In the late spring, my youger son and I spent a weekend in Rieti – a small city in Lazio’s northernmost region.

While there, I rose early on Sunday morning to enjoy a short jog in the eerily deserted city.

I started off at out hotel, at the top of this medieval hilltown and jogged a bit in the center, running through silent streets and looping round the piazza that holds the pedesatal that marks the – supposed – geographical center of the Italian peninsula. At that early morning hour – and especially on a Sunday – you can enjoy the center of Italy all to yourself.

After that, I jogged down the gentle slope of Via Roma untill I made my way to the Ancient Roman bridge spanning the Velino River.

Rieti, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan

At that hour, the numerous geese had not yet begun their noisy squawking – but you could tell they were preparing for their raucous morning concert.

It was peaceful to jog along the path hugging the Velino River, occasionally trading greetings with an early morning fisherman.

After looping around the river, I entered the town by another bridge and jogged through many of the narrow medival streets before making my way back up to the top of the hilltown.

Rieti, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan

By that time, the city was starting to show signs of life and the shopkeepers and cafes were getting ready for the start of another day. School children lugged heavy backpacks as they headed off to their last days of the school year.

I neared my hotel, where a hot shower and breakfast awaited me, but I thoroughly enjoyed my short time exploring the early morning silence of this medieval town.

Although not a natural early riser, I always go out of my way to get up early to become familiar with towns I visit with a morning jog. Always a fun way to explore a new destination, and to feel a touch more of a local in my new destination…

Rieti, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan
The pedestal marking the “center” of Italy
Rieti, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan
Rieti, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan
Rieti, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan
Rieti, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan