Running at Ancient Rome’s Port Traiano

Porto Traiano, Fiumicino, ItalyMy youngest son is in a running team, and I spend an awful lot of time on weekends dragging him to races around Rome and its region of Lazio.

I always enjoy cheering him and his team on, but it’s even better when I have the chance to make new discoveries.

This happened recently when we went to a race he was having in the city of Fiumicino (best known for Rome’s airport). The race was held in a  beautiful park – the site of picturesque ruins of Rome’s ancient port – Claudio and Traiano.

Porto Claudius and Traiano, Ancient RomeOne of the things I love so much about Rome is how the Romans live among their antiquities.

Nothing illustrates this better than a running race on a Sunday morning where 2600 runners in different age categories ran through the impressive 2000-year-old ruins of the ancient Mediterranean port and its warehouses.

Porto di Traiano, Fiumicino, ItalyThe first part of the port – Porto Claudio – was built in 42 A.D under Emperor Claudius. The project created a 150 hectare-large area, largely dug into the land, and creating walls as shown in the drawing above. The project was completed in 64 A.D.

Some years later, under Emperor Trajan, the port was expanded inward, creating a new section inland – the Porto Traiano. This was built between 100 and 112 A.D.

This section of the port, the ruins of its warehouses and the town that grew around the port are now all part of the Porto di Traiano park – just a short distance from Rome’s Fiumicino airport.

Porto di TraianoIt was a fabulous place to hold races, attracting 2600 runners who raced around the ancient ruins. I’m very proud of my little sprinter, who won his 600-meter competition, and for all his teammates who did so well. Bravi!!

It was great to be out enjoying ancient culture and sports at the beautiful Port of Traiano!


  1. evelyneholingue on December 18, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Congrats to your son, Kimberly! I love how you appreciate living among the Roman antiquities. I missed this aspect when I moved away from Paris. Knowing that I was walking on paved streets where others had walked so many years before me was magical and felt me with awe. Roma is even more than Paris (I think) an incredible place to feel the weight of the people who created this gorgeous city. Running in such an ancient park is something.
    Here anything older than fifty years is vintage!

  2. kimberlysullivan on December 18, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Hi, Evelyne! Yes, true, you get that sense in Paris, too, with all the history around you. But it’s heightened in Rome- I live near the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine, and love passing these 2000-year-old structures on a daily basis. And yes, I cringe in America everytime I go on a tour and I’m told something is ‘really ancient’ because it’s 100 years old. : )

Leave a Comment