Great Synagogue of Rome (Tempio Maggiore di Roma)
The first Jews settled in Rome in the second century BC, and the Jewish ghetto was established in the area of Trastevere on the west banks of the River Tiber in the 16th century. Though the ghetto was officially disbanded by King Victor Emmanuel II in 1870, this neighborhood is still the center of Rome’s Jewish community and home to the Great Synagogue of Rome (Tempio Maggiore di Roma), a graceful Art Nouveau structure built in 1904 decorated with floral reliefs and topped with a distinctive square dome. The synagogue is home to both the Great Synagogue and the Spanish Synagogue (Tempio Spagnolo), as well as Rome’s Jewish Museum.
The Great Synagogue is a highlight of the historic Jewish ghetto, one of the most storied and fascinating neighborhoods in the city. Join a Jewish ghetto and Trastevere walking or bike tour to visit the synagogue and Jewish Museum, as well as the charming backstreets, markets, and restaurants of the surrounding area.
Things to know before you go
- The synagogue can only be accessed through the Jewish Museum, and must be visited as part of a guided tour offered by the museum.
- Great Synagogue of Rome and Jewish ghetto tours require a significant amount of walking, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and a sun hat.
- The synagogue complex is accessible to wheelchair users.
- Photography is not allowed inside the synagogue and museum.
- A Great Synagogue of Rome tour is especially fascinating for those interested in Jewish history.
How to get there
The Great Synagogue complex is located on Lungotevere de' Cenci, just across the Tiber River from Rome’s historic center. Take bus 40 from the Termini train station or walk across Ponte Garibaldi.
When to get there
The synagogue complex is closed on Jewish holidays, so be sure to check the calendar before planning a visit.
The Jewish Museum of Rome
Located in the lower level of the synagogue complex, the Jewish Museum of Rome (Museo Ebraico di Roma) displays precious textiles, manuscripts, and silver, as well as a section dedicated to the Nazi occupation of Rome and tombstones moved from the catacombs beneath the city. The highlight is the 3D virtual tour through the Jewish ghetto, which re-creates the original streets and buildings as they were in the 1700s.
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- Jewish Museum of Rome (Museo Ebraico di Roma)
- Portico of Octavia (Portico di Ottavia)
- Tiber Island (Isola Tiberina)
- Rome Jewish Ghetto (Ghetto Ebraico di Roma)
- Theater of Marcellus (Teatro di Marcello)
- St. Nicholas Basilica in Carcere (Basilica San Nicola)
- Turtle Fountain (Fontana delle Tartarughe)
- Catacombs of Rome (Catacombe di Roma)
- Capitoline Hill and Museums (Campidoglio e Musei Capitolini)
- Forum Boarium (Foro Boario)
- Piazza del Campidoglio
- Church of the Gesù (Chiesa del Gesù)
- San Carlo ai Catinari Church (Chiesa di San Carlo ai Catinari)
- Largo di Torre Argentina
- Vittoriano Museum Complex (Complesso del Museo Vittoriano)