Old ladies and men sit and chat on the benches outside in the street, Jewish children run around and play in the square only interrupted when they pay a quick visit to one of the many cafes, where they obviously know everyone.
It is no secret that we are in a very special neighborhood of Rome. Here everyone is familiar with everyone, and the Jewish culture is very present all over with Israeli flags, young and elder men wearing the Jewish skull cap, memorials from World War II, the beautiful synagogue and of course all the kosher restaurants and shops.
The Jewish Ghetto is charming and authentic with its many narrow streets and beautiful squares. Shopping opportunities are limited, but you can find several restaurants, where both food and surroundings are great.
Between the ghetto and Trastevere lies the hospital island, Isola Tiberina, where you can enjoy the sun during spring, leaned back against the wall down by the Tiber. The island holds a very special place in my heart, since my daughter was born here 18 months ago :-)
Below are some of my favorites spots in the Ghetto. Remember to also read about Sora Margherita, which you will in a separate post here on the blog. More places to come in separate posts.
Antico forno del ghetto
Rome has so many great bakeries, in Italian called "forno". One of them is in the Jewish ghetto and is called Antico Forno del Ghetto. This is where you should go, if you are just hungry enough to eat something delicious but not enough to sit down at a restaurant.
At Antico forno you can buy a slice of white pizza or other kinds of homemade pizza, which seem to be just a little more light than the ordinary things in Rome and which taste great. Enjoy it while you walk around the charming neighbourhood, or cross the river and pay a visit to the lovely Isola Tiberina.
At Antico forno you can also buy lots of homemade cookies and cakes. Everything is very delicious. Since we are in the middle of the Jewish ghetto you can of course also buy kosher bread in here, and the place also sells groceries and beverages. Be aware that you may have to wait a bit before being served. This is a good sign. There is a reason why people line up in the piazza in front of the shop!
Piazza Costaguti 31. T. +39 06 68803012
Il Museo del Louvre
Wunderkammer - cabinet of curiosities. This is the word, Il Museo del Louvre uses to describe themselves and it certainly fits very well. In spite of the name of the place this is actually not a museum, but a wonderful little store filled with antique photographs, books, old art catalogues, paintings and much more. Giuseppe Casetti is the man behind the place, which opened in the ghetto in 1995. Il Museo del Louvre is divided into two small stores lying next to each other in Via della Reginella 26 and 28. One store is mainly dedicated to antique books and art works, while the other store is dedicated exclusively to photographs - more than 30.000 of them, and almost all old vintage prints. Besides selling antique art works and photographs the place also organizes and hosts small exhibitions. Stop by! It's absolutely fabulous.
Via della Reginella 26+28. T. +39 06 68807725 www.ilmuseodellouvre.com
La Dolce Roma
Unlike most places in the ghetto, La Dolce Roma is not kosher, so the cakes are made with traditional ingredients like eggs and milk. La Dolce Roma is made up of a tiny room, where you can buy lots of Austrian cakes, such as the classic Sacher cake, cheesecake, yoghurt cake, carrot cake, muffins, brownies, cookies and much more. The place also sells delicious bread, especially whole grain and bagels. You can enjoy your cake at the tables outside, or you can take it with you. The price does not go up, if you choose to sit at the tables, in fact, prices are very reasonable. 100 grams of cake, which corresponds to a small piece, costs 3 euros.
Via del Portico d'Ottavia 20/B. T. +39 06 6892196 www.ladolceroma.com
La Taverna degli Amici
La Taverna degli Amici is especially popular during summer because of its stunning location. The restaurant is located on the beautiful Piazza Margana in a quiet and very romantic setting. The food here is top quality, and the menu includes both traditional Roman cuisine as well as more modern things. The place has a lot of fish dishes, and at the end of a great meal you can enjoy one of the restaurants homemade desserts. Finally, the wine list has a selection of some of the best Italian wines. This is the place, if you're looking for a quiet evening in the company of good wine, beautiful surroundings and great food. Remember to ask for a table outside.
Piazza Margana 37. T. +39 06 69920637 www.latavernadegliamici.net
Do you want more from Rome? I have just published My Sweet Rome - a travel guide to the local Rome in English. The guide is available as a book and ebook. You can have a preview and order your copy right HERE. Both are also available in Danish.