Thursday, September 24, 2009
Yesterday was a great farewell to Rome.. After viewing the mosaics and beauty of Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, we headed off to spend the day visiting the Jewish Ghetto, the synagogue and Jewish museum and then spending three hours with a guide who is working on her doctorate in art history. After spending so many hours in Rome's beautiful churches, I admit to feeling a bit of relief getting back to my own roots.
The bad news is of course, the persecution.. dating back some 2,000 years, when Jews were slaves, forced to build some of the glories in Rome.. knowing that when we were dining in fabulous Piazza Navona, that Jews used to be raced down the center and stoned for entertainment's sake.. that the Jews, among others, endured the Inquisition and lost their lives in the Campo di Fiori- the Camp of Flowers.. the Jewish Ghetto, where some 12,000 Jews lived in an area about the same size as the inside of St. Peter's... And the markers of exactly where Jews were seized to be sent off to Nazi Concentration camps.. Indeed I found myself murmuring the Mourner's Kadish throughout Rome..
The sweet side is that what was once the Jewish ghetto is now the Jewish
quarter, with kosher restaurants, shops and schools.. and an area that is enjoyed by Jews and non-Jews alike.. hearing that through the worst of the Holocaust Romans tried to hide Jews and came to their defense...and now today celebrate the community as a special part of itself..
It was a meaningful juxtaposition to a rather amazing week...
And then today.. hoping onto the Eurostar and traveling to Venice in but a few short hours.. Then catching a Vaparetto (water bus) and of couse getting lost, because how can where we are staying possibly be down this teenie weenie alley.. and yet, it was and is.. and is charming in a building that is hundreds of years old.. with exposed beams and tiled floors.. and with one bathroom the size of a shower stall and in that bathroom is a toilet, sink, washing machine and a shower head.. mind you without a shower, just the head stuck in the wall of the bathroom..
We aren't exactly sure how everything works, but oddly we are more comfortable here then we were at the modern apartment that was tres cool.
Here's the link ...
Many more experiences to come..