The first Jews arrived in Rome twenty-two centuries ago and their rich historical legacy is alive and well today. This tour focuses on the history of Rome’s Jewish community and begins with a trip to the ancient Jewish Catacombs near the Appian Way, a site that was discovered in the 19th century and was one of seven known complexes utilized in ancient Jewish burials. Not open to the public, this richly painted space requires special permission for entry and provides us with a unique opportunity to discuss Jewish burial customs. Our time continues with a visit to theJewish Ghetto, the neighborhood to which Jews were confined by order of the Pope from 1555 until 1870. Though many original structures were demolished after the original walls of the Ghetto were taken down in the late 19th century, we will have ample chance to discover the history of Roman Jews, from the new Synagogue and Jewish businesses that continue to make the area a rallying point for the local Jewish community. For a preview of the tour, see the video on the left.
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