The Jewish Ghetto in Rome is one of the most beautiful but less-known attractions. The neighborhood has a rich history. Nowadays, it is full of boutique stores and kosher restaurants located alongside historic buildings.
The Ghetto was established in 1555 in the Rione Sant’Angelo, in the southern part of Campo de’Fiori. It was Pope Paul IV who ordered the construction of the neighborhood. It had borders over a Papal Bull along with different discriminatory laws about the kinds of professions that Jews could do or could not. One of the most typical professions was selling fish, so the old fish market was located in the Ghetto. Moreover, the area has one of the highest prices for property in Rome. Because of all prohibitions and obligations, the Jews became traders of clothing and businessmen in the field of loans.
The Ghetto walls were torn down in 1888
Even though the Jewish culture grew in this neighborhood, it also witnessed Nazi occupation during the Second World War. The German government proclaimed that Rome’s Jews had to donate their gold not to be deported to the concentration camps. Many in the city, including the Vatican, donated their gold. However, there are debates that Vatican’s offer is being refused. The Jewish community raised the required amount, while Nazi soldiers entered the neighborhood on October 16th, 1943, and deported 1000-2000 people. Unfortunately, only 16 managed to survive.
Nowadays, the area is full of kosher restaurants, churches, and synagogues. Moreover, famous Turtle Fountain located there. Also, there are the ruins of the enormous ancient Portico d’Ottavia, erected in 146 BC as a grand procession way.
Jewish Ghetto includes many famous Rome sites.
The Great Synagogue of Rome (Tempio Maggiore di Roma) is the largest in Rome. During the Italian unification in 1870, Jews were granted citizenship, and the Great Synagogue was established, while the ghetto synagogue was torn down.
The Theater Marcellus (Teatro Marcello) is named after Marcus Marcellus, Emperor Augustus’s nephew. The building is one of the ancient examples of important entertainment venues for Romans. The theater had significant strategic importance. It was under the rule of the Fabi family that built a fortress on top of the arches. However, eventually, the construction was under the command of the Savelli and Orsini families.
Marcellus’s Theater is the primary version of the Colosseum, but it is not the Colosseum, which is the original Roman amphitheater
Fix price transfer from the Fiumicino Airport to Rome
The Jewish Museum is located underneath the Great Synagogue. There are silverware and textiles, marble carvings, and many other features from the Jewish Community of the Eternal City.
The Turtle Fountain (Fontana delle Tartarughe or Fontana Tortoise), built by Taddeo Landini between 1581 and 1588, is considered one of Rome’s first finest fountains. It is world-acclaimed, and four replicas were built in the USA. Four bronze ephebes are held with one hand circular basin, while with another, they help a turtle climb the basin.
There are several themed tours around the Jewish Ghetto in Rome. The territory of the Ghetto is small, you can walk around it on your own in about 30 minutes. Usually, the tour program includes neighboring areas, for example, Campo dei Fiori and Tiber Island.
Tours cost 28 to 90 euros per person, and the duration is 2 to 4 hours. You can see all Jewish Ghetto tour offers on this page.
One of the best attractions of the Jewish quarters is its kosher restaurants. Here is a list of the Best Kosher Restaurants which I strongly recommend visiting:
Giggetto al Portico d’Ottavia located in the center of the Jewish Ghetto. Moreover, it is a family-run restaurant which exists since 1923. On the menu, you will find a variety of kosher dishes, including famous carciofi alla guida and a wide selection of local wines.
BaGhetto is famous for its kosher dishes, including fried artichokes. The place offers excellent service and quality food. Moreover, the ambiance is warm and friendly.
Overall, the Jewish Ghetto is one of the most amazing quarters of Rome. At the same time, it has a rich history, and nowadays, the neighborhood is peaceful and quiet. You should definitely visit one of the kosher restaurants or admire the historic buildings of the Jewish Ghetto.
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Author: Kate Zusmann
For the last 10 years, I live in the Eternal City. Traveling, exploring new things, writing blogs, and shooting vlogs are my main hobbies, but the thing that I like even more is sharing my experience and thoughts with you! Explore Rome with Us :)
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