The beauty, the grace, the style, the ruins. Rome’s ghetto is like an ancient city within an ancient city.
The ‘fontana delle tartarughe’ – turtle fountain – is easily one of Rome’s most beautiful and sits in Piazza Mattei, on one edge of the ghetto.
True to tradition: if you don’t have a clothes dryer, the laundry goes on the drying line.
Antique book and art shop. The chair with a large rock on it bears a sign saying ‘pre-occupied’.
Rome has so many foreigners that it is not unusual to spot signs in both Italian and English.
Love thy neighbors. but also always lock the door.
One end of the ghetto is determined by a huge ancient amphitheatre, the Teatro di Marcello.
If these walls could speak, they would have a lot of stories to tell.
Tip of the iceberg: this ancient column on Via del Portico di Ottavia continues under the pavement for several meters, to where the ground level was in Roman times.
Every good meal ends with a caffe’. ote the ancient bas-reliefs in the walls.
Stylish Roman ladies chatting away on a cold but sunny may day.
Thankfully, there is no shortage of benches in this charming area.
This unassuming little door leads into what many swear to be Rome’s best bakery. Closed on saturdays.
We’re young, we’re handsome, we’re well-dressed, it’s springtime and we’re in one of the most beautiful cities in the world – of course we’re happy!
There’s always time to catch up on the latest news. Ladies enjoying some street conversation.
Sitting at a kosher restaurant in a warm shank of midday sunlight.
Going home for lunch. Note the ancient architectural elements integrated with the more recent ones.
A painter’s display between parked cars and motorcycles.
Cellphones, Vespas and skullcaps. you’re in Rome’s Jewish ghetto, baby!
Physical barriers determine the ghetto’s outer limits. Unwieldy, these are designed to allow wheelchairs through but not motorcycles.
There’s just too much going on. I think i’m just going to doze off for a while…
I am not a historian, so for hard facts about Rome’s Jewish ghetto you will have to look elsewhere. All i can say for sure is that history has conspired here to create one of Rome’s most charming areas. The close-knit sense of community exudes from every corner: people chatting away, laughing, smiling, sitting, strolling…
The ghetto’s run-down look goes back to some papal bull (i’ll say!) forbidding Jews from owning houses. And you’re obviously not inclined to maintain what you don’t own.
The remains of ancient Rome literally jut out from every wall or break through the surface of the pavement.
Finally, one mention goes to the local eateries, catering to both Romans and skull-capped tour groups from New York. The food in the ghetto is easily among the best Rome has to offer. And if you can make it here in springtime, you can’t possibly leave without trying one of rome’s proudest and oldest recipies: i carciofi alla giudia, literally ‘Jewish style artichokes.’
Pictures taken at lunchtime on may 14th.