Guide to Jewish and Kosher Italy
 
 
Italy » Lazio » Rome
Colosseum Ghetto Navona Libia Monteverde Marconi Trastevere Spanish Steps Esquilino - Termini Flaminio Parioli Vatican Repubblica - Termini Via Veneto
Jewish Tours


What to do in Rome
From the Fiumicino FCO airport a driver to Rome will cost you approximately 50 euro, train tickets are approximately 11 euro per person.

During the week we recommend to stay in the Ghetto Quarter where most of the restaurants are located, for the weekend we recommend to stay in the Piazza Bologna or the Via Nazionale area.

For a comprehensive tour of Rome book the Jewish tour guides.

There is no Eruv in Rome.

Explore the former Jewish ghetto, Jewish Museum, Great Temple, Trastevere district, Jewish Catacombs, Roman Forum and the Arch of Titus. Visit the Gregorian Egyptian Museum part of the Vatican Museum and Ostia Antica.



History of Jewish Rome
For more than two thousand years Jews have lived in Rome, making it the oldest Jewish community in Europe. Traces of Jewish heritage are embedded throughout the city ranging from the ruins of Roman era synagogues, to ancient catacombs, to the grandiose turn of the century Great Synagogue on the banks of the Tiber.

The Jewish community in Rome dates back to 161 BCE when representatives sought help against Antiochus IV. Many Jews decided to move to Rome because it was a good trade center. After Titus destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the community expanded. Because they predate the division into Sephardic and Ashkenaz (those who went to Moorish Spain and those who went to northern or eastern Europe), the Roman Jews speak neither Landino nor Yiddish. They have their own language that is a mixture of Hebrew and Italian, and their own culture. Of course, when the Sephardic Jews were expelled from Spain by the Catholics in the fifteenth century or when Ashkenaz Jews had to flee their homes, some went to Rome.

In 1555 the Pope issued a decree that forced all Jews to live in a ghetto next to the Tiber River. Not only were Jews restricted to this area and excluded from most jobs. Every Shabbat they had to go to a nearby Catholic church to hear a priest preach conversion at them.

Only during the brief time that the citizens of Rome tried to set up a government separate from the Pope and when Napoleon conquered, were the Jews freed. When Italy was unified in 1870 the Ghetto was finally demolished.

Mussolini again enforced laws excluding Jews from schools and professions, but he did not carry out the genocide of German fascism. However, in 1943 the Germans occupied Italy. When the SS commander arrived in Rome, he told the rabbi that the community could be ransomed for 50 kilos of gold. The Jews frantically collected the gold from all their households and from Christian friends who would help. Two weeks after the 51 kilos were delivered, the SS began its raids, sending about 2091 of the 9,000 Jews in Rome to the death camps. Others hid in the ruins, in places like the Coliseum.

Now there are about 15,000 Jews, they are called Romanim, that’s because Jews trace their Roman roots back to the second century B.C.E., well before the larger Jewish Diaspora.

All Synagogues are Orthodox, which, like other local institutions, are funded by a voluntary tax on the city’s Jews. One thousand children attend the community’s school, which runs from kindergarten to 12th grade. There is also a small yeshiva, which serves to ordain Italian rabbis.

The Romanim keep their own traditions. Like Sephardim, at Passover, they eat not only matzah, but rice. And dating back to medieval days, they play musical instruments in the synagogue for such joyous events as weddings, although not on Shabbat or the High Holy Days.

Jewish Tours
5Scole (Ex-Ghetto, Trastevere, Ostia and Catacombs)
Rome
Responsible: Massimo Sciunnacche;
Jewish Roma (Walking Tours of the Synagogue and Ghetto, Vatican, Catacombs, Ancient Ostia and artistic Rome)
Rome
Responsible: Micaela Pavoncello;
Jews in Italy
Rome
Responsible: Jonathan Glück;
Rome for Jews (Tours of Jewish Rome and Jewish Vatican)
Rome
Responsible: David Walden;
Rome on Segway
Rome
Responsible: Uria Davidson;
Rome's Roads
Rome
Responsible: Natan Hamawi;
Sara Procaccia
Rome
Responsible: Sara Procaccia;
Unique Rome (Jewish Rome by Segway)
Rome
Responsible: Nir Alon;

© 2001-2014 Menachem Lazar. All Rights Reserved. | Donate | Feedback
Although we do our best to keep the website updated, establishments listed on Jewish Europe are not guaranteed to be still operating or Kosher.

JewishBelgium.com | Jewish Gibraltar | Jewish Hungary | JewishItaly.org | Jewish Luxembourg | JewishSpain.org | JewishSwitzerland.org | JewishUnitedKingdom.com
Popular cities: JewishBarcelona.org | JewishBudapest.org | JewishBrussels.com | JewishFlorence.org | JewishGeneva.com | JewishLondon.info | JewishMadrid.com | JewishMilan.com | Jewish Moscow | JewishRome.com | JewishVenice.info | JewishZurich.com

Other Countries: JewishArgentina.net | JewishAustria.com | JewishFrance.org | JewishGermany.org | JewishGreece.org| JewishIsrael.info | JewishJapan.net | JewishNetherlands.com | JewishSlovakia.org | JewishPoland.net | JewishUkraine.org
Other Cities: JewishParis.org | JewishPrague.org | JewishVienna.org | JewishWarsaw.org |