The Ghetto is one of my favourite areas in the city - it is a touristy but retains its neighbourhood feeling. Once a walled in area where the gates were closed at sunset and opened again at sunrise it is now a quartiere where things are constantly happening. And as the brochure for the Museum in the Great Synagogue says: We've been here 3000 years - have we got stories!
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My normal walk takes me from Largo Argentino - where Julius Cesar was assassinated - through Piazza Mattei to Portico d'Ottavia by way of Via dell Reginella passed San Grigorio and across the Ponte Fabricio - built in 62 BC and still used today - over the Isola Tiberina and across the younger - 1 BC - Ponte Cestio and on to Trastevere.
|The Fontana delle Tartarughe stands in the Piazza Mattei at what was once one of the gates to the Ghetto. It was recently restored and a water purification system installed - the high calcium content of the water that flows through the fountains of the city means that unless work is being constantly done marble becomes stained and drains clogged.|
|After Pope Paul IV herded Roman Jews into the Ghetto in 1555 San Grigorio a Ponte Quattro became the focus of some of the draconian laws that governed life in the Ghetto. Jews were forced to attend mass and listen to hectoring sermons expounding the errors of their ways on their Sabbath - its location just outside one of the main gates to the enclave made it the perfect location for these attempts at forced conversion.|
|San Bartolomeo all'Isola sits at one end of Isola Tiberina in the middle of the Tiber, a hospital at the other. The site of a temple to Aesculapius with a sacred snake from Epidarus the Isola has been a "hospital" island since ancient Roman times.|
|The lights of Trastevere beckoning across the Tiber from the Ponte Cestio and by this time the river level had fallen considerably.|
|This laurel wreath had been hanging at a memorial to the deportation of the Roman Jews in Largo 16 Ottobre 1943 for a year or more - finally someone saw fit to take it down.|
09 febbraio - San Niceforo di Antiochia