I studied Ancient History, I have a great awe of antique walls. In Rome you can not get out of respect. In the Roman Forum I almost want to apologize to anyone, because I'm so sweating through here. But after all, sports, especially competitive sports, are at heart an invention of antiquity, and so jogging and the Forum Romanum are a perfect match.
Of course there is another Rome. One, through which I walk leisurely. One that is full and messy. This Rome is experienced when you start a second run after jogging at 9 or 10 o'clock. It is nowhere near as exclusive as the first one, with a big crowd in front of the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona is dotted with hawkered merchants of flying souvenirs, the serpent in front of St. Peter's is an estimated 800 meters long, and the wide Via Nazionale you can only cross with the help of his life. But of course there are corners that only develop their charm when no one sleeps anymore. San Lorenzo, the university district, for example, with its studentized pubs and the Berlin Kreuzberg flair. Or Rome's "Chinatown" southwest of the central station, where there is a large covered market between Via Mamiani and Via Ricasoli, the Mercato Esquilino, where Asian, Arab and Italian people sell exotic spices, fresh fish and cheap clothes. Around our guesthouse in the Monti district, between Via dei Serpenti and Via Cavour, a young scene is establishing itself, opening concept stores and organizing exhibitions and music events. To celebrate, head to Trastevere, the former working-class district on the other side of the Tiber. If you want to be in, dine with the cheap Chinese right next to the haute cuisine restaurant and then sunk in one of the countless bars.
After my night in Trastevere, the next morning is a bit exhausting. Small eyes, slight headache, but there is no escape. Julia arrives punctually at seven o'clock. With similarly small eyes. Because today is Sunday, we walk a leisurely walk through the park around the Villa Borghese. Here is jogging again, as you know it: Park paths, lawns, a small lake in the middle, idyllic pure. Nice, but boring. Julia, I say, I want dirty lanes and walled-off walls. Lanes with bumpy cobblestones, in which one still smells the alcohol of the past night. And buildings that look like piled-up scenes of a historical epic. Once again, I want to feel the exclusive moment of being the first on this day in this city. Okay, says Julia. And we turn off.
Info Sight Jogging in Rome
The tour described here is offered by "Sight Jogging" and costs 70 euros per hour for one person, two and more people pay from 100 euros per hour. For further information, please call mobile number 0039/347/335 31 85 or www.sightjogging.it
Travel Info Rome
PHONE Area code to Italy 0039.
find accommodation A good alternative to the often very expensive hotels in Rome are private accommodations, e.g. Suburbe Roma, Bed & Breakfast, Double / Breakfast from 120 Euro (Via dei Serpenti 164,1-00184 Rome, Tel. 06 45 43 29 83).
Rome Accomodation conveys apartments in attractive neighborhoods, from about 85 euros per day / two people (Via Marcantonio Colonna 28, 1-00192 Rome, Tel. 06 45 43 78 63, Fax 06 32 11 06 11, www.romeaccomodation.com, also on English).
Family-run accommodation at www.bed-and-breakfast-italien.com or www.bedandbreakfast.it.
Getting Around If you do not want to jog, but want to get to know Rome a bit more leisurely, join Alessandro Canestrini in good hands. The South Tyrolean speaks German and guides visitors on foot through the city. Topics of the walks are u. a. "Rome landmark", "Rome for children" or "The hills of the Eternal City", three-hour tour about 130 euros (mobile 33/87 60 7A 70, fax 06 23 32 85 33, www.romaculta.it).
ENJOY AI Vino al Vino. Nice, unpretentious wine bar in the popular district of Monti near the Colosseum. For wine, there are rustic appetizers from 5 euros (Via dei Serpenti 19, Tel 06 48 58 03).
Gusto. The best pizza in the city.Cool ambience, nice for outdoor-under-Arkaden-sitting. Dishes from 6 euros (Piazza Augusto Imperatore 9, Tel. 06 322 62 73).
Casa Bleve. Excellent wines, cheese and sausages in one of the most popular wine bars in the city (Via del Teatro Valle 48-49, Tel. 066 86 59 70).
F.I.S.H. Trendy seafood restaurant, especially for fans of raw seafood, dishes for 20 euros (Via dei Serpenti 16, Tel 064 78 24 62).
Hotel Raphael Relais Picasso. Great terrace restaurant overlooking the domes and roofs of Piazza Navona. Good pasta, dishes at 18 euros (Largo Febo 2, Tel. 06 68 28 31).
