Freedom is the key!
Our open-top panoramic buses allow you to enjoy a spectacular view of the most iconic monuments of the Eternal City.
All you have to do is jump on board and relax, listen to the audio commentary and get on and off at any of the eight stops available along the route.
The bus ticket included in the deal will be valid for 24 hours. The bus will make eight stops and will provide you with an on-board audio commentary in 13 languages.
The combination with one of the four available walking tours (description below) we offer makes it the ideal way to unveil much of the city centre in a day.
Gray Line I Love Rome designed each tour to let you step in some wonderful and frequently hidden areas of the city. A professional guide will be waiting for you at the meeting point, which will be located next to the indicated stop of our pink buses, to show you some stunning corners of the city. Ask our onboard staff about the other walking tours available and let us guide you into the heart of the Eternal City in a magical combined way!
What do you say? Shall we hop on?
The Ghetto: a walk through the Jewish Roman Heritage
When you think of Rome's history and its great empire, you can't help but think that this wonderful city is the epitome of history itself. But Rome is great and generous even within itself.
Of the old homes where thousands of Jews were isolated for centuries, almost nothing remains today. However, as you walk through the alleys of the ghetto, full of monuments, buildings, streets and in the eyes of some of the descendants of those who lived here in the past, you will find that inheritance still lives within them today.
Walk with our guide through the alleys of the Ghetto and discover traces of Imperial Rome such as the Theatre of Marcellus or Portico of Octavia. We will retrace the history of the Jewish people in the city of Rome, from ancient to modern times, without ever forgetting the victims of the Holocaust, of which the "stumbling stones" (concrete cubes bearing a brass plate) fixed into the floor are a tangible testimony.
You will also have the chance to discover the typical recipes of traditional Jewish-Roman cuisine, such as delicious artichokes “alla giudia”, or the tart with ricotta cheese and sour cherries. During this wonderful walk, you will admire the 19th century synagogue and end your visit with the sound of the water of the Renaissance turtle fountain in Piazza Mattei.
Thanks to your guided walking tour itinerary and to your guide, you will be able to discover the Jewish Ghetto in combination to a 24-hour ticket to the Hop on Hop off Bus!
1. Teatro Marcello:
It is a small theatre commissioned by Emperor Augustus which, due to its similarity to the majestic Colosseum, but because of its considerably smaller size and semicircular structure, is called the "Small Colosseum".
2. Portico d’Ottavia:
Only the monumental entrances are preserved. This monument has contributed to creating one of the most evocative views of the ghetto and of Rome itself.
The thousand-year history of this monument begins with the dedication of a previous portico by Augustus to his sister Octavia, in order to bind it, together with the Theatre of Marcellus, to the memory of his gens (a group of families who identified themselves with a common ancestor and practised common cults). In the Middle Ages, the area was used as a fish market and retained this function until 1880. The strong relationship with the ghetto brought to one of the typical dishes of traditional Jewish-Roman cuisine: fish broth.
3. Synagogue (exteriors):
This is the religious heart of Rome's Jewish community. It was inaugurated in 1904, following the transformation of the entire district. After the unification of Italy, the ghetto was abolished and underwent a complete reconstruction. The original place of worship, the building known as the 'cinque scole', was replaced by the present 'Tempio Maggiore'. The monumental building is inspired by the Assyrian-Babylonian style with Egyptian and Moorish elements, recalling the history and wanderings of the Jewish people.
The synagogue is also home to the beautiful Museum of the Jewish Community, where precious objects related to the Jewish liturgy are displayed, together with textiles and silverware used to decorate the ancient synagogues.
4. Via del Portico d' Ottavia:
Today it is considered the main street of the district, a reference point and meeting place for the Jewish community of Rome, which counts about 16,000 people. Although only a small part of the community lives within the former ghetto, the area has a strong appeal to many. This is where the most famous restaurants and ghetto shops open, where you can enjoy traditional Jewish-Roman dishes and sweets.
5. Piazza Mattei:
You can admire a small glimpse of the Renaissance period in this unique square, dominated by the exquisite Turtle Fountain, made famous by Bernini's contribution.
6. Turtle Fountain:
This jewel was built towards the end of the 16th century, due to a challenge. Duke Mattei ordered the creation of this marvellous fountain in a single day, having it built in front of the windows of his beloved's father as a demonstration of his own importance. The turtles were designed and placed by Bernini in 1658.
7. Palazzo Manili:
Even today it is still possible to come across buildings that preserve the identity of the past, such as the house of Lorenzo Manili. This building was restored in the middle of the Renaissance period, in 1468 to be exact, by a wealthy citizen who wanted to celebrate as the ancient Romans and applied a long commemorative inscription in Latin, which is still visible, decorating the exteriors with archaeological finds.
8. Piazza delle Cinque Scole:
The name of this square comes from the presence of five religious buildings in the past: the Scola Nova, the Scola Siciliana, the Scola Castigliana, the Scola del Tempio and the Scola Catalana. At its centre, there is the 'Fontana del Pianto', shaped in the mid-sixteenth century. Although one might think that the name is linked to the painful history of the Jewish people of Rome, it is actually connected to the Church of "Santa Maria del Pianto".
9. Piazza dei Cenci:
From this square you can see the back of the imposing building complex that became the property and residence of the Cenci family and where Beatrice Cenci is believed to have lived. For the Romans, Beatrice was a young and attractive noblewoman who suffered the abuse and violence of a despotic father. The girl was accused, together with her brothers and stepmother, of witchcraft and murder of her father. She was sentenced to death by Pope Clement VIII and beheaded at Ponte Sant'Angelo in 1599. Much of the medieval palace has been demolished and the present building dates back to 1570.
10. Ponte Fabricio:
This bridge was built in 62BC by the "curator viarum" Lucius Fabricius. It connects the left bank of the Tiber, where the Sant'Angelo district is located, to the heart of the Jewish community and also to Tiber Island. To end this wonderful tour with a wonderful view!
And if you're now extremely famished at the end of your tour, we would love to recommend to you the fantastic Jewish cuisine, also referred to as 'Kosher Cuisine'. It is a cuisine full of tempting dishes, such as fish broth or artichokes “alla giudia”, many delicious desserts such as tortolicchi and/or nocchiata, which you will find everywhere in the many bakeries and restaurants of the ghetto. Definitely worth a stroll!
We look forward to seeing you on this unmissable tour dedicated to this fundamental community of the city!
Please keep in mind the timeslot you select at booking corresponds to the start time of the Jewish Ghetto walking tour, which operates on Saturday and Sunday only, at 9:00AM, 11:00AM, 5:00PM and 7:00PM.
The Hop on Hop off bus operates everyday from 8:30AM to 8:30PM (First bus from Largo Peretti, Last bus 6:50PM from Termini). Buses depart every 15/20 minutes from Termini Station (Stop 1).
The Meeting Point for the Jewish Ghetto of Rome walking tour is at Stop n.5 of the Hop on Hop off operated by Gray Line - I Love Rome City Tour, in Via del Teatro di Marcello in front of Antico Caffè del Teatro Marcello.
Please be there at least 15 minutes before the tour starts.
Gray Line I Love Rome Visitors Centre
Termini Station (Piazza dei Cinquecento in the middle of the square)
Gray Line - I Love Rome office:
via Leone IV, 33
0039 06 474 2501 (6:30 AM – 8:00 PM 365 days)
0039 348 8112027 (Whatsapp only)