The Roman Ghetto, within the Sant'Angelo District, is the oldest Jewish community in all of Europe. It was established in 1555 on the Tiber banks. Until 1870, the city’s Jewish population was forced to live behind a walled gate, under severe restrictions and controlled by the Pope. It was built on low, malarial land subject to floods from the Tiber. Although the walls were torn down in 1888, today's neighborhood (located around Via del Portico d’ Ottavia) retains its culture. You will find a tightly knit, highly supportive community that still cooks meals together, celebrates holidays and festivals. The whole area arrays an authentic village feel.
When you visit this (Sant'Angelo) district, you can't miss seeing Rome's Synagogue and the attached Jewish Museum. The today Synagogue was built after Italy's unification in 1870 to celebrate the end of the Jewish Ghetto of Rome.
The neighborhood is full of traditional restaurants serving Roman Jewish cuisine. One of the most well-known dishes that you absolutely must try is fried artichokes. The inexpensive and bountiful artichokes were popular with the population in the ghetto for their flavor and nutritional value. Still today, artichokes are prominently present on the menu cards of the local restaurants.
Being in Rome's historical center - close to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum - The Sant'Angelo neighborhood is an easily accessible and wonderful spot for an afternoon pastime.