SIGHTSEEING TOURS BY ENGLISH-SPEAKING GUIDES AND DRIVERS
An English-speaking guide and/or driver, just for you and your party, will help you appreciate the beauty, culture, and history of Rome and make the most of your time in this city. A few of our sample itineraries follow. All of these tours can be mixed and matched or we can customize an itinerary that is unique to your needs.
TOUR DURATION: 3 HOURS WITH ENGLISH SPEAKING GUIDE
THE WALKING TOUR OF THE JEWISH QUARTER: The tour will be conducted in English for you and your party. It will last approximately 3 hours. Depending on the location of your hotel, your guide will either meet you at your hotel or at a previously arranged meeting point, at the time of your choosing.
As you walk through the charming narrow streets of the Jewish Quarter and learn to recognize Jewish Italian names, you will enjoy seeing typical Jewish shops and be able to choose the restaurant where you can eat typical fish dishes and artichokes (carciofi alla Giudia). You will see the fountain “Fonatana delle Tartarughe” designed by Giacomo della Porta, so important as the water source for the city of Rome that received the water from the Aqueduct Virgin. You will marvel at the Synagogue, referred to as “Temple” and, depending on the opening times, you will be able to visit Synagogue and museum. You will cross the Jewish Bridge to reach the only island of the Tiber river: theTiber island (Isola Tiberina). Even if the island was not part of the Ghetto, the Jewish presence was always very strong here; In fact, the Jewish Hospital had its seat here and still maintains a clinic in the historical Palazzo Caetani.
BRIEF HISTORY: The Jewish ghetto of Rome is one of the oldest in the world. In 1555 Pope Paul IV ordered the ghetto should be created in the area where the Jewish population already lived : the Sant’Angelo neighborhood near the Teatro Marcello (Aventino Hill and Trastevere). Please note that at that time Rome was not in present Italy, but in the “State of the Church”. The Jews were to wear a distinguishing light blue-green sign in order to be recognized (a hat for the men, something else for the women). For a brief period, during the French revolution from 1798 to 1814, the Jews were given equal rights and citizenship. In 1848 Pope Pius IX ordered the walls that encircled the ghetto be torn down. With the proclamation of the Roman Republic in 1849, segregation was abolished and the Jews were emancipated. When the Roman Republic fell, the same Pope ordered that the Jews should go back into the ghetto, even if there were no gates or walls. In 1870 the city of Rome was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy; this ended the temporal power of the popes and the Jews were judged the same as the Italian citizens.
In 1888 the new city plan for the capital was approved and the unhealthy alleys and buildings of the ghetto were replaced by a more orderly area, mainly three streets: Via del Portico d’Ottavia, via Catalana and Via del Tempio.
In 1891 the Assyrian-Babylonian art-nouveau Synagogue was started. Today there are several Synagogues in Rome but only this one is referred to as Temple (Tempio Maggiore di Roma).
Nowadays, the Romans consider Via Arenula, Via dei Falegnami, Via de’ Funari, Via della Tribuna di Campitelli, Via del Portico d’Ottavia and Lungotevere de’ Cenci as part of the Ghetto.
Since 1870 the Roman Jews have chosen to reside in other areas of the city but they have kept a special attachment to the old area of the Ghetto: Here, and in its immediate surroundings, are the entire landmarks dear to the Roman Jewish community.
If you would like to book a private tour of the Jewish Quarter in Rome please write to firstname.lastname@example.org