Jan 2, 2010

Posted by in Tours, Tours in Rome | 0 Comments

Jewish ghetto in the heart of Rome

Jewish ghetto in the heart of Rome

Jewish ghetto is in the heart of Eternal city and definitely worth a visit. Rome’s Jewish community claims to be the oldest in the world, the first Jews came to Rome in 160 B. C. During the Roman empire and in the Middle Ages, the roman Jews lived side by side with the local Christian population. Hard times came during the late Renaissance, when the pope Paul IV in the year 1555 decided to enclose the Jewish community within a very small area – Ghetto, and issued strict discriminatory laws. The ghetto’s total surface was about 8 acres and limited to the few narrow streets located between piazza Giudea by the church of Santa Maria del Pianto, the remains of the Porch of Octavia and the river bank by the Tiber Island.

The ghetto was destroyed only in the late 19th century, the roman Jews were allowed to leave that area and were given the same civil rights as the Christian citizens. By the turn of the 20th century, some of the original houses of the district were taken down, the streets were enlarged, and new buildings rose.

Today there are over 16 thousands Jews living in Rome. While walking through the narrow streets and past the old houses of the Ghetto you can also visit some of the restaurants that keep alive Jewish-roman cooking, a very old tradition, which blends typical Jewish dishes with roman ones, an example fried artichokes.

Jewish Rome itinerary: walk through the highlights of the Jewish ghetto, from piazza Mattei, via Portico d’Ottavia, piazza delle cinque Scole, Theatre of Marcellus ending with a visit to the new Synagogue and the nearby Jewish Museum. Start at Largo Argentina. Duration: 1,5 hours. To book this tour click here…

Click here to link to the web page of the Jewish museum.

Ghetto 1

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