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Jewish Ghetto.?

Lancaster PA
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Jewish Ghetto.?

Here in the US we have a pre conceived notion as to what a ghetto is... and it is rough and not nice. I found out that I booked an Apartment on the out skirts of the Jewish ghetto. Is this a bad area?

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1. Re: Jewish Ghetto.?

Jayball, the word was "invented" firstly in Venice. In Eastern Europe it took a rough meaning. I guess that living in the ghetto in Rome was not so nice in Rome too, especially in the 16th century, I'm not so good at history sorry............

Anyway today the Jewish ghetto is one of the most expensive and most desirable neighbourhood in Rome. It is central, full of human history, art, beautiful spots, the best restaurants. Remember that Roman jewish are the most ancient population in Rome. the problem today is that a few are left who live there as the flats are so expensive and artists and "VIPS" "hunt" them. So the ghetto is losing its charachteristics.

The only problem u could have there is noise at night but that is true for the whole historical center.

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2. Re: Jewish Ghetto.?

Ghetto as segregation area is coming from Renaissance Italy. The word itself is from the Venetian slang (as ciao), geto=foundry; in fact Venice is the very first city that forced the Jewish comunity in a restricted area (1516); since many Jews were coming from Eastern/Northern Europe, the pronounciation of 'geto' became 'gheto'. That's the reason why the word nowdays is used with the meaning of segregation.

<The history of the Jews of Rome is a long and sad one, and all the more tragic because although in medieval days they enjoyed very considerable freedom, it was in later and what should have been more enlightened times that they were persecuted. During the Middle Ages their industry, financial capacity and renown as doctors commended the Jews to the popes, who even at this early date allowed them to built a synagogue in the city [...]. In the 13th century Innocence III first made the Jews wear a distinguishing remark (a yellow O), but it was really with Renaissance that they tragedy began. As we have seen Paul IV enclosed them in the Ghetto, even imposing a curfew, and subsequent popes forbade the Jews to practise any kind of trade but that in old clothes and scrap iron. [...]

In the classical times the Jewish colony was established in Trastevere, but by the Middle Ages it had crossed the river, and Paul IV's choise of the site for the Ghetto was evidently dictated by the fact that this was tha area in which most Jews lived [...]> (G.MASSON, The Companion Guide of Rome, revised by Tim Jepson).

The walls of the Ghetto, within which the comunity was confined, were pulled down only in 1871, when Rome became the capital of Italy and Italy itself a unified country. The area now is one of the cutest and more Roman places in town; there are kosher restaurants, the Temple, and the Jewish Cultural Center. It's a wonderful and peaceful location where you can still experience this city as a 'village' on a river! Hope this helped Daniela

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3. Re: Jewish Ghetto.?

Cinzia, flic & floc! We replied to this post at the same time :D!

Lancaster PA
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4. Re: Jewish Ghetto.?

Thanks Alot for the replies... I feel much better now.

THANKS!

somewhere out there
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5. Re: Jewish Ghetto.?

Jayball, the 'ghetto' is actually a nice area with lots of narrow streets and old buildings, very much the 'Rome' people want to experience.

Erin, Canada
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6. Re: Jewish Ghetto.?

wonderful provision of Roman Jewish heritage.....thank you! Most interesting to read. I'll look forward to visitting it..........

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7. Re: Jewish Ghetto.?

The Ghetto is only 400 yards from the Forum and Palatine Hill.

Sunday March 25th we strolled through the "Ghetto". It was like any other area of Rome on a beautiful sunny day filled with Romans strolling along the Tiber River across from the lovely Synagogue and near the Trearo di Marcello (Roman Theater ruins).

The Synagogue offers walking tours some in English of the Ghetto. Times are posted out front.

Be sure to visit the kosher bakery and cafes in the neighborhood.

The only negative was the armed guard post outside the Synagogue but that's the times we live in.

Jim

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8. Re: Jewish Ghetto.?

Daniela, yes, and ty for the full information. You are great.

Didn't Rome welcome the Jewish who were sent away from Spain, too? What went wrong during Reinassance?

Well, my friend lives there. She loves it, was it not for the noise at night during weekends. Her flat is that of her husband's family. They are Catholic and this too makes the Roman ghetto different, Romans of both religions always mixed. In the attic where they now had their A/C machines installed (strict laws for buildings downtown) a jewish family was hidden in 1943/44. TG we live today!!

Daniela can you answer to my US friends question? They asked how come there are so many churches in the ghetto. All I could say was "That's normal" .......not much of an answer uh?

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9. Re: Jewish Ghetto.?

More historical infos......

The Roman Jewish comunity is the oldest one outside of Israel and in the Western Europe. One amazing piece of genetic research, published in 2000 in the American Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that most of the Eastern European Jews, the Ashkenazim (meaning 'German'), descend from Roman Jews.

<Who are the Roman Jews? The first Jewish immigration predates written history. Many more arrived in the 1st century BC, when Pompey conquered Jerusalem and many prisoners to Rome. A century later there was also a large influx of Jews as slaves, following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the victories of Vespasian and Titus over the Jewish insurgents in Palestine [79AD]. Several thousand worked to built the Colosseum> (Mauro, Paola, Eric & Jack Lucentini, ROME, Pallas Guide). That's the beginning of the diaspora. There was another massive influx, as Cinzia (stettola) told, after the expulsion of the Sephardic (meaning 'Spanish') Jews from Spain in 1492.

During the Counter-Reformation, churches were built inside the Ghetto to force the Jews to listen to Christian sermons to which, a chronicle dating to 1600 reports, they were 'dragged by head and hair, against their obstinate hearts, to partake of the heavently graces'. Of course they were imposed to attend the mass not on Sundays but on the Jewish Sabbath. Cinzia, I hope I fulfilled your friend's curiosity!

Ciao Daniela

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10. Re: Jewish Ghetto.?

Oh sì Daniela, I remember the film "In nome del Papa Re" (if I'm not wrong) with the jews caught and brought forcely to hear Mass. Most of them would put something in their ears so they wouldn't have to listen. But I know many "old" Romans who live in the area, I wonder if they went to live their after WWII but for some of them I'm sure they lived there before. Maybe Via dei Giubbonari was not in the ghetto. No, now that I think of it, some were caught that awful night (16th october 1943) and released.

That's a night Rome won't forget.

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