Friday, February 7, 2014

Things to Do While in Rome: The Jewish Ghetto

 "Learn from history or you're doomed to repeat it"  Jesse Ventura

If you are coming to #Rome with a little more time than just to tour the Colosseum and the Fontana di Trevi, I highly recommend a stop at the Jewish Ghetto.  When I came here as a tourist, I have to confess that I skipped it, but yesterday I took advantage of the beautiful day in Rome and headed out to see this part of the city that had escaped me for some reason.

The Portico d'Ottavia, at the heart of the #JewishGhetto, is an amazing structure from the year 27 BC. From the Portico to the blocks leading to the #TurtleFountain you will find one of the oldest Jewish communities in Europe.

The Jewish Ghetto was established on 1,555 in an undesirable part of town, prone to flooding.  Over 2,000 #Roman #Jews where ordered to live there in the most crushing poverty as they were only allowed to work unskilled jobs.  The three gates to the #Ghetto were locked at night.

It was amazing to walk through these cobblestone streets, witness to such horrors.  As when in October 16, 1943, trucks pulled next to the Portico di Ottavia and waited idle while German soldiers at gun point herded Roman Jews to the trucks and transported them to #Auschwitz.  Only 16 survived.  A plaque on one of the buildings reads: "On October 16, 1943, here began the merciless rout of the Jews. The few who escaped murder and many others, in solidarity, pray for love and peace from mankind and pardon and hope from God."

Details of the beautiful Roman Synagogue
Capture of the reflection of the Synagogue on a puddle of rain.
Today the Jewish Ghetto is visited by well-heeled Romans.  Its restaurants are very chic and they proudly display their specialty: #Artichokes Giudia Style.  I tried my first one yesterday at Hostaria Giggetto (Via del Portico d'Ottavia 21/A) and I have to say it was delicious!! (They also serve a spaghetti alla carbonara that is to die for!)

My very first Artichoke alla Giudia!!!

It was well worth the visit, and I can't wait to go there again!  For many more photographs of my visit to the ghetto visit my Facebook page.

1 comment:

  1. excellent information, I will visit the Jewish Ghetto in my next visit to Rome.