Friday, October 8, 2010


The ancient Jewish quarter of Rome is commonly referred to as the "ghetto." Today it is one of the city's most charming and eclectic neighborhoods, known for its great restaurants serving traditional Roman cuisine and Jewish specialties, and home to a large Jewish community.
But in 1555 a Papal Bull ordered Jews–who had lived freely in Rome since antiquity–to be segregated in a walled sector with three gates that were locked at night, and subjected them to various restrictions on personal freedom, like limits to allowed professions and compulsory Catholic sermons on shabbat. Jews were disabled from owning any property even in the ghetto, yet had to pay a yearly tax for the "privilege" of living there.
In 1798 the Ghetto was legally abolished, and the Tree of Liberty was planted in Piazza delle Cinque Scole, but it was reinstated as soon as the Papacy regained control over the short-lived Napoleonic "Roman Republic." In 1848, during the brief Mazzini revolution, the ghetto was abolished once more, again temporarily. Finally in 1888 the city of Rome was able to tear down the ghetto's walls, and the area was fully reconstructed around the new Synagogue of Rome.

I usually have breakfast in Piazza Costaguti–the heart of the ghetto–before setting off on my culinary tours of the city. The early morning light is beautiful, and I enjoy observing the activity as shops begin to open, and kids scurry off to school.


  1. A beautiful neighborhood of Roma Eleonora.
    Great photographs.
    Have a great weekend.

  2. Wonderfully intersting and fabulous photos. Lucky you to have all that. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. Thank you for the history, the nice photos, and the link.

    Shalom from Jerusalem.

  4. How tiny is that chair or how tall are those steps and sunflowers?

    That fourth photo is a perfect unbusy early morning view of Roma!

    I wish I was there. And sharing your coronetto.And I hope I spelled coronetto correctly.


  5. Stunning!
    -I'm OnedayinRome on Twitter ;)-

  6. A very favorite place. When I visit (it's been too long), it's where I always eat my first dinner....

    Beautiful photographs, thank you.

  7. Costas~ Thank you! And you have a great weekend too.

    Caroline~ It's a great place to be.

    Dina~ Glad you enjoyed it. Buon weekend.

    Roseann~ one O too many, it's spelled CORNETTO :)

    Carroll~ I'll follow you! I'm @passerotto

    Giulia~ I'm glad I could (vicariously) bring you there for even just a few moments.


  8. I love these old rusted Roma's walls. The unforgettable city. Same events with Jews in Russia in 18-19th centuries.

  9. Irina~
    Thank you, I'm happy you like the images. It's one of my favorite spots in Rome: so authentic, so alive with history, tradition and humor–yet, like in Russia–so permeated with palpable suffering.

  10. Great photos, and I want to sit there now and share bread and coffee!

  11. Le foto sono bellissime e la storia molto interessante!
    Un bell posto per fare colazione.
    Complimenti per il blog!!!
    Saluti, Andrea

  12. As someone belonging to the jewish faith, I've enjoyed reading this post and contemplating the interesting pictures.

  13. Jeff~
    Thank you! Have a seat, I'll order you a caffé.


    Grazie! È un posto davvero stupendo.


    There's a lot more to say about things that happened here in this unique part of town. I am fascinated by the sense of community that still lives on here. It spills form the walls, the cobblestoned roads.
    Thank you for your lovely comment.

  14. That is so lovely. I would live in that "Ghetto."

  15. Eleonora, you know, Jerusalem has a Piazza Roma and a wonderful Jewish Italian museum. We like the (modern) connection with Rome.

  16. I always enjoy your pictures, thanks too for the history lesson. The breakfast shot is mouthwatering. Well done.

  17. This really really makes me miss Rome!
    Wonderful post. I am going to go to bed now and hope to dream of Rome. Sigh.

  18. Randy~
    Believe me, I would too! I love it there.


    How wonderful, thank you for the link!
    I love the Jewsih museum in the Rome Synagogue... We should do an exchange program!


    Thank you! I'm happy you enjoy Rome seen through my eyes.


    Cobalt Violet~
    I hope you will indeed dream of being in Rome. And hopefully it will be a warm, sunny dream.


  19. Your evocative photos and captions really make «Louis» want to visit Rome.

  20. «Louis» should start planning his next European trip with extensive Rome chapter!

  21. Stunning photos, great pieces of history.

  22. Grazie Rosaria. Ditto for you, get over here soon!!

  23. Yummy photo...very interesting history of the area...


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