Apartments in Rome
MUSIC: Hevenu Shalom Alehem -
Wishing you good life and peace
(Jewish traditional song)

Rome Jewish shops and restaurants,
the Libyan Jews in Rome

Roman Jews have a very full community life. As soon as you step inside the quarter in Via Portico d'Ottavia, you immediately realize that you are not just about to visit a few monuments, but rather that you are undergoing an experience. There is a vast array of cultural activities and religious celebrations at any time. You find a variety of shops, cafes and restaurants, suiting all tastes and all wallets. Reviews (like Shalom) report the community events, and they are a reference for all. Hospitals (in the Tiberina Island) take care of the ill. Schools, of all levels, are responsible of the upbringing of the youth. Bookshops, Judaica shops, clothing shops, jewellers, and even electrical appliances shops complete the picture.
In addition, and completing the community life and culture, in Rome you also find the very interesting Libyan Jewish community. They were the last Jews to flee the pogroms in Libya (the remaining moved to Israel).


"THE TURTLES' DREAM": wonderful four bedroom three bathrooms, amazing sitting room, separate large dining room / kitchen, terrace in historical palace facing the Turtle Fountain. Elevator. New! Highly recommended.

"BOTTICELLI": elegant 2 double bedroom, sitting room, dining room 2 bathroom apt., with patio and fireplace (4-5 persons). Mid-week cleaning and change of linen-towels. Elevator.

"CARAVAGGIO", a large, fine and quaint studio, with separate kitchen, bathroom, foyer (2 persons).

"MARCO POLO", a one bedroom, sitting room attic with large roof garden with spectacular views of all Rome (2-3 persons). Elevator.

"ROMAN VISTA": elegant 3 bedroom 3 bathroom apartment, with sitting room and separate dining room, with panoramic views of old Rome, in an elegant historical palace facing the famous Tortoise fountain. Daily cleaning (4-8 persons). Elevator.

"ROME DOMES": fine 2 bedroom 2 bathroom attic, with sitting room, dining room, large open plan kitchen, 2 utmost panoramic terraces with views of Rome's domes, in an elegant historical palace facing the famous Tortoise fountain. Daily cleaning (4-5 persons). Elevator.

"TORTOISES": Finest 3 bedroom 3 bathroom apartment with sitting room, dining room, large terrace with views, in an elegant historical palace facing the famous Tortoise fountain. Excellent fittings and equipment. Daily cleaning. (3-6 persons). Elevator.

Shops, restaurants in the "Ghetto"

Rome Jewish ghetto Il Boccione confectionery shop

Rome's best kept secret lies in a tiny unmarked corner of Via Portico d'Ottavia. It's the Jewish confectionery (Pasticceria Ebraica "Il Boccione", address: Via del Portico d'Ottavia 1), a whole-in-the-wall with an all-female austere personnel.
Specialities include Torte di ricotta e visciole (ricotta and sour black cherries); Pizza Ebraica (Jewish Pizza, irresistible sweet crunchy little cakes with raisins, candied fruit and almonds); Mezzaluna ("Half Moon", glazed cakes with marzipan and candied fruit, unfortunately prepared only once a year at Yom Kippur - the Atonement Day), and finally Torta di Mandorle (almond tart).

(Left): A customer comes out the confectionery, with bags loaded with pastries

Probably the expression "to sell like hot cakes" was invented here... the little shop in fact is always packed. Rome's gluttons, mothers bringing pastries back home... every one has a good reason to leave loaded with sweets.

As if it were a magical horn of plenty, the ladies prepare 1000s upon 1000s incredibly delicious state-of-the-art pastries, which are sold nearly instantly. How they accomplish to do it in the little kitchen in the back is a mystery.

JRight: Jewish confectionery (Pasticceria Ebraica) "Il Boccione"



Other household shops of the quarter include Kosher groceries, the bookshop Menorah, and Judaica, a shop of all things Jewish. Finally in the quarter you find many renowned jewellers, of which the most renowned is Astrologo.

Rome Jewish ghetto kosher grocery

Kosher grocery shop

Rome Jewish ghetto bookshop Menorah

The bookshop "Menorah", in Via del Tempio n. 2 (Tel. 066879297). It is a reference site and a meeting point of Roman Jews, as the friendly assistants suggest Jewish books, music and movies, stimulating debates and memories.

Jewish restaurants

Jewish restaurants can be found not only in the Ghetto, and they also prepare Oriental Jewish specialities.

The two most popular restaurants in the Ghetto are:

- GIGGETTO, in Via Portico d'Ottavia 21/a, tel. +39 066861105.

