Last Updated on June 27, 2023

The Venice Marathon has a long and storied history, tracing back to its first event in 1986.

Held annually at the end of October, it is a popular race for both professional runners and recreational athletes alike.

Venice Marathon guide

The Marathon Route through Venice

The course runs through some scenic areas including Padua, Treviso, and Mestre, with the final leg taking runners across the Grand Canal and to the finish line in Venice.

Along the course, runners will encounter historical sites, monuments, churches, and bridges, making this a truly memorable experience for all involved.

The course takes you through many of the city’s most iconic sites, including St Mark’s Square and Rialto Bridge.

The route also passes by some lesser-known gems, giving runners an insight into the cultural and historic richness of this incredible city.

The event attracts thousands of participants each year from around the world, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and celebration.

The Venice Marathon in fact is known for its challenging route. Even though it is mostly flat, it has some hills and cobblestone streets that can make it difficult to keep up a steady pace.

Runners must also be prepared for windy conditions that may occur along parts of the course.

Despite these obstacles, many find themselves inspired by their surroundings and are able to complete their run successfully.

See Venice Marathon Route Map

What to Expect

Runner warming up for the Venice Marathon

Throughout the years, the Venice Marathon has grown from almost 300 participants to more than 10,000 each year and so the number of visitors has greatly increased.

To cater to the influx of visitors to the city for the marathon, the organizers also have a range of activities planned for runners during and after the race, such as live music, cultural tours, and gastronomic experiences.

Many participants stay for a few days to explore more of Venice with guided tours and take part in activities, including one of the gastronomic experiences that celebrate local delicacies such as seafood risotto or spritz aperitivo.

This makes it much more than just a marathon: it’s a chance to explore one of the most beautiful cities in the world while pushing yourself to your limits.

How to Enter the Marathon

To take part in the Venice Marathon, you must first enter an online registration process and also then provide proof of insurance.

You need to be over 20 years old and all requirements are listed here from the official website.

Once accepted into the race, runners will receive special instructions on how to prepare for the race and a personalized running bib.

You should also practice running and plan to arrive a couple of days in advance to get familiar with the course.

Official Venice Marathon website

Venice Marathon Review – My Experience

Overall, I found this to be one of the most enjoyable marathons that I have run.

I love the history and scenery and there’s a wonderful atmosphere because of the size of the city.

It’s not the most challenging course in terms of elevation and difficulty, but as a non-professional (a fun runner) that suited me.

Some other runners have written some detailed and great accounts of their experience so it is worth reading:

Best Areas in Venice to Stay for the Marathon

Be warned that Venice is already a fairly expensive city, so to get somewhere central you will want to book absolutely as early as possible.

When looking for accommodation in Venice, a few areas stand out as offering the best experience for visitors coming to the Marathon.

The Cannaregio area is one such location and it’s no surprise that it’s popular among athletes. This neighborhood offers some of the most beautiful views of canals and bridges you will ever see.

The hotels in this area are reasonably priced (although they go up during the marathon), making it quite a good option for those on a budget.

Another great area to stay is the Castello district.

Known for its traditional charm and ancient buildings, you will get an authentic Venetian experience when staying here.

What I especially love about this area is the number and variety of restaurants and shops.

Furthermore, you have wonderful views of St Mark’s Square that are quite breathtaking!

Finally, don’t forget to check out San Marco and Dorsoduro.

These neighborhoods offer some of the best restaurants and attractions for visitors of the marathon. The architecture is also stunning, so make sure you take a few moments to wander around and take in the sights. Plus, you’ll be close to many of the marathon events!

Wherever you decide to stay for the Venice Marathon, there are many great options.

Just make sure that you plan ahead and book your accommodation early, as the city can get quite crowded during this time of year.

5 Best Things to Do and See While in Venice, Italy

From its stunning canals and romantic gondola rides to its awe-inspiring artwork and delectable cuisine, there is something here for everyone. Here are five of the best things to see and do in Venice:

1. Take a Gondola Ride

One of the most popular tourist activities in Venice is to take a romantic gondola ride along the Grand Canal or through the smaller canals.

Although it may be expensive, it’s worth doing at least once as this is one of the quintessential experiences that you can have in Venice.

2. Visit St Mark’s Square

St. Mark’s Square is one of the most iconic spots in Venice and home to some of its most famous attractions such as Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) and Basilica di San Marco (St Mark’s Basilica).

Be sure to also check out Campanile di San Marco (St Mark’s Bell Tower) for stunning views over the city!

3. Explore the Canals

The canals of Venice offer a unique perspective on the city and are best explored by foot or boat. Stop off at the Rialto Bridge, one of the most iconic spots in Venice, and take some time to watch the boats go by from one of its many bridges before venturing further into the winding waterways.

4. Check out Local Cuisine

Venetian cuisine is as varied as it is delicious, so be sure to sample some local specialties such as baccalà mantecato (salt cod cream) and sarde in saor (sweet-and-sour marinated sardines).

Or why not try tiramisu – a dessert that was invented in the area near Venice!

5. Visit San Marco

This beautiful square is the heart of Venice and is where you’ll find some of its most iconic buildings, including St Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, and Campanile di San Marco (the bell tower).

From its beautiful architecture to its incredible cuisine, there are lots of amazing experiences waiting for you here.

Whether you plan on spending just a few days or longer, there’s something for everyone here – just make sure to leave enough time to explore it all!

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