Project Description

“Il Ghetto”: Rome’s Jewish Community

Our stroll starts in Trastevere.  Here we lay the groundwork for the sights and ideas to come…  We discuss the history of Jews’ presence in Rome: how Jewish ambassadors traveled to Rome to petition the Roman Senate for a military allegiance in 161 B.C.; why members of the Jewish State initially settled in Transtiberim (now Trastevere); and how their rights and status changed as Rome underwent transitions of its own.  We then head to Tiber Island to cross the pons Fabricius or the Fabrician Bridge, built in 62 B.C.  It was later dubbed the Pons Judaeorum (or the Jewish bridge) when the Jewish community that had settled in Trastevere slowly moved to the other side of the river, which could only be accessed by ferry or that particular bridge.

We then stroll through the area that comprised the Ghetto as founded by Pope Paul IV in 1555.  Afterwards, we loop through a larger neighborhood, known today as il Ghetto in Italian.  There’s so much to see and appreciate in the modern Ghetto: la Fontana delle Tartarughe or the “Turtle Fountain,” as well as characteristic palazzi or noble residences from the 1500s and remains of Roman monuments.  We’ll also see Rome’s largest and most famous Synagogue from the outside. If you are interested in visiting it, we’ll end the tour there.  The Jewish community, for security reasons, offers its own tour services of the Synagogue and its museum.

No entrance fees

Rome Ghetto - Portico d'Ottavia

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