Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere Tour
This tour will allow you to explore 2 popular and traditional districts of Rome, the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere.
We start at Largo Argentina to see the original site where Julius Caesar was stabbed in 44 BC and then we head on to the actual Ghetto where Jews, already present in large number in Rome at the times of Julius Caesar, were relegated by the Pope in the middle of 16th century.
We will see the Synagogue (from the outside only) and one of the loveliest squares in the city, Piazza Mattei, with its legendary Fountain of the Turtles. If possible, we will also taste some exquisite cakes at the local bakery in the Ghetto before continuing toward the ancient theatre of Marcellus, the largest and most important theatre in Rome completed in the late 1st century BC under the name of Augustus’ nephew.
From the Jewish Ghetto, we head on to the little Tiber island located in the middle of the Tiber River using Rome’s oldest bridge called Fabricio. The island used to house a Roman temple dedicated to the god of medicine, Aesculapius, later replaced by the Christian church called San Bartolomeo all’Isola. Unbelievably, after many centuries, the island still retains its original function as it houses one of Rome’s hospitals, Fatebenefratelli.
After crossing the river, we will walk through the narrow alleys of Trastevere (which in fact means “across the Tiber”), a medieval district, tucked into the bend of the river.
In the past, this colorful neighborhood used to be a working-class area and today offers the best look at medieval Rome. The highlights of this last leg of the tour will be 2 medieval churches: the Church of Santa Cecilia and the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere.
The first is a 9th-century church built in honor of St. Cecilia, a Roman patrician martyred in the 3rd century. Below the main altar is a fantastic sculpture by Stefano Maderno of the saint’s body as he saw it in the 16th century after she was exhumed.
The church of Santa Maria in Trastevere is renowned for being one of the oldest churches dedicated to the Vergin Mary in the world and is famous for its exquisite mosaics from the late 12th and 13th centuries.
During this Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere tour there will be plenty of opportunities for photography lovers and we will also stop at a famous artisanal gelateria.