Parco Tor Fiscale, Rome, ItalyIt’s great raising your kids in another culture and enjoying the differences in their upbringing.

I reflect on this a lot as I take my younger son, a track and field and cross-country athlete, to his competitions.

For his weekly workouts, he trains, arguably (for others, clearly not for me), at the most beautiful stadium in the world – on the site of Caracalla, the Ancient Roman baths where young men (women couldn’t compete at the time) in Ancient Rome would also practice sports.

Parco Tor Fiscale, Rome, ItalyAnd on Sunday mornings in the fall, I drag my son to far-flung parks in Rome and beyond where he has his cross-country competitions.

There, at parks like Rome’s Tor Fiscale, where I was last month (my second time there for races), my son and his fellow athletes ran routes that duck around ancient towers and through the arches of Ancient Roman-era aqueducts.

Parco Tor Fiscale, Rome, Italy
How this area would have appeared at the time of Ancient Rome

If there’s any need to prove how Romans live amongst their ancient past,  this is it. In other countries, these ancient ruins are in museums. Here in Rome, they are simply part of the backdrop of normal life.

Il Parco Tor Fiscale (Tor Fiscale Park) is off the Via Tuscolana, in easy walking distance from Rome’s metro (A line – Porta Furba-Quadraro stop). It was a crossing point for five aqueducts of Ancient Rome and one built during the Renaissance period.

Parco Tor Fiscale, Rome, ItalyThe ruins of these now dot the suggestive backdrop of the campagna romana (just a shame there is so much abusive building around the edges).

There are also traces of the ancient Via Latina (the Ancient Roman road that began alongside the Via Appia and stretched down to Capua, in today’s Campagna region), and this was a rich area for exploration of burial sites and ancient Roman country villas.

Parco Tor Fiscale, Rome, ItalyAnyone taking the train from Termini station to points south along the Tyrrhenian coast will see these picturesque aqueducts from the windows.

The 30 meter-high Torre del Fiscale (Fiscale Tower) dominates the landscape – and the cross-country runners’ course generally loops around it.

Parco Tor Fiscale, Rome, ItalyAs I mentioned earlier, if one has to wake up on a Sunday morning, at least it’s a real treat to discover some of these off-the-beaten-path parks with their impressive reminders of Rome’s past as caput mundi.

Enjoy your wander – or cross-country competition – through these impressive ruins at Parco Tor Fiscale the next time you’re in Rome.