fountain with turtles in front of pink building in rome jewish quarter

What to See in the Jewish Ghetto Rome: 11 Must-See Sights and Hidden Gems

Curious about what to see in the Jewish Ghetto Rome? In this article, I will cover the top things to see in the Jewish Quarter in Rome.

The Jewish Ghetto in Rome is a neighbourhood steeped in history and culture that is sure to captivate any curious traveller. As one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, the Jewish Ghetto of Rome dates back to the 2nd century BC.

As you wander through the winding streets, you’ll encounter stunning architecture and delicious cuisine. But this neighbourhood is much more than just a tourist destination – it’s a place where the past is alive and the present is constantly evolving. On my return trip to Rome, I spent some time exploring the Jewish area in Rome, discovering all that it has to offer. I’m excited to share it with you so that you can visit here too!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to book. Please check out my privacy policy and disclosure for more information.

How to Best Visit the Jewish Ghetto of Rome

cobbled street with group standing talking in what to see in the jewish ghetto rome

Are you interested in learning about Rome’s Jewish neighborhood? A small group guided tour of the Jewish Ghetto will provide you with unique insights into the fascinating history of the Jewish community in Rome and how they have influenced the city’s culture, art, and cuisine. Here are the top-rated tours.

#1 Top Pick
cobbled street with buildings in jewish area of rome


Jewish Ghetto Walking Tour (2 Hours)

✅ Knowledgable local guides

✅ Stories, and insights not shared in guidebooks

✅ Visit the famous sites and landmarks

#2 Top Pick
IT What to See in the Jewish Ghetto Rome 11


Trastevere & Jewish Ghetto Walking Tour (3 Hours)

✅ Local Jewish guide

✅ Visit 2 of Rome’s best neighbourhoods

✅ See the origins of the Jewish community in the Trastevere

#3 Top Pick
artichoke tower in jewish quarter rome


Jewish Ghetto & Campo de Fiori by Night Food Tour (4 Hours)

✅ Local Foodie expert

✅ Meet local producers, innkeepers and food artisans

✅ Specialties at 7 different eateries (15 samples)

#11 Best Things to See in the Jewish Ghetto Rome

1. The Synagogue – Tempio Maggiore (La Sinagoga)

The Synagogue is a must-see site when exploring the Rome Ghetto. It’s an impressive and imposing structure, built in the late 19th century in a blend of styles that reflects the diverse cultural influences of the time. Its distinctive dome, made of copper and decorated with colourful frescoes, is a highlight not to be missed.

Interesting fact: did you know that the synagogue was once the site of a daring rescue during World War II when the Jewish community was at risk of being rounded up and sent to concentration camps? Thanks to the courageous actions of a local priest and a group of nuns, many Jewish families were hidden and protected in the synagogue’s basement until the end of the war.

The synagogue today serves as a center for Jewish life in Rome, hosting religious services, cultural events, and educational programs in its Jewish Museum.

Address: Lungotevere de Cenci

2. Octavia’s Patio (Portico d’Ottavia or Porticus Octaviae)

Octavia’s Patio, also known as Portico d’Ottavia or Porticus Octaviae, is a beautiful and historic site located in the Jewish Ghetto of Rome. Built in the 1st century BCE, the original structure was a grand public building that served as a market, shopping center, and gathering place for the citizens of ancient Rome. Today, the ruins of the Portico d’Ottavia feature a number of impressive columns, and arches, as well as a beautiful courtyard that’s surrounded by charming cafes, shops, and restaurants.

Address: Portico d’Ottavia, 29 (Free admission)

3. Marcello’s Theatre (Teatro Marcello)

Marcello’s Theatre, or Teatro Marcello, is an impressive ancient Roman theatre that often gets mistaken for the Colosseum. Built in the 1st century BCE, the theatre was originally designed to hold up to 20,000 spectators, making it one of the largest and most important entertainment venues in the city. Later it was converted into a fortress by the noble Orsini family. The Theatre sits adjacent to Octavia’s Patio and despite being damaged and partially destroyed over the centuries, the theatre still retains much of its original beauty and grandeur.

AddressVia del Teatro di Marcello

4. Via Del Portico D’Ottavia

Via del Portico d’Ottavia is a historic street that runs through the heart of the Jewish Ghetto in Rome. Named after the ancient Porticus Octaviae, this main street is now home to a number of charming cafes, restaurants, and shops, and a great place to simply soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant neighbourhood.

