Apartments in this quarter:
"TITIAN", a one bedr., sitting room apartment accommodating up to 4 persons overlooking the Campo de' Fiori square
"VIVALDI", large deluxe apartment. Three bedrooms, sitting room, dining room, ample kitchen, two bathrooms accommodating up to 7 persons
"CARAVAGGIO", a large, fine and quaint studio, with separate kitchen, bathroom, foyer accommodating 2 persons
You will find the map of the quarter, with precise indication of where the apartments are, in the map of Rome.
We also supply information on KOSHER RESTAURANTS and SHOPS, and also about KOSHER CATERING SERVICES!
Jews have been living in Rome, as well as in other Mediterranean cities, since the 4-5th century BC. Palestine was an overcrowded land, at times troubled also by military occupations. The Jews migrated to the other Mediterranean towns, where they formed communities.
Compared to the rest of Europe, the Jews fared well, as the seat of the Catholic Church was relatively safe, although there at times popular aggressions towards them, for which the Catholic Church imposed taxes allegedly for their protection.
After the bull "Cum Nisim Absurdam" issued by the anti-Semitic Pope Paul IV in 1556, the walls of the Ghetto (a word Venetian in origin) were built, separating the Jewish and Christian parts of the city. The Jews lost property rights, suffered of trading restrictions, and a curfew was imposed. They were periodically compelled to attend mass in churches, where they were lectured to convert.
When unification occurred in 1870 the conditions of the Jews were squalid. The new Italian government destroyed the walls, and the Jews enjoyed a process of emancipation. They became a normal and essential element of the Italian society
The heart of the quarter: Via Portico d'Ottavia.
The Via Portico d'Ottavia (photo above) is the hub of Jewish life in Rome. It was right in the centre of the Ghetto, it is now a mix of ancient Roman,
medieval, baroque and late 19th century architecture. It takes its name from the porch of Ottavia's market, towards its end.
In 1943 the Nazis pretended 50kg of gold from the community, to be delivered in 36 hours. Both Jews and non-Jews promptly collected the amount, yet nevertheless the Nazis 2,000 Jews to the extermination lagers. One quarter of Rome's Jews of that time died, yet the number would have been higher had it not been for the active support of the other Romans, including the Catholic priesthood - with the notably nearly distant official approach of the Catholic Church, limited to the general condemnation of hatred towards Jews.
The Italian Jews follow a religious rite of their own, because they came to Rome well before the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem by Titus' army in 70 AD. So they are not Sephardi (Jews of the Arab countries), nor Ashkenazim (Eastern Europan Jews).
The imposing synagogue was designed by the two architects Armanni and Costa. Its construction took more than 20 years, because of difficulties building the foundations near the sandy banks of the Tiber, and it ended only in 1904.
It has a rather traditional "neo-Babylonian" style, and its dome is peculiar: it is the only quadrangular and not round in Rome. It is covered with aluminum, so it has a silvery look.
The synagogue or "Temple" as the Roman Jews call it, includes the Museo d'Arte Ebraica, a small museum of Roman Jewish life, ritual and memorabilia.
To visit the immediately adjacent quarters, click on these addresses-URLs:
- The Pantheon quarter
- The Navona quarter
- The Campo de' Fiori quarter
- The Trastevere quarter
- The Trevi Fountain-Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna)
- The Monti-Colosseum quarter
- The Roman Forum
- The Vatican quarter
- The Janiculum