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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.
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.
The 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