Found in the basement of the Art Nouveau Great Synagogue of Rome, which was built across the River Tiber from the former Jewish ghetto in Trastevere and inaugurated in 1904, the Jewish Museum of Rome (Museo Ebraico di Roma) opened in 1960 and records 2,200 years of Jewish life in Rome. It was much expanded in 2004 and now seven ornate rooms house new displays of precious textiles, manuscripts and silverware as well as information on the Nazi occupation of Rome, liturgical vestments and tombstones moved from the catacombs underneath the city. An unusual aspect of the exhibition is the explanation of the contribution of Libyan Jews to Roman life when they were expelled from Tripoli in 1967. A further gallery displays marble fragments from the 16th–19th centuries that record elements of Jewish life, from the purchase of cemetery plots to the wills of wealthy families. The highlight of a visit, however, is undoubtedly the 3D virtual tour through the Jewish Ghetto, in which the old streets and buildings are recreated on screen from ancient prints and paintings.
The ticket price includes a self-guided tour of the Great Synagogue. The Jewish Museum is steps away from the photogenic alleyways, markets and stores of Trastevere and is a popular stopping-off point on walking tours of Jewish Rome.
Lungotevere de’ Cenci, Trastevere, Rome. Open Apr¬–Sept Sun Thur 10am–6pm; Fri 10am–4pm Oct–Mar Sun–Thur 10am–5pm; Fri 9am–2pm. Closed Jewish holidays.
Admission adults €11; students €5; less than 10 go free. Buses nos 8 and 10 run regularly along Lungotevere de’ Cenci.