Explore the Jewish Ghetto of Rome on a 3-hour tour, including entrance to the Jewish Museum in the Great Synagogue.
You will begin the journey just a few steps from the synagogue, and marvel at the impressive building and its square dome from the outside. In May 1986, the Emeritus Chief Rabbi of Rome, Rabbi Elio Toaff, received a visit from Pope John Paul II. This marked a fundamental stage in consolidating the dialogue between Judaism and Catholicism. The Pope sealed this dialogue by stating, “You are our elder brothers, our dearly beloved brothers.”
Go inside the Jewish Museum to see artifacts and documentation about the Jewish community of Rome. Linger for a few minutes at the small Spanish Temple. Hear about the 330-year enclosure and captivity of the Jews in the Ghetto, thanks to the papal bull “Cum nimis absurdum,” issued by Pope Paul IV Carafa in 1555. Walk down the narrow Via della Reginella to see evidence of the forced cohabitation in the construction of buildings that appear high up.
Next, stroll down Via del Portico d’Ottavia to the front of the Portico and the former Fish Market. Today, the smell of the Jewish-style fried artichokes attracts those interested in the secrets of the Jewish Roman cuisine. Purchase local delicacies suggested by your guide.
The presence of the Jews in Rome dates back to 160 BCE, and as the Jewish Community is older than the Diaspora, it conserves the rites and traditions passed down over centuries. This is the place where community life is alive.
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