A look into Italy's Jewish history.
While most people identify Italy as the most Catholic country in the world, it is actually said that Rome is the city where Jews first migrated to the Western World. Arriving as messengers sent by Judah Maccabee in the second century B.C., even withstanding the cataclysm that disrupted their existence, the Jewish population continued to grow in Rome.
The Jews spent 315 years (from 1555 to 1870) in the ghetto, and during that period, they lived in incredible poverty with cramped conditions increasing more and more as the population grew in an area that was often flooded by the overflow from the Tiber river.
Your tour starts by the Ponte Sisto bridge, built in the 15th century during the period of Pope Sixtus IV. You then proceed to the picturesque Trastevere quarter; walking around this colourful area with narrow streets and typical lively piazzas, we reach the heart of the district, Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere with its Basilica, the first one dedicated to the Virgin Mary, built in the fourth century. Passing by Tiber Island, we go straight to the nearby Jewish Ghetto.
Strolling down tiny streets and pedestrian areas of the quarter, we get in touch with the past and the present-day life of one of the biggest Jewish communities in Europe.
We will finish the visit in the Jewish Museum of Rome, reopened only in 2005, located in the great Synagogue building, showing seven new areas of magnificent artifacts and precious documents, which have borne witness of the 2000-year-old history of Jews in Rome.