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Curious about visiting The Jewish Ghetto when I'm in Rome in September?

I am visiting Rome in September and wanted to check out The Jewish Ghetto. I've gone to Rome twice but never explored this area. Has anyone ever been? And would you recommend a tour there or just walk around?

Posted by
714 posts

RS has a walking tour of the Ghetto in his Rome guidebook. Also has info on tours offered by the Synagogue and a couple of tour guides. I visited the area twice, once on an RS tour with Francesca Caruso as guide, the other by myself just wandering through. Anything with Francesca is special, but I think you could easily do by yourself using the walking tour in the Guide. It's a very small area, interesting shops, kosher restaurants. A couple of plaques commemorate events during the war......two interesting ruins form part of the boundary, the Portico d'Ottavia and the Teatro di Marcello, walls of a Roman theatre with apartments built into it - we were told Sophia Loren owns one of them....I am envious!

Posted by
226 posts

It's small, you can just walk around and eat there too. The excavation of Portico d'Attavia, an ancient market, has a well-marked self-guided tour route that takes just a few minutes but is free and interesting. There is also a memorial to the residents who were rounded up by the Nazi's in 1943.
Cynthia

Posted by
68 posts

Yes, I recommend it! It's one of my favorite neighborhoods in Rome, so I've visited both times I've traveled there. Other travelers have already mentioned the restaurants (I love the falafel) and some of the historical sights; I'll add that the Jewish Museum and Synagogue tour are well worth a visit. In the museum shop you can also sign up for a walking tour of the neighborhood (10-12 euro, I think, as of April). I took my own tour, using Rick's audio guide on my phone. It's also not far from Trastevere if you want to cross the river and visit both in the same day. Have a wonderful trip and I hope you enjoy seeing this part of the city!

Posted by
11613 posts

If you tour on your own, look for the "stumbling blocks" in the pavements.

Posted by
14445 posts

Rick has an audio tour you can download. It's interesting and takes about 1/2 hour. The ghetto is only about 2 blocks long and there's not much to see. You may also want to tour the Great Synagogue and its museum. Rick's audio tour of Trastevere begins on the bridge next to it, so you can easily combine the two tours.

Posted by
12746 posts

To take this another direction...
Yes we've done the Ghetto on our own with just a guidebook. What I'd make sure to cover is Portico d'Ottavia and Teatro di Marcello, which are essentially in the Ghetto. The ruins area is free to wander, there is signage in English to tell you about what you're looking at - I've met one of the American students who worked on that for her senior-abroad project! - and it's pretty interesting to see flats, some in buildings dating from Medieval times, with excavated Roman Empire-era ruins right on their doorsteps!

http://www.turismoroma.it/cosa-fare/portico-dottavia?lang=en

http://www.060608.it/en/cultura-e-svago/beni-culturali/beni-archeologici/portico-d-ottavia.html

Area Sacra di Largo Torre Argentina is also close to this area: THIS is where Caesar Augustus is said to have been assassinated versus the Forum. The excavation itself is closed to visitors but its free to look down into from the surrounding sidewalks, and there is (or at least was, when we were there) signage in English as well:

http://www.060608.it/en/cultura-e-svago/beni-culturali/beni-archeologici/area-sacra-di-largo-argentina.html

And Fontana Della Tartarughe in its charming wee piazza:

http://www.turismoroma.it/cosa-fare/fontana-delle-tartarughe?lang=en

Posted by
1 posts

Eden Walks does a wonderful tour of The Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere. The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about the deep (albeit tragic) history of the Jewish Ghetto. I would highly recommend!

Posted by
78 posts

Rick talks about Jewish Pizza in his shows/books. If you like desserts with dried fruits and nuts, this is pretty much the bomb. Recommend trying anything from the bakeries!

Posted by
4 posts

Wow. I really appreciate everyone's help with this. Thank you for all of your comments and suggestions! I'll definitely have to check out the RS and Eden Walks tour options. And then the only other thing left to research is where to eat! Sounds like there are a lot of good options.

Posted by
1829 posts

The Portico d'Ottavia and the Great Synagogue are wonderful. It's just a neat neighborhood, like so many of Rome's are. Next to d'Ottavia, the restaurant Da Giggetto was hit-and-miss for us in 2010 but that's where I had the best Bucatini alla' Amatriciana of my life.

Posted by
89 posts

I don't know when in September you are going, but be aware of Rosh Hashanah (Sept 20-22) and Yom Kippur (Sept 29-30).