The Ghetto Reveals Rome






Luca Fiorentino, The Ghetto Reveals Rome, Gangemi editore, 2005

Luca Fiorentino
Luca Fiorentino is an engineer, specialized in building consolidation, preservation and urban planning. He has been the promoter of various projects related to Jewish Culture, of the re-launching of the Jewish Cultural Heritage in the early 1980’s, and in 1999-2000, of the financing and restoration of the Jewish Community Museum and of the building complex of S. Bartolomeo at the Tiberina Island and of the Torre de’ Caetani. He was the consultant on Subsoil Technology of the former Mayor of Rome, Rutelli, and one of the planners and designers of the restoration projects carried out in the Roman Ghetto on behalf of the Lazio Region. He was the co-author of Guida all’Italia Ebraica (Guide to the Jewish Italy) and author of L’ebreo senza qualità (A Jew without qualities).He also co-authored Il recupero del Ghetto (The restoration of the Ghetto) and L’arte ebraica a Roma e nel Lazio ( Jewish Art in Rome and Lazio).

Benjamin walked down from the Capitoline Hill towards the Circus Flaminius in order to reach the other Jews on the banks of the Tiber river at the Tiberina Island. They, who had been Roman Jews for more than a century, would welcome the Jewish slaves brought to Rome because of the victory of Titus.

The Rabbi of the Scòla Catalana was witnessing the demolition of the Ghetto, where he was born, and the rapid changes occurring in that part of the city, until the construction of the new Synagogue and of the new Umbertine buildings.

His great grandson, Gabriele, is now gazing at the restoration works that are being carried out. His eyes are lost in the ancient masonry and the monuments that are being unearthed. They are from the more than three centuries of constraint and they rest on ancient structures, those which two thousand years ago surrounded the Circus Flaminius. What you can see, what you can think and how you can follow the path of memory between reason and fantasy.

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