Rome’s Jewish Ghetto; Where Tumbling Ruins meet Gourmet Restaurants


Portico di Ottavia stands in the center of the Jewish Ghetto

Along the Via del Portico d’Ottavia next to the ancient ruins of the Portico di Ottavia (built by Augustus for his sister Octavia) are a line of kosher Jewish restaurants that take their authenticity very seriously. The religious tradition requires the use of fresh, organic ingredients. Recipes from 300 years of Jewish occupation in the ghetto, which began in 1555, have been passed down through the nonnas (grandmothers) from generation to generation.

Below is a list of some of the Roman Jewish Ghetto’s very best. Take advantage of the outdoor seating and soak up the view of ancient monuments while you enjoy a rare treat and slice of Rome’s history.

Nonna Betta is a kosher restaurant owned by local Jewish Roman, Umberto, and his partner Gamil. Between them they produce the traditional dishes passed down from his grandmother Betta which include ingredients such as artichokes, chopped fried cod, zucchini flowers, meatballs with celery, and salt cod with onion. Tantalizing dishes such as Tortino di aliciotti e Invidia (endive and anchovies pie) or Tagliere di formaggi ai miele aromatici (mix of cheese with aromatic honey), and hearty Spaghetti all’ Amatrician with dried beef or cod with tomatoes and onions grace the menu. The restaurant offers a second menu of Middle Eastern specialties, inspired by Gamil.

Ba” Ghetto has two menus, one for dairy, which serves pizza, and the other for meat which specializes in Libyan dishes. They offer a fine wine selection of Israeli and Italian wines.

Il Boccione is Rome’s legendary kosher bakery which offers Jewish classics like cinnamon-almond biscotti, ricotta cake, and the famous pizza ebraica. Be sure to try this sweet “Jewish pizza” and savor the rich nutty taste of almonds, raisins and candied fruits. Via del Porto d’Ottavia 1, 00186


Kosher Jewish Restaurants on Via Portico d’Ottavia



Crispy Jewish-style artichoke and tender battered pumpkin flowers



There is so much to see and learn about the Jewish Ghetto, from the delicious kosher delicatessans to the superb restaurants. Old ruins remain among the Great Synogogue that sits majestically on the Tiber River. If you would like to see the Jewish Ghetto up close and personal, I recommend an expert Rome tour guide to unravel the centuries of history for you. Select Italy is my tour group of choice. Contact them for more information by clicking here.

Categories: History

23 replies

  1. Wonderful tour this Susan. I’ve never been to Rome believe it or not, but I love the sound of areas like this Jewish Ghetto, which seem more intimate and traditional. And oh that food..,tumbling ruins and restaurants? What could be more perfect? Lovely, vibrant post and one to add to the top of the ‘must visit’ list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice to be virtually riding through the Jewish ghetto and nonna betta, Susan. And you are looking as great as you were when I last dropped in here. Ciao…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve not yet visited Rome, but this is a neighbourhood I’d like to visit. Thanks for writing about this, Susan 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My favourite district of Rome.


  5. Susan, you find some of the most wonderful places. You just need to leave the beaten track hey.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh Susan you keep putting a longing in my heart to return…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for this! I’m taking a small group there in a few weeks and we have a tour of the Ghetto lined up. I can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

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