On a quiet walk through the semi-deserted city on a Wednesday night, pay attention if you hear shouts of ‘Fate passare! Fate spazio’ (‘Let us through! Make way!’): it’s not uncommon to suddenly find yourself in the path of 600 excited runners all sporting blue running vests, some blasting whistles, others with coloured balloons bobbing over their heads. As an Arno of runners blasts past and just as suddenly disappears into the distance, you’ll be left wondering if your eyes and ears were playing tricks.

The runners are participants in Firenze Corre. Now in its third year, Firenze Corre is a winning fitness concept that draws people of all ages and nationalities into Florence’s extraordinary outdoor spaces, from piazze to sports stadiums, bridges, cobbled streets and parks. It’s also a spectacular sight for visitors and residents alike.

Every Wednesday night until June, there’s an organised run. Each of the weekly runs is about 8 kilometres (just under 5 miles), and there are pacers for the very fast, very slow and those in between.

Anyone can sign up. Just pop into Universo Sport in piazza del Duomo and ask at the reception desk. Annual membership costs 25 euro per year, plus 10 euro for insurance if you don’t have your own. In exchange you can participate in up to 35 organised runs over the year and get a kit bag, the signature blue running vest, a data-tracking chip and some special deals with sponsors. You don’t need to attend every run, so it is also a great way for visitors to get to know the city and meet people.

For more information, visit the Firenze Corre Facebook page.