The annual SUP Rome event links onto the final two days of the Tiber Tour, a historic walking, cycling and paddling pilgrimage covering the 200km of the River Tiber. SUP Rome brings paddlers together to explore the beautiful scenery of the Tiber and Aniene River in the heart of Rome itself. This event is all about the journey which will be one incredible sightseeing extravaganza, suitable for many ages and abilities. Paddling through the heart of Rome sounds more like a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, however, the Tiber Tour already has an incredible 43 editions under its belt! For those with plenty of time to spare then it’s possible to take part in the entire tour which takes place from the 22 to the 29 April. For those only taking part in the SUP Rome event on the 30 April and 1 May, this will cover the Aniene River on the 30 April, a 15km descent, and the Tiber River on the 1 May, a 10km descent from Ponte Matteotti. Not only is this event going to be a spectacle in history and beauty but it’s also accessible and affordable at just 20 euros a day and a 15 euro registration fee which includes shuttles and a light evening meal. There is also the option to hire kit for the weekend, which for international travellers means it won’t cost a bomb in sports luggage. To talk about this year’s edition, we caught up with organiserRoberto Crosti, who has a long history of paddling in urban and wild environments.
Hi Roberto, welcome to TotalSUP please could you introduce yourself to the readers and give us a bit about your background?
I don’t really have a big background in sports, but more in outdoor activities linked to the riverine habitat. River exploration is great from a Stand Up Paddleboard and with the “fellowship of the SUP Tiber tour” since 2014 we have introduced SUP on the Tiber river all through out its navigation (or at least from where there is sufficient water to paddle).
The annual Tiber Tour has been running for a long time, what has the growth of Stand Up Paddleboard participation looked like over the years?
Yes of course there has been growth, although not being a race, the general interest is still low compared to other SUP experiences in other great locations in Europe. For this reason in 2025, for the Rome Jubilee, we will be organising a race edition, but there will be still plenty of fun and sightseeing. It has been a long time coming but we are pleased to announce this.
This year, as well as the main descent of the Tiber during the week, there is an extra trip on the Aniene River and the final day on the Tiber, what can participants expect from these days?
Exactly! With the “fellowship” we start paddling from the 22nd of April on the Tiber river from the Apennine. Each day a different stage, with a minibus carrying the luggage, until Rome and is tributary the Aniene river. During the week there will also be a SUP rescue course, held by the river SUP master Andrea Ricci, as a matter of fact in paddling event, SUPs are great to ensure safety on the river.
It’s no secret that SUP Rome 2023 is in a spectacular location! What are the main highlights over the weekend?
The location itself is iconic, both from a historical, architectural and natural point of view. We will pass under bridges that are more than 2000 years old and some contemporary ones. From the river, you will be able to see the great architecture of the city, new and old; in addition, participants will be impressed also by the natural areas we will pass by, although we are in a big capital city.
The sections used for the weekend paddling are on moving water, what safety considerations are there for paddlers?
At the weekend participants will paddle on smaller rapids mostly grade 1 WW. There is a big grade 3 WW rapid at the Tiberina Island but there is the possibility of portage. If you’re feeling brave you can face it after a briefing with the rescue team. There will be, in fact, a river rescue team, which will attend the more difficult passages…however just imagine the fun of falling in the Tiber river in the city…is part of the paddling experience and a great story to tell.
How suitable is this event for all levels of paddling?
Any level…from the experienced, which will challenge the rapids, to the beginners, who will enjoy the sightseeing. It is really also a family trip, for this reason there is the possibility to rent boards and gear and book a place on a megasup.
What other treats do you have in store?
Great food at the end of the paddling day!
Thank you very much to Roberto, can find out more about SUP Rome on their Facebook page, and how to register here.
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