Farfalle parkrun, Italy

Farfalle parkrun route
Farfalle parkrun route.

A wiggle! It’s a right wiggle! It might not look it from the course map above, but this course wriggles its way through Butterflies park in Padua. A right turn after the tennis courts is tight, the turns at the top right of the course, above, are tight (with a drop into a stream on your right, to keep your footing honest), and there are barriers before the start/finish area, which make that a wiggle, too.

Parco delle Farfalle is in the Northeast and easy to reach from the town. I stayed at Casa Rebelde, which is a private apartment (recommended – inexpensive and pretty) already to the North of the town centre, so it was just a 2km jog, but it wouldn’t be much further from town.

Farfalle start group photo
Group photo at the start.

The wooden hut shown above contains a bar, which people use after the run. There are flags outside which are ever-present, so the start is easy to find. Plus it’s not that big a park; the course is 4 laps, which might help you understand how tight some of the turns are. I tucked in with a group for a lap before trying to head out on my own (and being chased down!) on the second. You run clockwise around the course, with a couple of wooded sections. The part at the top right is fun – back and forth along paths to run round water, then back into the woods.

Farfalle on course
On the route, seen through the trees.

As at Milan, there was little pre-run briefing, though the run director had already taken me and a Scot aside and had a local translate a quick course preview for us, so I felt very welcomed. It was a sunny day, the temperature rising, so the shade on the course was welcome once we got going.

A chatty lap after the run
A chatty lap after the run.
Gathering and talking in the sun afterwards
Gathering and talking in the sun afterwards.

It’s a small enough field that you can feel the sense of community. One runner completed his 50th run, and it seemed that almost everyone dived into the post-run photo. Plenty of people hung around talking at the end, with some heading into the bar. I jogged one more lap with a Chinese student, here for a 3 year course, whose English is (fortunately for me) so far better than his Italian. He had already made trips to the local parkruns, and was happy to hear I was making my way to them over the next couple of weeks.

As always, recommended if you are nearby. If you can get to the station by 8:30, a jog to the start would get you there without too much trouble.

Running friends in Padua, post-run
Running friends in Padua, post-run.

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