Visiting Rome with a Jewish tour guide

St. Peters Basilica Jewish Vatican tour

Rome’s Jewish history stretches back much further than people think, predating even the time of Julius Caesar over 2,000 years ago. My family, of Orthodox Sephardic origin, have been here for  just over a quarter of that time: the last 500 years. Not so long in the grand scheme of Rome’s history, but certainly long enough to lay down roots.

My ancestors have lived through every experience imaginable in this city. Persecution under the Catholic Church, confinement to the Jewish Ghetto, even the recent horrors of the Nazi Occupation and the rastrallamento (“liquidation”) of Rome’s Jewish population. We have lived also through times of reconciliation, like when Pope John Paul came to pray beside us at the Great Synagogue. Now over 30 years ago, in 1986.

As a Jewish tour guide in Rome, I’ve made it my life’s work to study every angle of this incredible city and present it in a unique way from a Jewish perspective. This goes much deeper than my studies at the Rome Yeshiva, to include extensive research and publications alongside other scholars and archaeologists.

I have recently contributed a chapter for publication on the Secrets of the Menorah and am a guest lecturer at the University of Miami and the American University in Rome. But as a Jewish tour guide in Rome, my heart really lies here “in the field”, in the Eternal City, where I can render their Roman experience as unique as it is unforgettable.

Visiting the Jewish Ghetto with me means exploring the historic area with a fully-integrated member of the Jewish community. It means meeting members of the Shul, hearing the stories and first-hand anecdotes of everywhere life in this most sought-after area in the city, and going behind the scenes to find out the secrets of the Ghetto and its Synagogue that most visitors in Rome would never stop to consider

Visiting the Vatican with me means getting an all-new Jewish angle on what is generally considered the heart of the Christian world. It means stepping straight inside the Vatican Museums, skipping all the lines, to explore lesser-known treasures like the Jewish Lapidarium (which contains the city’s earliest Jewish inscriptions). As well as such must-see, awe-inspiring attractions like Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and Pietà (themselves pregnant with Jewish symbolism).

Then there’s ancient Rome, the most famous pagan empire of antiquity, through whose history Judaism runs like a narrative thread. Exploring the Colosseum, Arch of Titus and Roman Forum with me will transport you back over two millennia, on a journey in which you’ll discover the incredible stories that bind these monuments together.

Really getting to know somewhere is a multisensory experience. As well as sights, you also want to be taking in smells and tastes. Rome is especially rewarding for this, especially for its Jewish visitors. Kosher cuisine is ubiquitous, though none more so than in the Jewish Ghetto. 

As a Jewish tour guide in Rome, I know the owners of all the best kosher restaurants in Rome. This means I can guarantee you’ll be dining only on the very best. If you’d prefer to make your own Roman kosher food from scratch I can even organize some kosher cooking classes. After which you’ll get to dine on what you’ve made enjoying stunning views over Rome.

Working as a Jewish tour guide in Rome is the perfect medium for transmitting the passion I have for my culture and my city. I strive to make my tours intellectually stimulating, culturally significant and above all entertaining for people of all ages. Given that guests have used these exact words to review my tours, I’d hope, at least in part, to have succeeded.

If you’d like to find out more about the tours I offer and what people have had to say about them, you can do so by checking out my TripAdvisor Page or Guestbook. Until then, Shalom – I hope to meet you in Rome soon.

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