February featured events

 Campania - If you are one of those whose goal is "running a dream", look no further. This is indeed the motto of the Napoli City Half Marathon, winding through many of the most beautiful streets of Naples (Unesco World Heritage) to finish on the grounds of the Overseas Exhibition originally showcasing businesses from the Italian colonies. The temperature is ideal (between 40 and 60 degrees) and the course is spectacular to say the least, touching places such as the Piazza del Plebiscito with the royal palace, Castel dell'Ovo (the oldest castle of the city), the Umberto I commercial gallery, the Maschio Angioino castle, and even the San Paolo soccer stadium.

 Friuli Venezia Giulia - From Cividale del Friuli (capital of the Lombard kingdom) through Palmanova (Venician fortress dating back to the 1500s) to Aquileia (strategic frontier fortress to protect the Romans during the invasion of Hannibal) the Unesco cities marathon delivers what its title promises, featuring a full marathon, a relay race (26k + 16k) and a shorter 16k option to discover three World Heritage Sites.

 Liguria - The Mezza maratona internazionale delle due perle is a half marathon immersed in one of the most beautiful area in Italy: on one side, the sound of the sea, on the other the green pines of the local mountains. The route, relatively flat, with interesting curves and very light gradients, is however technical. It departs from Santa Margherita Ligure and takes place in one of the most suggestive scenery in the world, with breathtaking views, including Portofino, the fishing village and vacation resort famous for its picturesque harbour.

 Sicilia - Listed as a World Heritage Site, the Greek temples in the valley near Agrigento, in Sicily, are the largest and best-preserved ancient Greek buildings outside of Greece itself. The half marathon Mezza maratona della concordia, that here is held, is a fantastic occasion to run on the footsteps of one of the leading cities of Magna Graecia during the golden age of Ancient Greece.

 Sicilia - Be close to where Italian history happened when running the Trofeo podistico garibaldino, held in the Sicilian city of Marsala, landing of the "Spedizione dei Mille". This was an expedition that happened during the Risorgimento period - a corps of volunteers led by Giuseppe Garibaldi (one of the "four fathers of the Nation") sailed from Quarto, near Genoa, and landed in Marsala on May 11, 1860. The project was an ambitious and risky venture aiming to conquer, with a thousand men, a kingdom with a larger regular army and a more powerful navy. It was a success, and the last territorial conquest needed for the creation of the Kingdom of Italy one year later.

 Toscana - In Vinci, near Firenze, the local running club organizes the traditional Maratonina città  di Vinci, a 14.5k competitive event, with two fun runs (4.5k and 10k). Renaissance inventor Leonardo da Vinci was born on 15 April 1452, in a farmhouse about 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) from the town. Half a million visitors a year come to visit the Museum of Leonardo and his birthplace.

 Toscana - The familiar "postcard" panorama of Tuscany comes to life with the Terre di Siena ultramarathon. Three the courses - a 50k long one will start from Sam Gimignano; an intermediate 32k one will start from Colle Val d'Elsa; and the shortest 18k will start from Monteriggioni. All three will finish in piazza del Campo in Siena, the world renown square hosting the Palio horse race in the Summer.

 Toscana - Along with the one in Venice, the Carnevale in Viareggio is an event not to be missed. With its festively decorated carriages on display along the seaside promenade, it is the largest Italian folk event with a budget of 5 million euro per year, spawning a whole month of daytime and nighttime festivities with parades of allegorical floats, local parties, masked balls and festivals of all kinds. Run the Riocarneval, la Straviareggio in maschera, a 5k and 10k running event in costume on the local streets, then stay and join the Carnival parade with discounted tickets.

 Toscana - Experience local history by running in Arezzo the Su e giù per la Torre di Gnicche, a 12.5k run on the surrounding hills, among olive trees and vineyards, and passing by the tower named after Federigo Bobini, also known as "Gnicche". A ruthless bandit active in this area in the mid-1800s, Gnicche terrorized the area by mugging, stealing and killing people. Yet, he is said to have been a "gentleman bandit" for his galant behavior with women. He is regarded by some as a local Robin Hood, and by some as a bad example, so much that, in Arezzo, unruly kids nowadays are said to be "worst than Gnicche".

 Toscana - The finisher's prize at the Brunello Crossing, held in Montalcino (Siena), could not have been anything other than a wine glass featuring the trail logo. The 22k and 44k trails start from the fourteenth century fortress and go through the Brunello di Montalcino vineyards, while the fun run will follow the medieval Via Francigena pilgrim route. The day before the event do not miss the guided tour of wineries to taste the "new" Brunello di Montalcino (from five years ago) before it will be officially available for sale.

 Veneto - Runners will have the possibility of combining an early run in Venice with the local Carnevale (a festival famed for its elaborate masks) by running the Progetto 5.30. This project articulates on a series of event in the major Italian cities. Runners start at 5:30 in the morning to run at dawn a 5.3k course. "Fritoe" (raisins and pinenuts fritters), "galani" (fried dough) and "vin brulé" (hot spiced wine) will be served to all runners.

 Veneto - The Giulietta e Romeo Half Marathon takes place in the streets that gave birth to the love of Romeo and Juliet, in the narrow streets that have strengthened their unity and running by the monuments that are true symbols of Shakespeare's tragedy. Combined with the romantic expressions of the "Verona in Love" multiday fair and the incomparable charm of its market stalls arranged in a heart shape in the Piazza dei Signori, the 13.1 mile event is full of great opportunities to spend a special Valentine's Day with your significant other.

 Veneto - Who does not know Cortina d'Ampezzo? Located in the heart of the Alps in the Veneto region, it is a winter sport resort known for its skiing trails, scenery, accommodation, shops, and for its jet-set and aristocratic European crowd. Several films have been shot here, mostly notably "The Pink Panther", "For Your Eyes Only", and "Cliffhanger", and now the Cortina C.A.I. Snow Run allows runners to steal the scene. This is a semi-autonomous nocturnal running race in the mountain, taking place on prepped ski slopes of the 1956 Winter Olympics. The race route starts from the bell tower and ends at the Olympic Ice Stadium. It is approximately 17 kilometers long with vertical gain of 1380 meters and must be completed within the maximum time of five hours.

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