Barefoot running in Florence

The lone shoeless athlete

Suzi Jenkins
May 5, 2016 - 11:53

If you’re a runner you’ll know that there’s a right shoe for every conceivable situation: hard surfaces or trail runs, sturdy training days or lightweight race days, summer and winter, wet and dry conditions, and so many more. But the latest craze to sweep the planet is doing away with all of those and using the 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and tendons, plus a healthy layer of muscle, some fat and some hopefully pretty resistant skin found in each foot to power your way forward. Kids do it really well, and until recently in terms of human development, so did adults.


Florence's lone barefoot runner, Alessandro Vignozzi, a university professor Florence's lone barefoot runner, Alessandro Vignozzi, a university professor


Arguments for and against barefoot running rage in sports circles. The whole issue has even given rise to the “barely-there” shoe, which claims the amazing feeling as if you’re wearing nothing at all, attached to a hefty price tag. Which frankly makes me wonder.


Firenze Corre, Florence’s Wednesday evening fun run right around the old city centre, boasts its very own lone barefoot runner, Alessandro Vignozzi, a university professor who has taken on the pounding of these historic streets and piazzas in wind, rain and very hot sun. As surprising as that may seem, it’s probably not even sixty years ago that the last bare feet were rushing across those very same cobblestones and paving stones every single day.


If you feel like joining in the fun run (or walk), find out more at You will be pleased to hear that shoes are optional.

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6 days and 36 minutes ago
Is Firenze Corre still up and running? Does anyone know of any running clubs in Florence?

Mary Gray

4 days and 3 hours and 49 minutes ago
Hi there! We haven't heard about recent Firenze Corre activities, but there is a new group meeting in the Cascine (viale del Pegaso) every Saturday morning at 9am, "Parkrun Firenze," beginning on September 30. There will be an article published about it shortly in our Lifestyle section, both online and in print.