The Rome historic Jewish Quarter houses one of the oldest Jewish communities in Europe and the longest, uninterrupted, existing Jewish community in the world.
Although Rome is home to the Pope Jews have been in Rome longer than Christians, as the first Jewish community of Rome goes back to the 2nd century BC. The Jewish Ghetto in Rome is located in the rione Sant’Angelo, in the area surrounded by today’s Via del Portico d’ Ottavia, an ancient Rome structure built by emperor Augustus in the name of his sister Octavia and close to the enchanting Tiber island and the ancient Theater of Marcellus. Since the medieval era the Porticus was used as a fish market which lasted up to the end of 19th century and this role is remembered by the name of the 8th century annexed church: Sant’Angelo in Pescheria or St. Angelus in the Fish Market. To learn more you can visit Nancy Aiello Tours’ Jewish Rome Tour.
Rome’s Jewish Ghetto was the last remaining ghetto in Western Europe and it is now one of the most charming and eclectic neighborhoods in Rome with typical restaurants serving up some of the best traditional Roman cuisine in Rome. Only in the Rome Jewish quarter you are able to find and taste the traditional Roman Jewish cuisine including Carciofi alla Giudia, Jewish fried artichokes, fresh seafood and kosher pizza.
Beside its delicious Kosher food the the tour of the Jewish Ghetto in Rome offers one of the most amazing walks through the maze of old and famous ruins of ancient Rome, medieval churches, renaissance and baroque squares and palaces, all blended within walking distance. During your Jewish Ghetto walk visit the Great Synagogue and Jewish Museums of Rome overlooking the Ghetto, built in a very eclectic style between 1901 and 1904. The dome of the Synagogue is the only squared dome in the Eternal City of Rome and makes the building easily identifiable even from a distance. When in Rome if you wish to visit the Great Synagogue and the Jewish Museum avoid Saturdays when both are closed.
Best Kosher food in the Rome’s Jewish Ghetto | Where to sample the best Jewish food in Rome
Giggetto al Portico di Ottavia | Euro 40 |
Tucked behind the ancient Portico d’Ottavia, here you’ll feel like if you were eating in ancient Rome with the Teatro di Marcello in sight. Giggetto serves good Roman and Jewish cooking in a friendly setting. Best bets are Jewish-style artichokes, fried cod filets, chicory shoots with anchovy sauce (puntarelle) and stuffed zucchini flowers. Book in advance if you want a table just off the ancient Porticus of Ottavia.
Taverna del Ghetto Kosher | Euro 40 |
This restaurant located in the heart of the Jewish ghetto serves Kosher only genuine Jewish Roman dishes, under the supervision of the Rabbinical Office of Rome. Best bets are Jewish-style artichokes, homemade pasta, anchovies with endive and lamb.
Yotvata | Euro 30 |
This very nice and elegant restaurant facing the the 16th century Palazzo Cenci, built on the remains of a medieval castle that rose from the ruins of a Roman circus, serves excellent kosher Roman Jewish dishes like spaghetti with bottarga (salted roe), blue fish with endive and focaccia with zucchini marinade. The cuisine based on organic products is prepared under the supervision of the Rabbinical Office of Rome.
Piperno | Euro 55 |
This restaurant was established in 1860 and it is probably one of the best and most elegant jewish restaurants around the Rome’s Ghetto. Beside traditional jewish dishes here you’ll find also authentic roman dishes like tripe, tail and pajama together with a first class wine list. During summer time reserve a table in the lovely outdoor garden.
Sora Margherita | Euro 20 No Credit Card | Piazza delle Cinque Scole 30 |
No signs but you’ll probably find this small and unpretentious restaurant because of the waiting lines of people outside the restaurant waiting to taste amazing homemade pasta and traditional roman jewish dishes prepared with seasonal ingredients and what is available from the nearby Campo dè Fiori market.
Ba” Ghetto | Euro 35 |
This elegant Kosher restaurant located in the heart of the Jewish quarter serves not only traditional Roman Jewish dishes but also middle east delicacies like cous cous, falafel and hummus. Very good wine list and friendly service. A cheaper alternative to the Ba” Ghetto could be found at its sister restaurant the Oriental Food Kosher located near Piazza Bologna, a sort of Kosher fast food offering a very wide selection of Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern and Israeli dishes.
Want to test your skills and prepare at home Jewish-style artichokes?
Here the Jewish Artichoke Recipe by Giggetto al Portico d’Ottavia
Alle gazn gehen tzu Rom | Yiddish
Kol ha-drachim movilot le-Roma | Hebrew
All roads lead to Rome | English
Tutte le strade portano a Roma | Italian
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Ciao from Rome:-)
Since 1997 Nancy Aiello Tours, based in Rome, specializes in Tailor-Made Private Guided Vatican, Rome & Italy Tours for Leisure & Business Travelers.
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