In late autumn and winter the Mediterranean starts to rough up a bit. Although it never gets really cold in winter, all the tourists and most of the local Italians desert the beaches, which leaves traffic nicely clear for surfing. In Italy these days, particularly in the Rome area, surfing is on the rise. In recent years, with the popularity of extreme sports, European tourists have earnestly sought out beaches for the oldest extreme sport of them all, thus Italians too are now joining in the rush to find the perfect wave.
You can get a little bit of surfing done closest to Rome at beaches at or near Ostia and Fiumicino, but it can get crowded with a high gremmie content. CORALLO BEACH webcam is below where you can actually monitor the surf.
For better spots, you need to travel further south down the coast to Anzio or Torre Paola near Sabaudia, though both these venues are sheltered by marinas and have gentle waves favoured for training and novices.
For more serious surfing, head further south still, a couple of hour’s drive almost as far as Naples, to the town of Gaeta, which has two sandy beaches, Sant’Agostino and Serapo, where the waves can reach six or seven feet.
If you want bigger stuff, an hour north of Rome is where you should be, as things can get a little hairy at Santa Marinella, just south of Civitavecchia, where strong but variable winds often prevail, and long, powerful waves can reach ten feet. Watch out for your feet at this beach though, the bed is covered in sea urchins. They call this spot the Italian Banzai and it’s such a draw that some guys have gotten together to form the Banzai Surf Club, based at Via G. Lucina 50, telephone 0766 510720
Equipment: You'll find a surf gear store at Anzio called Kua Aina’s Surfer, it’s at Via Gramsci 58, phone 06 983 0636.
It would be a lie to say that golf is a huge sport in Rome, but there are some courses. And some very nice courses.
I spent a week at Sheraton Golf Parco dei Medici, which is both a hotel and a golf resort.
The hotel you can read about on my hotel-page. The golf course is divided into three 9 hole courses, white, blue and red. The white is the hardest one, then blue next, while the red is the easiest.
The BMW Open, on the Europe tour for ladies, will be played here in May, so there is no doubt the courses are really good.
It's a park course, with quite much water, so there are great difficulties on some parts of the course.
As always in the southern Europe the greenfees are quite high. But with a golf packet it gets quite much cheaper. I paid a bit over 900 euro for a week on the hotel, included breakfast everyday and six greenfees. Definitely well worth it, seeing the great quality of the course.
Equipment: Golf clubs of course. There is a golf shop in the club house, where you can buy those things that you miss from home. Quite expensive though.
From the resort you can also rent carolls for the bag, 7 euro/day.
There is a driving range and a big putting green close to the club house. And a bar where you can greet yourself with a beer after the day's playing... :) Plus some smaller sandwiches.
Being a Sheraton hotel everything is expensive, so be prepared to pay 8 euro for the beer. 5 euro for the toast.
Staff was very friendly though, and always tried to make us feel welcomed!
Harness racing is a form of horseracing in which the horses race in a specified gait--either the trot or the pace. They also usually pull two-wheeled carts called sulkies, although races to saddle are still occasionally conducted.
Tor di Valle racetrack is on the outskirts of Southern Rome. It really appears to be the richest test for sophomore trotters found in Italy.
The complete area is comprised of 420,000 square metres of which 120,000 are dedicated to the public, 100,000 to the race track, 100,000 to the stable area and 100,000 to varied use. The stable area (a total of 730 boxes) includes: 115 saddle-rooms, 2 storehouses, 4 smithies, a manure box, veterinary service, isolation boxes, lodging and services for personnel, a restaurant, cafeteria, a coffee shop and 2 reserved parking lots.
Entrance fee is 3 Euro.
It is reachable from the city's centre by taking the Via del Mare in direction of Ostia or via the Gran Raccordo Anulare by taking the Via Ostiense (exit 28) in direction of Rome. The Racecourse is also accessible by public transport by taking the Subway B Line to the Magliana station followed by the Ostia-bound train till the Tor di Valle station. It is also possible to take a shuttle bus directly from the Magliana Subway station to the Tor di Valle Racetrack.
A day of horseback riding on the farm of Macchia Grande and the ancient Appian Way. You will have a guide responsible for the horses. This excursion is recommended for people who have ridden horses before as the itinerary in the wood may be difficult for people with no experience. In any case before departure, you will receive a basic lesson and instruction on horse back riding. After the tour, you can enjoy a refreshment/aperitif and a moment of relaxation at the horse farm.
