Length 7.7 km (4.8 miles), terrain: small hills, 45m gain
If you're wondering where all the runners are in Turin, here's the story: they're all in Parco del Valentino. This shady riverside park just south of the town center is full of trails and provides a great running area.
|In Parco del Valentino|
Parco del Valentino isn't terribly big, but there are all kinds of interesting things there: Valentino Palace, a botanical garden, a recreated medieval town (complete with castle), cafés, playgrounds and sports fields, a fine-arts museum, and lots of other fountains, gardens, and nice spots for folks to hang out in. And lots of people do that on nice afternoons and evenings.
|Piazza Castello, with view of Palazzo Madama|
When standing on the plaza, facing ornate Palazzo Madama at the Garibaldi statue, turn to your right and run straight down that street heading southwest, Via Roma, the one with the arcades leading off to a church tower a few block away. So off we go, heading down Via Roma.
In three blocks you'll come to Piazza San Carlo, Turin's most elegant square, with twin baroque churches and more arcades.
|Piazza San Carlo|
After four blocks, cross diagonally to right and run through Piazalle Fusi which is a strange, empty, open space with air-vents going way down into unseen depths. The plaza was conceived to be a skateboard park, and you'll find skaters on the other side.
|Skaters at Piazalle Fusi|
At the end of Giordino Cavour park, turn right and run to the end of the block -- where the old church is -- and then turn left onto Via dei Mille, where you can run the last three blocks to the river.
|The Murazzi from above|
Now, turn right, following the river southwards. The pedestrian trail goes down a bit first, then back up to the street level at the next bridge, Ponte Umberto I.
Just ahead of you, you'll see Parco del Valentino, at the monumental arch in the road.
|At the rowing club|
|Behind the palace on car-free Viale Virgilio|
|Entrance to the medieval town|
|The river trail|
NOTE: If you want to add distance, just continue southwards on the riverfront path, and you'll go through a few more parks.
Now running north, back in Parco del Valentino, either follow the same way back (that's the quietest, greenest, pleasantest way), or follow the almost-car-free road, Viale Boiardo, that branches off to the left to see the other side of the park. If you take Viale Boiardo, you'll run a bit uphill past a big fountain, go past a formal garden on the right and then -- at the top of the hill - go past athletic fields and a giant noisy playground and café.
|In the gardens in Parco del Valentino|
After that, the street merges back into Viali Virgilio near the river, where you entered the park.
|Palazzo Valentino from the front|
The street ends by running into Via Po, where you turn left and run back into Piazza Castello in just a few steps.