- PIPERNO, in Via Monte Cenci 9, (tel. +39 0668806629.

Both restaurants prepare typical Roman Jewish cuisine, which thus preserved the traditional popular Roman cuisine. Only in the Jewish quarter practically you are thus able to find and taste the old Roman cuisine, which disappeared elsewhere, and from the table of contemporary Romans. The most renowned dish is Carciofi alla Giudia, Jewish fried artichokes.

Rome Jewish ghetto Gigetto restaurant


Outside the Jewish quarter, we recommend:

(son), address: Via Brescia 23, near the Porta Pia (beginning of Via Nomentana), tel. (+39) 0697612215, and also ALFONSO 2 (father), Via Galla e Sidama 9b, tel. (+39) 0686200184.

Rather than a restaurant, it is a treasure trove of Oriental Mediterranean cuisine, especially Jewish. Active since the 60s, it was the first Libyan Jewish restaurant in Rome. The owners Alfonso and his son Rami are most friendly, they cook as if you were invited at their own home. They do justice to the Libyan Jewish cuisine, but above all to the tradition of hospitality of the Libyan Jews.
Father and son are craftsmen, nearly artists, rather than mere chefs. On purpose, they are closed at lunch-time, and they only prepare a set number of meals every night, because as mentioned they have a special commitment to prepare recipes and courses for their clients as if they were personal guests.

Rome Jewish restaurant Alfonso

Rami entertains his clients.
Notice the large photo of Tripoli on the wall

Rome Jewish restaurant Alfonso interior

The restaurant interior contributes to the ambience. Simple yet elegant, it is endowed with hand-made tiles, oriental lamps and decorations. As soon as you pass the door, you feel as you magically stepped in old Tripoli. The amiable welcome of Rami, who speaks Italian and English, will remind you that you are in one of Rome's finest quarters.

The speciality is Cous-Cous in all its variants (especially with grouper fish, called Hraimi, which is prepared on Tuesdays), beans with cumin, Turshi (dressed pumpkin), dressed zucchini, and sweets (Garbelluz).

Prices are very reasonable, especially in the light of the quality and quantity of the food (appr. 25 Euro per person). Closed on Sundays.

(Left): Happy guests: notice the many courses, all included in the price

- If you like instead Middle-Eastern and Israeli cookery, you shoud try ORIENTAL FOOD in Via Livorno 10 (near Piazza Bologna), tel. (+39) 064404840.
The restaurant owner, an Israeli of Libyan origin, prepares an ample selection of dishes.

- The restaurant LABI, run by Mrs. Labi, a Libyan Jew, prepares also take away, Shabbat meals, and Glatt Kosher meals (on request). It is situated in Via Imperia n. 2 (near Piazza Bologna), tel. (+39) 0644230332.

Libyan Jews in Rome - The Jewish area of Piazza Bologna

The only real change after WW2 in the Roman Jewish community was the settlement in 1967 of 3,000 Libyan Jews, thus Sephardi or Oriental Jews. They were the last Jews forced to leave Libya after the pogroms of 1945, 1948 and finally of 1967. The remaining 30,000, usually the less well-off, found refuge in Israel. The Libyan Jews lost their homes, businesses and possessions (many also lost their lives).
Rome Piazza Bologna Post Office


Luxury kosher apartment: 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 3 sitting rooms, 2 kitchens, barbecue area, garden, swimming pool and hamam! Kosher breakfast included in the price!


The imposing post office of Piazza Bologna is the reference point of the quarter.

Notably, the Libyan Jews live usually in a different quarter, around Piazza Bologna, as its elegant buildings and the layout somewhat resemble those of old Tripoli's centre, as most come from Libya's capital (nowadays Tripoli was transformed by the Libyan regime into a pompous capital, with modern structures completely out of context and with no charm). The Libyan Jews also follow their own rite, and they have two synagogues, the most important is the Beth El, in Via Padova n. 92 (tel. +39 0644242857). An authorization is required to enter, for security reasons.

Initially the Roman Jews, who are creatures of habit, used to their traditions, and somewhat conventional, felt uneasy interacting with the refugees, and treated them condescendingly. Yet the Libyan Jews ardently follow the same religion, they are also hard working, creative professionals. Moreover, they are dynamic and imaginative in their social interactions, and increasingly cultured. They were able to better their social status within a generation. The two communities finally went along together, with many mixed marriages. Ultimately the Roman Jewish community gained new energy, and new life.

Visit also:

The Jewish quarter, istory and traditions of the Roman Jews

Rome Jewish ghetto

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