AddressVia del Portico d’Ottavia | Portico d’Ottavia

5. Turtle Fountain (Fontana Delle Tartarughe)

turtle fountain in jewish quarter rome

The Turtle Fountain, or Fontana delle Tartarughe, is a beautiful and unique fountain from the 16th century. It features a charming design of four bronze turtles supporting a basin of water, surrounded by graceful sculptures and intricate decorations. The fountain is widely regarded as one of the most charming and picturesque in Rome, and I have to agree!

Address:  Piazza Mattei

6. Palazzo Mattei

building with church in roman jewish ghetto

Palazzo Mattei is a magnificent 16th-century palace renowned for its stunning Renaissance architecture and beautiful artwork. It’s often missed by tourists. From the Turtle Fountain, look for an archway on the square and this will lead you to the palace. The palace’s interior is decorated with exquisite frescoes and sculptures, while its gardens offer a peaceful retreat. One of the palace’s most notable features is the grand staircase, which is considered one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Rome.

Address: Via Michelangelo Caetani, 32

7. Carmelo Temple (Tempietto del Carmelo)

Tempietto del Carmelo is a small but beautiful 17th-century little shrine built by a local family to protect the image of Santa Maria del Carmine outside of their home. This tiny temple of travertine columns and wrought iron grills and gates now just blends into the ancient architecture that surrounds it.

Address: Piazza Costaguti, 18

8. Piazza delle Cinque Scole

foutain with pink building in jewish quarter rome

Piazza delle Cinque Scole, or the “Square of the Five Synagogues,” is a historic square that takes its name from the five synagogues that once stood in the area. Although only one of them, the Tempio Maggiore, still remains today, along with a lovely fountain in its centre, making it a peaceful and picturesque spot to come and admire the beautiful buildings surrounding it.

Address: Pizza della Cinque Scole, 20

9. Piazza Margana

buildings with shutters in jewish ghetto in rome

Piazza Margana is a small but charming square that is off the beaten path for most tourists, making it a hidden gem that’s popular with locals. The area around Piazza Margana is also home to a couple of great restaurants and cafes making it a quiet spot to relax and enjoy an espresso.

Address: Piazza Margana, 21

10. Pons Fabricius (or Ponte Fabricio)

bridge with 2 arches in rome ghetto

The Pons Fabricius, also known as Ponte Fabricio, is an ancient Roman bridge that spans the Tiber River, connecting the Roman Ghetto to the charming Trastevere neighbourhood. It was originally built in 62 BC, making it one of the oldest standing bridges in Rome, and it’s still in use today.

The bridge has a unique and striking design, with two arches that rest on a central island and offers beautiful views of the river and the city.

AddressPonte Fabricio

11. Tiber Island (Isola Tiberina)

island with tree, steps in jewish  quarter in rome

Isola Tiberina is a charming island located in the middle of the Tiber River reached by Ponte Fabricio bridge. One of the island’s main highlights is the Basilica di San Bartolomeo all’Isola, an ancient church dating back to the 10th century. The church is built on the site where St. Bartholomew was believed to have been martyred, and it houses a number of important relics and artifacts.

Today, young people come to hang out, families come here for a stroll, and street performers come to play or sing. You’ll find them under the bridges’ arches where the acoustic is incredible and the tune can be heard from all around.

AddressTiber Island

Top Roman Jewish Ghetto Restaurants

tables and chairs with umbrella in what to see in the jewish ghetto rome

Jewish Ghetto in Rome is home to some of the best restaurants in the city. If you happen to visit in the spring as I did, don’t miss the Artichoke Festival at the end of March into April, a celebration of the thistle vegetable that is a local specialty. During the festival, you will see towers of artichokes lining the main street of Via del Portico d’Ottavia. Every restaurant offers a 3 or 4-course fixed menu featuring the star ingredient – the artichoke showing the different ways it can be prepared.

Here are some of the top Jewish Ghetto Rome restaurants, each of them perfecting the carciofi alla giudia (fried artichokes) that can be found along Via del Portico d’Ottavia.

  1. Nonna Betta
  2. Taverna del Ghetto
  3. Ba’Ghetto
  4. Sora Margherita
  5. Su’Ghetto

Brief Roman Jewish Ghetto History

wall with jewish artifacts in jewish ghetto of rome

The Roman Jewish Ghetto has a long and complex history that spans over two thousand years. It was established in the early 16th century when Pope Paul IV ordered all Jews in Rome to live in a designated area near the Tiber River.

The area was overcrowded, with poor living conditions and limited access to resources. However, despite the challenges, the Jewish community thrived, and the ghetto became a hub of Jewish life and culture.

