Rome, tours of the Jewish ghetto

Campo De Fiori
18 June 2013
Rome – Moses of Michelagelo in Rome
18 June 2013

Rome, tours of the Jewish ghetto

Rome the Jewish quarter – Ghetto Ebraico and Synagogue in Rome

 
During the early years and throughout the Middle Ages, the roman Jews had no problems in living side by side with the local Christian population; their main activity was trade.

But hard times came during the late Renaissance, when the Church of Rome, following the Protestant schism, gave a sharp turn of the screw against the non-Christian population.
The newly elected Pope Paul IV decided to enclose the whole Jewish community (Comunità Ebraica) within a very small enclosed area, and issued strict discriminatory laws.
The neighbourhood, known as the ghetto, comprised the few narrow streets located between piazza Giudea (no longer there) by the church of Santa Maria del Pianto, the remains of the Porch of Octavia (see The 22 Rioni, Sant’Angelo for details) and the river bank by the Tiber Island.

Rome the Jewish quarter


Following Paul IV’s bull entitled Cum nimis absurdum (literally “when too much is absurd”, actually “when enough is enough”), issued in 1555, the 3,000 members of the community were forced to live within the ghetto’s boundary, originally called ‘the Jews’ enclosure’, whose total surface was about 8 acres.
The dwellers were allowed to leave this neighborhood only during daytime, while from dusk till dawn the entrances to the district were closed by huge doors, watched over by guards, whose wages the same community had to pay for.
Originally the gates were three, but only a few decades later, when pope Sixtus V had the ghetto slightly enlarged towards the river, their number rose to five. Neither the gates nor their doors exist any longer, but old maps still feature them quite clearly. Those who were left outside after the closing time were to face the implacable papal law court.
Initially, the ghetto’s only source of running water was a public fountain located in piazza Giudea, outside the boundary, thus the hygienic conditions inside the district were terrible. A smaller fountain was built inside the enclosure only many years later.
Furthermore, being one of the lowest spots in Rome, the risk of being flooded by the nearby Tiber was another constant danger.
Outside the ghetto all Jewish men had to wear a piece of yellow cloth on their hat, while women had to wear a yellow veil, or a scarf of the same colour, so to be easily recognized.
They could not own any property; the houses where they lived belonged to non-Jews, who rented them to members of the community at prices kept under control by means of a law named Ius Gazzagà.
As a custom, the rental contract was inherited by the lodger’s heirs, so that most houses were occupied by the same families for many generations.
The Jewish population, though, kept growing at a very fast rate, also because Jews from other cities within the Papal State were forced to flee to Rome: by the end of the 17th century there were about 9,000 people living in the ghetto.
The enclosure had to be slightly enlarged, and a fourth door was added.
Particular laws, that often changed when a new pope was elected, restricted the number of activities that the Jews were officially allowed to practice; at times, the only job they could live on was to sell rags.

On Saturdays, the adult members of the community had to attend the so-called compulsory preaches, sermons whose purpose was to convert them to the Christian religion; they were held by the small church of St.Gregory (now facing the huge synagogue, built in 1904).and by the tiny Carmel Temple, in via Santa Maria in Publicolis.

[divide style=”2″]

Book a tour or send your request

To send your request is simple, Just fill this form with your request and We will respond you within 48 hours

  • Choose reservation for request of booking, Or information to ask information about a tour.
  • Select your choice of tour Group tour or Private tour.
  • Select one group tour or more than one by clicking the button Ctrl and scrolling down to choose the others.

(In case you are intersted only for a group tour please skip the private tour selection)

  • Select on or more private tours that you are intersted to book or to have informatio as the step before.

(In case you are intersted only for a private tour please skip the group tour selection)

  • Select a date that you would prefer to have your tour.
  • Select another possible date you may also have the tour.
  • Complete the rest of information and select the checkbox to aprove the privacy
  • Click send after finishing of the form

[gravityform id=”2″ name=”Tour Inglese” title=”false” description=”false” ajax=”true”]

[divide style=”2″] 

OFFICIAL TOUR COMPANY OF ROME AND VATICAN CITY

WWW.TOURINROME.COM

WWW.VATICANGUIDEDTOUR.COM

info@romeinformation.it

Suggested accommodations in Rome with special offers

B&B near the Coliseum

www.domuscaracalla.com

Special apartment in the city centre of Rome – in the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere

www.specialromeapartment.com

www.residenzasantamaria.com

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *