If you’re visiting Rome, you might not think to add the Jewish Ghetto to your itinerary. However, this small area of the city is full of history and culture that is definitely worth exploring. In this article, we’ll dive into what to see and do in the Jewish Ghetto of Rome.
Exploring the Jewish Ghetto
The Jewish Ghetto of Rome is located in the Sant’Angelo neighborhood, close to the River Tiber. The area has a rich history, dating back to the 16th century when Pope Paul IV ordered the creation of a Jewish ghetto in Rome. The ghetto was designed to keep the Jewish population segregated from the rest of the city, and it was enclosed by walls and gates.
Today, the Jewish Ghetto is a vibrant and bustling area full of shops, restaurants, and historical landmarks. Here are a few things to see and do while you’re exploring the area.
Visit the Great Synagogue of Rome
The Great Synagogue of Rome is the largest synagogue in Rome and a beautiful example of Jewish architecture. The synagogue was built in the early 1900s and features a large, domed roof and intricate decorative details. Visitors can take guided tours of the synagogue and learn about the history of the Jewish community in Rome.
Explore the Jewish Museum of Rome
The Jewish Museum of Rome is located in the Great Synagogue complex and features exhibits that explore the history and culture of the Jewish community in Rome. The museum has a collection of artifacts, documents, and artwork that span over two thousand years. Visitors can learn about the Jewish community’s contributions to Rome’s history and culture.
Taste the Local Cuisine
The Jewish Ghetto is known for its delicious cuisine, and there are plenty of restaurants and food stands to choose from. Some of the local specialties include fried artichokes, Roman-style Jewish pizza, and traditional Jewish pastries like ricotta-filled cannoli. Be sure to try some of the local delicacies while you’re exploring the area.
Walk Through the Piazza Mattei
The Piazza Mattei is a beautiful square located in the heart of the Jewish Ghetto. The square is surrounded by historic buildings and features a fountain with four turtles. The turtles are a symbol of the Mattei family, who once owned many of the buildings in the area. The square is a great place to relax and enjoy the atmosphere of the Jewish Ghetto.
Visit the Portico d’Ottavia
The Portico d’Ottavia is an ancient Roman ruin located in the Jewish Ghetto. The portico was built in the 1st century BC and was once a large, covered market. Today, visitors can walk through the ruins and see the arches and columns that remain. The portico is a testament to the long and rich history of the Jewish Ghetto.
The Jewish Ghetto of Rome is a must-see destination for anyone interested in history, culture, and delicious food. From the Great Synagogue to the Portico d’Ottavia, there are plenty of things to explore in this vibrant and historic area of the city. Be sure to add the Jewish Ghetto to your itinerary the next time you visit Rome.