This summer, one of the licensed tour guides from the Jewish community of Rome will launch her first jogging tour. The two-hour moderate paced run highlights the history of the Jews in ancient Rome — from their beginnings in antiquity and Christianity to the modern community of today.
The goal of this light jogging tour is to make it possible for visitors to fit a moderate exercise routine while simultaneously enjoying a tour introudcing the Jewish history of Rome. Tourists love to hear about the stories of the Caesars, the Popes, and the Rabbis of Rome. The stories engage us, help us understand the Jewish history of the past, present and future, explains Sara Terracina.
Storytelling from the Torah is the central appeal of Terracina’s jogging tour, as she stops at important historical ancient ruins related to the lesser known Jewish history of the eternal city. But what distinguishes Terracina’s tour from the tours of her colleagues is her remarkble ability to interject a fitness routine throughout, so her clients can manage to experience prayer, fitness, and tourism on their way to Israel -- or, to experience Israel as pointing the way to such a wholesome tour.
Tour participants will visit the Jewish Quarter (former ghetto) and learn, from an active member of the community, how the community thrives today.
They will also learn about Rome’s Jewish community, which is neither Sephardic or Ashkenazi, meet some of the elders telling their life stories, and even have a chance to stop for a coffee and kosher treats.
“I am very excited about launching my first jogging tour because, as a Jewish woman and mother, I like to encourage and motivate my women fitness tour groups about the physical and mental health benefits of running, benefits now viewed by rabbis as being part of the key Torah value of caring for one’s health. From brisk walking with some major pep in our step, to shuffling along to a light moderate jog, you will see my small group tours, from modestly dressed women to reform and conservative women in athletic gear, bust’n a move from the Jewish Quarter ( former ghetto) up to the Capitoline Hill, and down through the major street of the Roman Imperial Road," explains Terracina.
Among Jewish orthodox communities Torah, a healthy kosher diet and fitness are already popular in the USA and in Israel among women of all ages. Its not just men anymore , women also hire private trainer, work-out and go on fun running tours like mine. You do not have to be a ‘runner’ because I customize each tour accordingly to my participants. For example, I can have a small group of 6 participants from 30-50 years of age who are all good walkers and keep track of all their steps. So I like to begin with some stretching, make sure everyone has their water bottles full of water and we begin in front of the Great Synagogue to begin our brisk walk around the Jewish Quarter (former ghetto) up to the theater of Marcellus. Then, depending differing routes to suit differing abilities, we always return to the Jewish Quarter (former ghetto), says Terracina.
“My fitness excursions are from 2 to 5K and I like to keep it simple by making frequent stops along important archaeological sites that has a Jewish story. At each site I highlight some of the important historical events that took place among the Jews of Rome in the Greco-Roman empire and participants can take photographs and selfies, explains Terracina. In addition, Terracina also shares her family’s history of what it was like to live in the ghetto before, during and after WWII. She stops to show participants the original building where her father lived when he was a child right in the heart of the Jewish Quarter.
This running tour is to combine knowledge, fitness, and fun. So don’t forget to bring a good pair of running shoes to have an enjoyable and healthy time while learning about the Jewish history of Rome.