December featured events

 Campania - Sorrento, Positano, the Amalfi Coast: for a runner in search of the perfect Italian running experience nothing beats the Coast to coast, Sorrento-Positano Marathon, a full 26-mile event, and a half too, starting from the birthplace of the "limoncello", the sweet liqueur traditionally made from the zest of the local Femminello St. Teresa lemons. The course reaches the famous village of Positano before heading back to Sorrento.

 Lazio - The Illegal track trail scheduled in Cerveteri, near Roma is a non competitive self-sufficient trail run. The name of the event (yes, it is in English) is due to the fact that the course winds through the trails used a century ago as an escape route by the local bandits. Four hills, eleven river crossings and a lot of mud is what the organizers promise along the 26 miles. The start is at 7 a.m. in the Banditaccia Etruscan necropolis.

 Lazio - The Mezza Roma Run features a half marathon course on the river Tevere. Runners will run the loop four times, starting from Ponte Milvio, an economically and strategically important bridge in the era of the Roman Empire. Along with the 13.1 miles event, there is also a 10k and a 5k fun run. Part of the entry fees will be donated to the schools of Rome to teach traffic safety to kids.

 Lazio - Experience Roma like never before. The Roma City Trail is the first and only urban trail in the heart of the Italian capital. The race starts from the district of Trastevere on the west bank of the river Tiber, passes through the streets of the Gianicolo hill, crosses into the park of Villa Doria Pamphilj (a seventeenth-century villa with what is today the largest landscaped public park in the city), before returning back on its tracks. Two distances to choose, both competitive and non competitive - a long one (about 15.2k) and a short one (about 9.2k). A fun running experience for everyone with up and down sections between stretches of asphalt and natural environment.

 Liguria - The Trail Monte di Portofino will offer participants the possibility of running on the green pines rich mountains of the Regional Natural Park of Portofino (only fifty miles away from the world-renown Cinque Terre area). It is a gorgeous 26.2k trail.

 Lombardia - The possibility of visiting the charming Como, on the Italian lake with the same name, while running a fun run comes with the Babbo Running, a 5k through the streets of the city center dressed up as "Babbo Natale" (the Italian name for Santa Claus). The Christmas costume is provided with the entry fee.

 Piemonte - Those who understand the northern Italian dialects would smile when reading the title of the event held in Vigone, near Turin: Ciapa 'l pulast ca scapa via literally means "Catch the runaway chicken". The reason behind this curious 6K night race name lies in the fact that the event official "apripista", the trailblazer who is showing participants the course to follow, is conspicuously dressed as a rooster. All race entrants receive a neon bracelet upon registration, while the final participation prize consists - you should have guessed it - in a chicken.

 Sicilia - The Trail dei Nebrodi, one of the events of the Circuito Ecotrail Sicilia, held in Cesarò near Messina, is not for the faint of heart. It is a partially self-sufficient ultramarathon in the pristine environment of the Parco dei Nebrodi on the Sicilian Apennines, the largest protected natural area of the island. Along the 65k course (but there is also a shorter 20k trail) participants are required to bring their own emergency supply, leave no trace, pick up their trash (or be disqualified) and run with no iPods or music players of any sort.

 Toscana - The Reggello-Vallombrosa is held in Reggello. It is the classic Summer event for those living around Firenze. The course is a point-to-point one measuring 13.2k. It starts from the quaint little town of Reggello and ends up in Vallombrosa, a Benedictine abbey surrounded by forests of beech and firs, founded by Giovanni Gualberto, a Florentine noble, in 1038. The entry fee is 12 euro. Make sure to pack some food along and have an after-race picnic in the park in front of the abbey.

 Toscana - On December 8 Italy celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. One of the events traditionally organized on this holiday is the Corsa dell'olio in Reggello, on the hills around Firenze, to celebrate the pressing of the extravirgin olive oil. This 16.5k and 6k event is ideal to have fun, taste fresh green oil, and be rewarded with a 1-liter bottle of newly pressed olive oil at the end of the run.

 Toscana - The traditional running appointment for all Florentines in December is the Firenze-Fiesole-Firenze, a 16.5k very panoramic run that - as its title implies - goes from Firenze up to the hill town of Fiesole and back. And the turnaround point is definitely worth a visit. The first recorded mention of Fiesole dates back to 283 bC, when the town was conquered by the Romans, but it was probably founded in the IX century bC by looking at the remains of its ancient Etruscan walls. An independent powerful town for several centuries in the early Middle Ages, it was finally conquered by the Florentines in 1125 to became a getaway for the upper class of Firenze, and up to this day, Fiesole is still known for its very expensive residential properties with panoramic views over the whole Firenze.

 Trentino Alto Adige - Finish the year on December 31 with the traditional Corsa di San Silvestro, held in Bolzano, the main city of the German-speaking province of South Tyrol in northern Italy. It is a very competitive event (also invitational), with a 10k course for men and a 5k course for women, offering a unique chance to run against international stars and to compare your time with theirs.

 Umbria - The Invernalissima ("The Wintermost" run) will be held in Assisi, in the heart of the Umbria region. Assisi is the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208. The event features a half marathon and a shorter 6.5k run.

 Umbria - Running through the archaeological site of Carsulae, the San Gemini-Carsulae-San Gemini is a competitive event in San Gemini, slightly longer than 10k. Located in Umbria, Carsulae is one of the most impressive ruins in Italy, dating back to 300 bC, in an area that had been heavily populated since the middle of the Bronze Age. Its bucolic setting, its large complex of mineralized thermal baths, theatres, temples and other public amenities, attracted wealthy and even middle class "tourists" from Rome.

 Veneto - The Maratonina città  murata will be held in Cittadella, a medieval walled city in northern Italy, founded in the 13th century as a military outpost of Padua. Thousands of participants will engage on the 13.1 miles event. The start and finish line is within the walls, but the course will wind through the open countryside.

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