A great walking tour of Rome should balance art, architecture and exercise in equal measure – and that’s exactly what ArcheoRunning’s Giro di Peppe tour does.

This guided walking tour of Rome takes three hours and covers just over 10km of urban terrain at an easy pace. It concludes with a lunch in a typical, popular spot after seeing some of the highlights of ancient Rome without any queuing for sites and thus avoiding the crowds.

So why go for a Rome walking tour and in particular, a walking tour of Rome organised by ArcheoRunning? Read on for my full review – and more information about their running tours of Rome as well.

ArcheoRunning – a Rome tour guide with a difference

As the name might suggest, ArcheoRunning is a tour guide and events organiser based in Rome offering experiences that combine archeology and urban history with running or walking tours of Rome. Although the name might sound a bit intimidating, ArcheoRunning actually offers running tours of Rome and walking tours for every level – so if you’re a total beginner or fairly out of shape, there is still a tour for you.

Founded by Isabella Calidonna, a Calabrian born woman who moved to Rome around 10 years ago, ArcheoRunning tours tell the history of Rome while strolling, power walking or running in small or entirely private groups.

An art historian with a degree in Cultural Heritage Conservation and a post-graduate degree in Art History from the University of Siena, Isabella is also an officially licensed tour guide, and certified as a museum educator for people who are visually impaired or on the autism spectre, as well as being a licensed guide for the Vatican Museums. If that wasn’t enough, she is also a national track and field coach (licensed by Fidal) and personal trainer for the Italian National Olympic Committee (Coni).

In 2016, Isabella launched ArcheoRunning to combine her passions for history and sport. As she says in her own words, ArcheoRunning tours aren’t a tough training session or a marathon: they are a wellbeing-focused, endorphin-fuelled journey through one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Her running tours of Rome are also suitable for beginners, representing a gentle jog with lots of pauses to admire monuments as you go.

A great walking tour of Rome should offer art, architecture and exercise – just like ArcheoRunning’s walking and running tours of Rome!
Walking tour of Rome with ArcheoRunning

ArcheoRunning’s Giro di Peppe – walking tour of Rome

ArcheoRunning’s Giro di Peppe tour takes its name from a Roman saying “giro di Peppe” which means to “take the long way round”. Its provenance is apocryphally linked to two famous Giuseppes from history – Giuseppe Garibaldi, and Giuseppe, of Joseph, husband of Mary (yes, that Mary!). The first anecdote tells how on January 9, 1878, the funeral procession of Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy took two turns around the Piazza del Pantheon.

Giuseppe Garibaldi, joining the procession, also made two full laps, instead of waiting in front of the church, which didn’t go unnoticed. Such was his fame that they went down in history, leading to the phrase “fa er giro de Peppe” in Roman dialect, that is, to go the long way round.

The second apocryphal account tells of how Joseph and Mary went “the long way round” with Baby Jesus to avoid crossing the path of Herod, thus adding another “Peppe” to the legend.

It’s a story that Isabella tells at the start of ArcheoRunning’s Giro di Peppe tour. In this case, the tour gets its name because it starts at Circus Maximus and finishes at Rome’s piramid or Piramide. Although these two monuments are only 1 km apart, the tour actually covers over 10 km and takes three to five hours (longer if you include lunch) – but it’s all worth it!

What makes ArcheoRunning’s Giro di Peppe tour worthwhile is the fact that there is no queuing to get in monuments, no crowded rooms or exhibition spaces – just the great outdoors and a well-paced stroll taking in iconic sites from the Pantheon to Circus Maximus. There is also time to see lesser known sites, such as Rome’s Rose Garden and the long lost baths of Nero.

Rome has such a beautiful climate that this walking tour can be done virtually all year round, taking into account the fact that there may be rain showers in the winter and spring, and you should definitely wear sunscreen during the spring, summer and fall.

Isabella is a learned and fun guide, full of interesting anecdotes and always ready to answer questions. Her prices are reasonable as well.

The full Giro di Peppe tour includes a pitstop for lunch at a typical Roman eatery – in our case, it was the delicious Proloco Trastevere, but destinations may vary. In any case, expect to try some typical Roman cuisine!

All in all, this is a manageable and beautiful way to see more of Rome and end up with the sense that you have learned some cool historical facts.

Highly recommended!

Testaccina was a guest of ArcheoRunning’s Giro di Peppe tour, with the backing of the Lazio Region

Read next: Frascati wine tours: best wine tasting near Rome