Monday, May 14, 2012


Trastevere is the old working class people's section of Rome.  It's the Asheville of Rome without the "nude transvestite nun" on the unicycle. It is also the former home to the Jewish Ghetto.

Portico d'Ottavia

"This monumental gateway with columns supporting a triangular pediment was built by soon-to-be emperor Augustus. Once flanked by temples and libraries, the passageway served as a kind of cultural center. After Rome's fall, the portico housed a thriving fish market. In the eighth century, the Portico became incorporated into the Church of Sant'Angelo in Pescheria. For centuries, this Christian church was packed every Saturday with Jews — forced by decree to listen to Christian sermons."

Largo 16 Ottobre 1943

"This square is named for the day when Nazi trucks parked here and threatened to take the Jews to concentration camps unless the community came up with 110 pounds of gold in 24 hours. Everyone, including non-Jewish Romans, tossed in their precious gold, and the demand was met. The Nazis took the gold, and later, they took the Jews as well."

Synagogue (Sinagoga) and Jewish Museum (Museo Ebraico)
"In the 16th century, when Pope Paul IV forced the Jews to reside within a walled ghetto, the center of its four-square-block area was this synagogue. When Italy became unified in 1870, the ghetto was essentially demolished, replaced with the modern blocks you see today."

Santa Maria della Pietà (a.k.a. San Gregorio)

"When the ghetto was a walled-in town, Catholics built churches at each gate to try and spread their faith to the Jews. Notice the Hebrew script under the crucifix. It quotes the Jewish prophet Isaiah — "All day long, I have stretched out my hands to a disobedient and faithless nation that has lost its way" (Isaiah 65:2) — but misuses the quote to give it an anti-Semitic twist."

Carol and I are at a quiet restorante when a Calabresi flash mob of about forty people shows up and raises the noise level to 88 decibels.

Before the the mob arrived is just CP and I and two young novitiate priests who were seated right next to us of course.

Altar of "Basilica Di Santa Cecilia In Trastevere."

Occupy Rome:
When the light turns red we run out and wave our signs!


Ben said...

I'm amazed that I have corrected you on both the spelling and pronunciatino of "Trastevere" at least twenty times in the last 24 hours.

And yet you STILL managed to misspell it.


Babba-Gi said...

Well at least I got my cut-n-paste quotes right. I'm not responsible for spelling after a 10-K hike around Rome. I think Im saying it correctly now.