Monthly Archives: April 2012

Jewish Ghetto Stroll

The ghetto was projected to lock up and control the Jews. In 1555 A.D. life for Jews in Rome began to get shoddier and agonizing.Synagogue in Rome

Pope Paul IV on 14th of July 1555, decreed the Cum nimis absurdum papal bull  to confine the Jewish minority which at that time were 2,000. The bull degraded the Jews of their personal freedoms as property ownership and imposed economic restrictions. Absurdly the bull ruled out that the Jews may not presume in any way to play, eat or fraternize with Christians. The oppression continued for 315 years until its abolition in 1870 (reunification of Italy).

At present, though the ghetto has undergone changes from its original look, it is still quite attractive area full of restaurants, bakeries and shops.

Major tourist attractions in the ghetto are: Portico di Ottavia, Ponte Fabricio (originally called Jews’ Bridge), Jewish Museum of Rome, the Synagogue of Emancipation and Santa Maria della Pietà.

Largo 16 Ottobre 1943 is a square in remembrance to the suffering of the ghetto’s residents during the second world war. At that time, Nazi soldiers threatened the Jews to bring forth 49,90 kg of gold in 24 hours or transfer them to concentration camps, the demand was met with the help of the Romans. But later the Jews were taken to the concentration camps.

tiberina islandThe fascinating ghetto is located on the east of river Tiber, facing the Vatican. It is, easily accessible by buses and tram and though surrounded by churches, the ghetto still has fragrance of Jews among the nations.

our blogger: Adu K

It’s (Free) Culture Week!

1_settimanaThe 14th edition of Settimana della Cultura (Culture Week), which provides free admission to museums and offers guided tours around a variety of cultural sites in Rome and across Italy, takes place from 14-22 April.

Some of the Rome attractions include the cinematic costumes from the collection of Fondazione Annamode on Via Vittor Pisano, a visit to the house museum of writer Alberto Moravia on Lungotevere della Vittoria, the new collections at the National Etruscan Museum at Villa Giulia, and guided tours of Porto di Traiano near Fiumicino.

Not all of Rome’s museums or institutions are participating fully in culture week however. The National Museum of 21st-century art joins in only from 17-19 April, with reduced-price tickets. The Borghese Gallery charges a fixed rate of €2 a ticket throughout the week while the Planetarium and Museo Astronomico are excluded entirely.

For full details of Settimana della Cultura tel. 060608 (09.00-21.00) or see

Meanwhile from 4 May the Vatican Museums open their doors every Friday evening from 19.00-23.00, with last admission at 21.30.

The late Friday openings run until 13 July, and then from 7 September until 26

October. Now in its fourth consecutive year, the popular initiative attracts an audience of mainly Roman residents as opposed to tourists.

Our blogger: Joseph

Rome Chinatown: diversity is beauty


Chinatown in Rome is booming. Yes, compared to other Chinatowns, the later is 15 years old phenomenon and its growth is fascinating. Restaurants, shops, travel agents, hotels, market, internet and telephone centres are blossoming in this little town.

Regarding Chinatown, the first thing that one imagines is a beautifully adorned gate which over the years has become an identifying landmark for Chinese in exile. In Rome the landmark is not available but the area is noted for its multi-ethnicity.

After busy weekdays explicitly on Saturdays, the area is jam-packed with people of varied tribes, nations and languages to acquire the best of fresh fish, meat, vegetables available by the open market inside Chinatown. Asians, Africans, Latinos and Italians flock to this quarter for cheap shopping and also to find shops that specialize in homeland merchandise.

Chinatown Rome’s diversity is what gives it beauty. It is nice little town full of cultures interesting to visit.

After hunting down all major tourist attractions in Rome, visiting such an area is a good experience. Cheap souvenirs, African objet d’art, clothes and variety of dishes (Chinese, Indian, Eritrean, Philipine, Bangladesh etc) are a plus to the shopping experience in Rome. 

This area of Rome, though, close to Rome Termini Central Station remains unexplored by many tourists. Interested clients are able to get information from Hotel Des Artistes’ staff of visiting Rome Chinatown. 

Chinatown located on one of Rome’s seven hills – Esquillino- is five minutes walk from Hotel Des Artistes.

our blogger: Adu K