There are hundreds of wonderful reasons to visit the great Italian city of Rome. Ancient architecture, fabulous museums and thousands of years of history are just a few. There is also great shopping and fine food. For visitors interested in Jewish history and Jewish life, Rome also holds a special appeal just for them.
While some may not consider Rome a city that is particularly steeped in Jewish history, the truth is that there are many Jewish points of interest in Rome. One of the many benefits of visiting this city while on a tour with Deluxe Kosher Tours is that the Jewish points of interested will be highlighted in a very special way.
The Jewish Museum
This museum first opened in 1959, but has undergone several renovations over the years. Jews have lived in Rome for thousands of years and some of the archaeological finds have been truly amazing. Those artifacts, along with records, photographs and other mementos are a record of daily life throughout the thousands of years that Jews have dwelt in the city, both in times of freedom and persecution.
The Jewish Ghetto
The Jewish Ghetto was first built in 1555. The intention was to try and force assimilation by forcing the Jews who lived there to listen to Catholic mass on Shabbat. The other intention was to keep the Jewish population separate from that of the Christians who lived in the city.
As with most ghettos, Jews were not allowed to roam freely outside of its walls. The gates were locked at night, forcing those who lived there to remain inside during the night. Those gates were not the only restrictions placed on the Jews. There were also strict limits placed on what kind of work a Jew could do.
Throughout the years, the Ghetto would be shut down only to be reestablished when another ruler decided he needed to suppress or separate the Jews. To add insult to injury, the Jews living in the Ghetto were forced to pay taxes for the “right” to live there.
Today, most of the original Ghetto is gone. There is an original wall that can be seen and some parts of the structures have been recreated.
The area that was once used to keep Jews separate is now a thriving community where visitors can sample delicious Jewish food and experience other aspects of Jewish life.
The Sistine Chapel is not thought by all to be a Jewish point of interest, but it is. The beautiful paintings adorning the chapel are a gorgeous interpretation of some of the most important stories in Judaism.
While the Sistine Chapel is certainly an attraction with wide appeal, the artistic depictions will surely hold special meaning for Jewish visitors.
As mentioned above, there are many excellent reasons to want to visit the city of Rome. As a Jewish visitor, however, it is only natural for there to be a particular interest in the attractions and ruins that pertain to Judaism and the Jewish Roman people.
By visiting the city with Deluxe Kosher Tours, you will not only see the city at large, but will also be given special access to some of the Jewish people and traditions that remain in Rome.