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It was with the papal bull “Cum nimis absurdum” that Paul IV in 1555 founded what was to become one of the oldest and finest “ghettoes” in the world.
And within those tiny Roman alley ways winding their way around the Church of Santa Maria del Pianto, the ruins of the Portico d’Ottavia and the banks of the River Tiber near Isola Tiburina, that the Jews were relegated to live.
It was here also that, over the centuries, they built up an important part of Rome’s tradition. Visitors to the ghetto cannot fail to be astounded by the magnificence of the Synagogue, the splendour of the Jewish Museum and the delicious aromas wafting from the traditional trattorias of this historic district, where typical Roman dishes may be savoured.
And just nearby a visit to the small ancient Church of San Gregorio della Divina Pietà is well worth a visit. Better known as San Gregorio al Ponte Quattro Capi, it was celebrated because of the sermons Jews were compelled to attend during the Pontifical reign.