L'Archeologia. Romantic on the oldest street in the world. Hearty Roman cuisine with meat and pasta. Dishes around 18 Euro (Via Appia Antica 139, Tel. 067 88 04 94)
La Bottega del Caffe. The ideal place for breakfast, lunch, Campari drink or for a quick cappuccino in between (Piazza Madonna dei Monti 5, Tel. 064 81 58 71).
La Vecchia Roma. Traditional pizzeria in the Monti district. Small, cozy, cheap. Pizzas from 5 Euro, antipasti from 4 Euro (Via Leonina 10, Tel. 064 74 58 87).
The Library. Cozy and original restaurant in an alley near Piazza Navona (Vicolo della Cancellaria 7, mobile 33/33 51 75 81).
SHOPPING Via Cola di Rienzo and side streets in the district of Prati, near the Vatican. Cheap fashion, one shop next to the other. Via dei Condotti and side streets. Below the Spanish Steps are the big names of the Italian fashion scene, from Armani to Prada to Valentino. Via del Governo Vecchio. Young Italian fashion designers, for example Luciana Ian-nace with her boutique Maga Morgana or Patrizia Pieroni, known for minimalist creations, with her shop Arsenale. Via dei Serpenti and side streets. Here are some new stores with good young fashion, such as B. B (Piazza Madonna dei Monti 1, Tel. 06 47 82 63 35), LoL (Piazza degli Zingari 11, Tel. 064 814160) or Eventi (Via dei Serpenti 134, Tel. 06 48 49 60). Too much. Original (home) accessories, souvenirs and '70s junk near Piazza Navona (via Santa Maria dell'Anima 29, tel. 06 68 30 11 87). Contestarockhair. If you want trendy haircuts, go here and learn all about the latest music events (Via degli Zingari 9, Tel. 06 47 82 37 17). Planet Blu. T-shirts with Rom label, bags and other original clothes with various good imprints are available from Jean Frances Ottaviano (Via Nazionale 185, Tel. 064 74 68 72). Trace d'Oriente. Oriental decoration, candles, jewelery and accessories (Via dei teatro 2a, Tel. 06 68 72 253).
GO OUT Campo de 'Fiori. In the morning marketplace, in the evening from 18 clock Rome's central open-air bar with countless wine bars. Ideal place to flirt.
Zest Bar. Hipper meeting point with great cocktail selection in the super-design hotel "Es.Hotel" (Via F. Turati 171, Tel. 06 44 48 41).
Piazza di Siena Art Cafe. One of the trendiest places to meet young Roman chic people for eating, drinking and dancing (Viale dei Galoppatoio 33, Tel. 06 36 00 65 78, from 21 to 4 o'clock).
Brancaleone.Cultural center located on the northern outskirts of the city, where DJs from all over Europe regularly perform (via Levanna 11, Tel. 06 82 00 43 82, at the weekend from 10.30 pm to 5 am).
Glass. Very cool design, four-star kitchen (Vicolo dei Cinque 58, Tel. 06 58 33 59 03).
In addition, in Trastevere, the nightlife district between Via Garibaldi and Viale di Trastevere, there are countless bars and restaurants from cheap to expensive. Tip: In Chinese restaurants you can eat extremely cheap everywhere in Rome. Main courses are available from 3 to 4 euros.
EVENTS International Festival of Sacred Music and Art. Concerts in the most beautiful churches, 15 to 19 November. Graduation: Mozart's coronation Mass in St. Peter's Basilica and evening organ concert in St. Ignatius (www.festivalmusicaeartesacra.net). Moa Casa. Design Fair for Furniture, October 28 to November 5 at the Exhibition Center (www.cooperativamoa.com). RomaEurope Festival. Theater, music and dance from all over Europe in different locations, u. a. Teatro Palladium Uni-versita Roma Tre, until November 27 (www.romaeuropa.net). Medfilm Festival. Theme of the festival are the human rights, u. a. in the Palazzo Venezia, the Villa Medici and the Museo di Roma. About 200 films from 40 countries, from 5 to 18 November (www.medfilmfestival.org).
READ Travel Guide Rome. Walks through the most popular parts of the city, background stories as well as numerous information and addresses (National Geography Traveler, 15,95 Euro)
Time for Rome. Interesting illustrated book that makes you want to explore the eclectic neighborhoods of this metropolis. With city map (Bucher, 29,90 Euro)
Rome. A travel companion with all the important sights, many practical tips, maps and addresses (DuMont, 12 Euro).
Rome. Practical guide with many insider tips and handy for traveling (Marco Polo, 8.95 euros).
INFO Tourist Office in Via Parigi 11, tel. 06 48 89 91, www.romaturismo.it
EXTRA-TIP Sight Jogging is also available in Barcelona. Information at www.sightjogging-barcelona.com