At around lunch time you travel by limo from the horse farm to the restaurant "Da Tonino" on the lake shore (Lake Bracciano.) After lunch you will visit the Medieval Castle of Bracciano and then enjoy a walk in the old town centre. Before returning to Rome and time permitting there is a scenic drive to the ancient town of Sutri to visit the ancient Roman amphitheatre carved in the Tufa rock, and the nearby Etruscan necropolis.
Tour costs: depends on the use of the limo (time and mileage) and on the time. The tour described above (FROM ROME) with private guide for the day, horse back riding trip in Macchia Grande and limo service for 4-7 people costs approx: +E440 (guide) + horses (E28 per horse) +E400 limo VAN (max 8 passengers, 7 of you + 1 guide.) Admissions to the Castle and lunch are extra.
Equipment: Caps are provided by the horse farm. We suggest you wear comfortable clothes (jeans and comfortable shoes) if you do not have riding boots.
I can't imagine who might look to golf in Rome - but then, Rome has everything and golf in Rome is no exception. You also may find golf slightly expensive here. It's not such a big thing in southern Italy, more popular in the north around places like Milan, but rather exclusive and elitist. There are a few golf clubs in and around Rome. Try the CIRCOLO DEL GOLF ROMA - address/phone below.
Equipment: Visitors to Rome can also purchase a Golf Card, a pass allowing you one week’s access (week-days only) to any of four selected golf clubs in the Rome area (at Castelgandolfo, Olgiata, Guidonia and Sutri) and also gets you some selected discounts in some of these clubs’ restaurants, shops and amenities.
The card (actually called ‘The Roma Caput Mundi Itinere Golf Card’) comes with full details of directions and descriptions of each golf course, costs about 180 Euros and is valid for one person only. For further information try emailing email@example.com, phone (0039)06 8069 0198
Villa Borghese is a fantastic place to exercise, whether biking or running. It has fairly evenly paved streets, a rarity in Rome, and quite a few paths as well. For those with dogs, the entrance near the Modern Art Museum, is the beginning of a long stretch towards the zoo where it is allowed and encouraged to let your dogs roam. In any case, it is a perfect way to get your exercise and try to burn off all those pasta calories!!
The Rome Marathon takes place around Easter. Thousands of people take part in the 40km Plus run around Rome.
In 2005 it was a lovely day and several thousand runners and disabled athletes took part.
It was interesting and encouraging that so many people should take part for charity as well as for personal reasons.
Equipment: to take part any sports outfit and trainers.
to watch, warm clothing and an umbrella for emergency weather!
So you brought your running shoes to Rome? Well, if walking ten miles a day just doesn't get your heart pumping enough, and you need your endorphin fix, the best place in Rome to run is the Villa Borghese. It's the big green expanse that appears just to the northeast of the Spanish Steps on most Rome maps. It's lovely, green, peaceful, and usually not very crowded, especially early in the morning. Most of your fellow joggers will be expat Brits and Americans. But I once actually saw an Italian woman jogging. I know because she was wearing a matching silk top and silk scarf! Really!
For a great view, run over to the Pincio Gardens as far west as you can, to the Piazza del Popolo Overlook. WOW!
The park is home to many sites, most important of which is the Galleria Borghese, which you MUST go see, even if it's your first trip. Please see my tip on the Galleria Borghese - you'll be so glad you went!
Equipment: Just your shoes and shorts. But please, don't go shirtless. The Romans will be horrified!
While I wouldn't do it, as the river didn't look very rapid or clean for that matter...we saw several people kayaking up and down the river...
Equipment: Kayak - there appeared to be rental places along the river...
The district of EUR (where I live), is at the extreme south periphery of Rome.
It is very green area, and there is also an artificial lake (called "Laghetto dell'Eur" by the Romans) where it is possible to go canoeing in the good season.
Sometimes big events are held here, like the Dragon Boat Championship from September 2002 (in the pic).
Villa Borghese is the right place for any kind of outdoor activities such as running, jogging, playing soccer, cycling, skating and so on...
In this beautiful park with many fountains you can do ride a bicycle/horse/roller skate/scooter, run....
or you can have a picnic there.
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