Rome – A heady mix of haunting ruins, awe-inspiring art and vibrant street life, Italy’s hot-blooded capital is one of the world’s most romantic and charismatic cities.
The result of 3000 years of ad hoc urban development, Rome’s cityscape is an exhilarating sight. Ancient icons such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon recall the city’s golden age as caput mundi (capital of the world), while monumental basilicas tell of its history as seat of the Catholic Church. Lording it over the skyline, St Peter’s Basilica towers over the Vatican, testifying to the ambition of Rome’s Renaissance popes and the genius of its game-changing architects. Elsewhere, ornate piazzas and showy fountains add a baroque flourish to the city’s captivating streets.
A trip to Rome is as much about lapping up the dolce vita lifestyle as gorging on art and culture. Idling around picturesque streets, whiling away hours at streetside cafes, people-watching on pretty piazzas – these are all central to the Roman experience. The tempo rises in the evening when fashionable drinkers descend on the city’s bars and cafes for a sociable aperitivo (drink with snacks) and trattorias hum with activity. Elsewhere, cheerful hordes mill around popular haunts before heading off to hip cocktail bars and late-night clubs.
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Our hotel is surrounded by landscaped gardens and has an
Rooms come with modern or classic furnishings as well as air conditioning, satellite tv and wifi.
The history of the Jews in the Roman Empire traces the interaction of Jews and Romans during the period of the Roman Empire (27 BCE – CE 476). In Rome, Jewish communities thrived economically. In the course of the 1st century CE, Christianity began to develop from Second Temple Judaism. The Christian emperors persecuted their Jewish subjects and restricted their rights.
Following the 1st-century Great Revolt and the 2nd-century Bar Kokhba revolt, the destruction of Judea exerted a decisive influence upon the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the world, as the center of worship shifted from the Temple to Rabbinic authority. Some Jews were sold as slaves or transported as captives after the fall of Judea, others joined the existing diaspora, while still others remained in Judea and began work on the Jerusalem Talmud. The Jews in the diaspora were generally accepted into the Roman Empire, but with the rise of Christianity, restrictions grew.
The Roman Ghetto was established as a result of Papal bull Cum nimis absurdum, promulgated by Pope Paul IV on 14 July 1555. The bull also required the Jews of Rome, which had existed as a community since before Christian times and which numbered about 2,000 at the time, to live in the ghetto. The ghetto was a walled quarter with its gates locked at night.
The first great upheaval since Paul IV established the ghetto came during the Napoleonic Wars. Eager to promulgate his own set of universal laws, Napoleon determined that every citizen under his rule would enjoy equal protection under the law. The Napoleonic Code eliminated many, if not all, of the special rights and privileges enjoyed by aristocratic and religious figures; conversely, they also removed the special restrictions and burdens placed on Jewish communities. In many countries, this meant an end to Jewish ghettos. Certainly Rome was no exception: when Napoleon’s forces made their triumphant entrance into the city, a special point was made of physically demolishing the old ghetto walls.
Italian prime minister Luigi Luzzatti, who took office in 1910, was one of the world’s first Jewish heads of government (not converted to Christianity). Another Jew, Ernesto Nathan served as mayor of Rome from 1907 to 1913. By 1902, out of 350 senators, there were six Jews. By 1920, there were nineteen Jewish senators. A significant train of thought inside Italian Fascism, influenced by Nazism and its race theories, actively promoted anti-Semitism. Jews were depicted both as “rootless cosmopolitan” capitalist bourgeois and as communists. However, at least until the promulgation of the 1938 racial laws, a number of Italian Jews were sympathetic to the regime and occupied significant offices and positions in politics and economy. It is estimated that some Italian Jews participated in the October 1922 March on Rome that brought about Mussolini’s ascent to power.
It is estimated that about 10,000 Italian Jews were deported to concentration and death camps, of whom 7,700 perished in the Holocaust.The surviving community was able to maintain its distinctiveness throughout the following decades and continued to have a significant role in the fields of politics, literature, science and industry. A significant event that marked the Italian Jewish community was the conversion to Catholicism of the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli, in 1945.
The size of the Italian Jewish community has faced a slight but continuous drop throughout the postwar decades, partly because of emigration to Israel or the United States and partly because of low birth rates, assimilation and intermarriage, especially in the small congregations of the North. A significant increase occurred during the 1970s due to the arrival of Iranian Jews (following the ousting of the Shah) and North African Jews (mainly coming from Libya in the aftermath of Gaddafi’s seizure of power).