Living Rome with sustainability and art: “Archeorunning” shows us that it is possible.

One of the latest challenges in terms of sustainability concerns living the city, especially the metropolis, in an increasingly sustainable way, starting from the territory and bringing a series of solutions such as low impact mobility, careful land management, more public green areas, integrated technologies and the control of polluting emissions. Talking about sustainability for those who live in Rome would seem almost utopian, yet the young Isabella Diana Calidonna – a young art historian of Calabrian origins, but Roman by adoption – not only thought of a sustainable solution for the city, but built on the project of her life: Archeorunning, which combines the race for culture.

Archeorunning- Running tour and walking tour a Roma ©Isabella Diana Calidonna

This is what Isabella told us. “Very often I am asked how the idea of ArcheoRunning came about, as many people are fascinated by it. I answer that it was born with a gamble, an intuition that came from clues that I collected on the street when, for work, I found myself at dawn around the city and saw runners, Italians and foreigners, following the segments of some GPS apps they had on their mobile phones. So I decided in 2016 to give life to the project. The milestones were these: in 2013 I moved from Calabria to Rome and immediately started working as a guide at the Colosseum. In 2014 I discovered the fantastic world of running and became a runner (then also a marathon runner and triathlete). In 2015 I decided to qualify for the profession, becoming a tourist guide. Exactly one year later my idea was born, which combined my passions, driven also by friends who one day asked me: “Why don’t you take guided tours while running?”. I replied to myself: “Why not!”. This lacked something that would close the circle and make everything perfect. I decided to undertake a long professional study, becoming a Fidal technician and a physical trainer. An extra gear for the project, so as to make it unique in its kind, as it offers running tours and walking tours performed by a certified professional, therefore safe in all aspects. The motto that characterizes it is Carpe Diem, in fact, a simple break becomes a moment to catch your breath and let yourself be carried away by emotions and words. Stop to breathe and seize the moment. Abandon the thought of hectic life and live a memorable moment, so as to make the link between art, sport, running, and gentle movement more solid in a completely sustainable way. Research for detail and tourists at the centre of the experience are ArcheoRunning’s mission.

Unfortunately, the COVID19 has taken away some hope, which is little compared to those who have lost something more precious. Little “young” businesswoman, without any big agency behind me, I was beginning to make myself known and appreciated. This stop sign has created quite a few problems, but I’m not giving up. As a good woman from Calabria and as a ram (a sign of the zodiac, but also a war machine) I am concentrating on recovery. I miss my job so much and I’m not talking about the economic component. I miss the contact, even just visual contact with people. Feeding on their light, their smiles. For me, shy and introverted, this work and the project that came out of it were a panacea. I have changed, running has changed me for the better. All the more so because I have united my love for art history, Roman history and the city of Rome. In spite of everything I am going on and as Queen Elisabeth II says “we will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us”.

Isabella Calidonna, born in 1981. After graduating in Cultural Heritage Conservation, she studied Art History at the University of Siena. She graduated with a thesis on Diana Scultori, the first woman engraver in Italian art history. Her field of study is precisely that of female art, with which she began to relate from her first university studies. She studied Sofonisba Anguissola, Diana Scultori, Rosa Rosà, Antonietta Raphael and many others. She lives and works in Rome where she reinvented herself as a tourist guide, continuing her research on the female figure in art history as a freelancer.