Over time, the restrictions on Jewish residents were gradually lifted, and the ghetto was finally abolished in 1870. Today, the Jewish Ghetto is a vibrant and thriving neighbourhood that is one of my favourites to visit every time I’m in Rome.

Is the Jewish Quarter in Rome Worth Visiting?

pink building in rome jewish quarter

Absolutely! The Jewish Ghetto in Rome is a unique and fascinating neighbourhood that is definitely worth visiting. It’s one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back over two thousand years, and it’s home to a wealth of cultural, historical, and culinary treasures.

Visitors to the Jewish Ghetto can explore ancient synagogues, admire stunning architecture, sample delicious kosher cuisine, and learn about the history and traditions of the Jewish community in Rome.

The neighbourhood also has a lively and vibrant atmosphere, with bustling markets, boutique shops, and a wide range of cultural events and festivals throughout the year. One such event that I attended was the Roman Artichoke Festival (March 29, 2023 – to early April)

So, if you’re planning a trip to Rome, be sure to include a visit to the Jewish Ghetto on your itinerary!

What to See Near Jewish Quarter Rome

bridge with building

If you’re exploring the Jewish Ghetto in Rome, there are plenty of other fascinating sights and attractions to see in the surrounding area. The first Roman Jewish settlement was in the nearby historic Trastevere neighbourhood, known for its lively atmosphere, winding cobblestone streets and culinary delights in the Trastevere restaurants.

Just a short walk from the neighbourhood, you’ll find the beautiful Piazza Venezia, home to the imposing Altare della Patria monument and the historic Palazzo Venezia.

A little further afield, you can visit the ancient Roman Forum and the iconic Colosseum, and the ancient Centro Storico. Which is at the top of most travellers’ Rome itineraries to see such iconic landmarks as the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo de’ Fiori, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps.

And of course, no visit to Rome would be complete without a visit to the Vatican City, home to the awe-inspiring St. Peter’s Basilica and the world-famous Sistine Chapel.

FAQs About Rome Jewish Quarter

Where is the Jewish Ghetto in Rome?

The Jewish Ghetto in Rome is located in the central neighbourhood of Rione Sant’Angelo, between the Tiber River and the Largo di Torre Argentina.

What is the Jewish Quarter in Rome called?

The Jewish Quarter in Rome is commonly known as the Jewish Ghetto and is one of the hidden treasures of the city known for its ancient history, architecture and delicious cuisine.

Is Trastevere the Jewish Ghetto in Rome?

No, Trastevere is not the Jewish Ghetto in Rome. However, it was the first Roman Jewish settlement and some ancient cultural artifacts remain today.

How far is the Jewish Ghetto in Rome from Colosseum?

The Jewish Ghetto in Rome is located approximately 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) from the Colosseum.

Is the Jewish Ghetto in Rome safe?

Yes, the Jewish Ghetto in Rome is generally considered a safe neighbourhood. As a solo traveller, I found this to be one of the safest areas of Rome.

Rome Travel Resources

If you’re planning a trip to Rome, there are several must-see attractions and hidden gems worth visiting no matter how much time you might have! To help plan your time, check out the Ultimate Itinerary that customizes to the number of days you are spending in Rome.

Be sure to check out the best 1-day Vatican City Itinerary guide to make the most of your time there. If you’re a lover of gardens, don’t miss the 20 Lesser-Known and Famous Gardens in Rome, which features stunning green spaces, fountains, and sculptures. For those looking for a lesser-known neighbourhood to explore, Quartiere Coppedè – the Best Kept Secret Neighbourhood in Rome is a hidden gem that offers unique architecture and a peaceful atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the city center.

No matter your interests, Rome has something to offer, and these articles are a great starting point to plan your trip. For more comprehensive travel resources about booking accommodations, train travel, car rentals and more visit my Europe Travel page.

If you LOVE EUROPEAN TRAVEL or planning a TRIP TO EUROPE, subscribe to my website! I will share my love of Europe with you, along with travel planning tips and inspiration. And, you’ll get a FREE gift for signing up – 30 Bucketlist Places in Europe! Join, and let’s be travel friends!

As a Holidaymaker

The Jewish Ghetto in Rome is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to experience the rich history and culture of the Jewish people. From its narrow alleyways to its beautiful synagogues, this neighbourhood offers a unique glimpse into the past and present of one of Europe’s oldest and most vibrant communities.

Whether you’re interested in art, architecture, food, or simply soaking up the atmosphere of this fascinating city, there is something here for everyone. So if you’re planning a trip to Rome anytime soon, be sure to put the Jewish Ghetto on your itinerary – you won’t regret it!

Similar Posts