The opening of a new glatt kosher hotel in Rome, only a few steps from the lavish Navone Piazza, is just another indication of the growing number of observant Jews who are traveling to this ancient city, rich in archeological sites.
The archeological jewel in the crown is the Arch of Titus relief, depicting the Jewish prisoners carrying the holy menorah from the Second Temple in Jerusalem into exile.
Rome’s Jewish community is one of the oldest in the world. Their presence was first recorded 2,200 years ago when Judah the Maccabean sent representatives to Rome as ambassadors. In 1555 Pope Paulus the IV ordered the Jews to live in a closed area, creating the first ghetto. In 1938 with the legislation of racial laws, The situation of the Jewish community deteriorated. Some 2,000 Italian Jews were murdered in the Holocaust
Rome’s Jewish community today numbers 15,000 people. There are 10 synagogues, the biggest of which is the Great Synagogue of Rome.
The recently opened Migdal Palace Hotel is located on the first floor of an historic apartment building. It is conveniently located and well-equipped for the observant Jewish guest. Hotel owner Giorgio Della Roca has fitted each of the 13 available rooms with air conditioners, satellite television, free internet and private telephones. And the most important thing – a kosher breakfast is included.
Corso Vittorio Emanuelle II. Tel: 6019009886
More modest accommodations for the observant traveler are the Carmel, the Girasole and the Pantheon: Locanda Carmel, 11 Via Mameli. Tel: 065809921
Girasole , 31 Boschetto Tel: 7820281943
Pantheon Bed & Breakfast, 7 Del Seminario Tel: 492099660
In addition to the inns, the Jewish community will also supply the names and addresses of families who are willing to host travelers or even provide a Shabbat meal.
Observant Jewish tourists in Rome will be happy to find that even many non-Jewish Italians enjoy kosher food. They find it tastier, healthier and more hygienic. The result: a number of kosher restaurants, pizzerias and even shops selling kosher food. Some products are imported from Israel and some are locally produced under the supervision of the Italian rabbinical authorities. Italian and Israeli kosher wines are also sold in many shops and it is possible to find them together with other kosher products in the supermarkets.
Most of the restaurants are in the ancient Jewish ghetto near the Great Synagogue. Bread and pastries are also sold at shops in the Jewish quarter and beyond.
Traditional Jewish fare is available. One can sample the cuisine in the Jewish quarter where cuts of beef are displayed in the windows of the kosher shops, sometimes drying in the sun and then prepared as Jewish delicacies. The Jewish residents of the quarter are often willing to invite Jewish tourists to dine with them, or host them for the Sabbath.
The good news is that a number of kosher restaurants have opened throughout the city. The list includes:
La Taverna Del Ghetto, 8 Viaportica Dottavia
Gan Eden, 40 Via Eleonora Dottavia
Oriental Food, 8 Via Livorno
Yesh, 51 Gherardi
Yotvata, 70 Piazza Cenci
Ce Pasta E…Pasta, 29 Via Ettore Rolli
Pizzeria Da Michelle, 31 Via Dell Umilta
Reproduced with permission: Ynet