Rome Jewish History Tour with Ghetto and Great Synagogue

Explore the history of Rome’s Jewish community with a local expert
From US$472 privately
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Tour Details
Duration
2.5 hours
Product Type
Tour
Venues
  • Synagogue and Jewish Museum
  • Jewish Ghetto Neighborhood
  • Upper Balcony of the Grand Synagogue
Photos & Highlights
  • Private tour of the Great Synagogue and Women's Gallery
  • Discover Jewish Rome with a local member of the Jewish community
Select a date
Tour Description
On this two and a half hour tour, we will explore the Jewish Museum of Rome, the Great Synagogue, and the Jewish Quarter neighborhood, the site of the former Jewish ghetto with a member of the Jewish community of Rome. During our time together, we will learn the history of one of the oldest Jewish communities in Europe, whose origins in Italy date back to Roman times. Alone in the Great Synagogue, we will have the chance to ascend to the Matroneo or Women’s Gallery, for a private tour. Later, we will stroll in the surrounding neighborhood. At the end of our time together, we will understand how Roman Jewish traditions and worship compare to those of Ashkenazi and Sephardic origins, and how the community has evolved and changed since its origins in antiquity.

Please note: due to extreme heat in Rome in the summer months, it will not always be possible to climb to the Matroneo in June, July, and August.
  • Jewish Museum of Rome
  • The Great Synagogue
  • The Spanish Synagogue
  • Jewish Quarter
  • 2.5 hours with a Jewish expert
  • Tickets for the Jewish Museum of Rome
Our tour begins at the Jewish Museum of Rome, founded to house an extensive collection of objects primarily from 1500 - 1870 but with rooms dedicated to all eras of Jewish life in Rome - from ancient Roman inscriptions to artifacts related to the Shoah in Italy.  Our guide, an official guide of the museum and a member of the Jewish community of Rome, will share the history of the collections and also their own insights as a member of the modern-day community.  

After exploring the seven rooms of the museum together, the tour continues to the Spanish synagogue, originally housed in the Cinque Scole complex nearby (no longer standing) and used for Spanish rites since 1492 when Jews expelled from Spain arrived in Rome.  This small intimate space contrasts with the monumental Great Synagogue that was built and then finally inaugurated in 1904 on the site of the former 1500s ghetto, reclaiming the urban space for the Jewish community and symbolizing the religious freedom afforded by a newly unified Italy.  We will learn the history of both synagogues and about the worship rituals held there.  Context clients have the opportunity to climb up to the Women’s Gallery above the main hall and see the space from above, as the female members of the community still do today. From this special vantage point, only available for our groups, our expert guide will further explore the history of the building and its role in contemporary worship and culture in Rome.

As we leave the synagogue and museum complex, we will take a stroll through the neighborhood - referred to colloquially as the "Ghetto" in reference to the historical relevance of the location - the second oldest Jewish quarter in the world after Venice, once a place where Jews were exiled and now a vibrant urban area full of Kosher restaurants, Jewish owned businesses and traditional bakeries which give the area it’s unique character today.  We will visit Portico D’Ottavia, an ancient Roman temple site turned medieval fish market and now a fascinating glimpse into ancient architectural form and urban planning.  Our time together ends in the Jewish Quarter area where we will say goodbye to our guide and can continue to explore the shops and restaurants of the area on our own.
Are tickets to the Jewish Museum of Rome included?
Yes, full-priced or reduced-price tickets will be added to your cart at check out.
Where You'll Start
(4.97) 74 Reviews

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Brenda was a great guide! Knowledgeable, friendly and engaging throughout our time together. She clearly loves what she is teaching and her passion for the history and culture of the community was evident. Wonderful experience!
Dino was excellent! He had such wonderful knowledge of Rome’s Jewish History, and his knowledge of the broader history was quite impressive. He was also incredibly helpful in orienting us to Rome more broadly.
Viviana was knowledgeable and interesting . Highly recommend !!!