Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rome -- Link to Jewish Tour Guide

Inside the Jewish Museum, Rome. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

People often ask me to recommend Jewish sites for them to see in various cities or recommend a Jewish guide to take them around.

Here's a link to a web site to a Jewish travel guide and service for Rome -- JewishRoma.

It is run by Micaela Pavoncello, a native of the Eternal City, whose Jewish community dates back more than 2,000 years and is the oldest one in Europe. Micaela introduces herself this way:
I was born in Rome from a Jewish Roman father (proud to be here since Cesar’s time!) and a Libyan Jewish Sephardic mother. I have lived in Rome my entire life (not including the year I spent in Argentina and another year in Israel). Traveling has given me the opportunity to meet other Jews, share my story with them, and compare my community with theirs and other communities. Throughout my time as a guide, while meeting people along my journey, I have come to realize how miraculous the existence of the Jewish Community of Rome really is.
Rome's main Jewish sites include the historic ghetto area, with the imposing synagogue complex and Jewish museum, plus ancient Roman-era sites such as Jewish catacombs and the ruins of an ancient synagogue at Ostia Antica.

Main Synagogue, Rome. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

There is an active Jewish life in the city, with several synagogues, kosher restaurants and cafes, and various educational and cultural institutions. There are also frequent Jewish-themed exhibitions, concerts, theatrical performances and other events.

Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

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