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Racing Across Rome and Other Ways to Exercise in Italy (When You Can’t Be There)

Rome Spanish Steps

Not long ago, I took a tour of St. Peter’s dome. The climb to the top was challenging — 550 steps, or 320 steps from the elevator to the dome landing.

It wasn’t the hardest dome or tower climb I had ever experienced in Italy. But it was good exercise. And that got me thinking:

How many steps does it take to reach the top of other landmarks in Italy?

Here’s a quick guide should you want to challenge yourself while you are trudging up steps in your apartment building or using a Stairmaster to log a workout. You can even combine the step totals to pretend you have climbed all of these monuments in a single day.

  • Spanish Steps, Rome: 138 steps
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa: 294 steps
  • Torre del Mangia, Siena: 400 steps
  • Giotto’s Campanile, Florence: 414 steps
  • Florence Duomo: 463 steps
  • Torre Asinelli, Bologna: 498 steps
  • St. Peter’s Basilica Dome: 550 steps
  • Mole Antonelliana, Turin: 650 steps
  • Milano Duomo: 919 steps

If you use FitBit, you may have already walked the length of Italy. It’s 1,184 kilometers (735.7 miles). That’s a lot of steps!

Virtual Workout Videos

There are, of course, better, more visual, ways to feel like you are exercising in Italy thanks to virtual workout videos. Over the years, several companies have used drones or body-mounted cameras to create videos that simulate the feeling of walking, running, or biking around Italian cities and the countryside.

I was able to find half-hour treadmill runs through Rome, a 90-minute virtual cycling tour of South Tyrol, and virtual walks of Bologna and the Tuscan countryside. I’ve made a playlist of some of my finds below:

Keep moving and think of Italy.

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About Author

Melanie Renzulli has been writing about travel to Italy for more than 20 years.

Before you go, a parting thought...

“Italy and the spring and the first love all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy.” — Bertrand Russell