Old Rome Walking Tour with Esther

This is a guest post by Janny, one of our ambassadors in Shanghai who recently went on a trip to Europe! She went on Esther’s Old Rome Walking Tour and reports back here. 

On the first day of my trip to Rome, I had the chance to meet Esther and explore the oldest area of the city. It was a wonderful experience with not only amazing history but also tasty local food.


The tour starts at Area Sacra, an easy-to-find starting point with many buses and metro stations nearby. It is located in the ancient Campus Martius, which has its origins in the Republican epoch starting from the 4th century BC. Following Esther, we walked through a hidden lane and arrived at the Jewish Quarter, where we found the marvellous Tortoise Fountain in a little square in front of Palazzo Mattei and Palazzo Costaguti.


Rome has Europe’s oldest surviving Jewish community and occupies a unique place in the history of the Diaspora. Jewish life in Rome was not easy – the walls of the ghetto separated Jews from the rest of society. They had no property rights, were only allowed to trade second-hand objects, and could not employ Christian staff. Outside the ghetto they had to wear the ‘Jewish sign’ to be easily recognized: men had to wear a yellow patch on their hats, women wore a yellow hankerchief (usually worn by prostitutes).


After learning about the fascinating history of the Jews in Rome, Esther and I crossed the first stone bridge in the city and arrived on Tiber Island. The Isola Tiberina has always been a mysterious place, shrouded in legend, surrounded by the river and linked inseparably to the origins of Rome. It was supposed to have arisen over an ancient ship, whose shape it still maintains. It’s unusual shape was further accentuated by the Romans, who enhanced the legend by building a stone prow and stern on it, giving it the shape of a warship, with the obelisk in the centre of the island like a ship’s mast!

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At the end of the tour, we arrived at Trastevere. It is a picturesque medieval area located on the west bank of the Tiber. The area escaped the grand developments which changed the face of central Rome, and is a charming place to wander, eat and relax. Esther took me to a wonderful local food place and ordered some fantastic food for me to try. It was the perfect way to end the tour and rest our legs.

Over the course of two hours, we were able to see so many different places that showcase Italy’s rich heritage and culture in a very small corner of an amazing country. I ate where locals dined and travelled how locals travel. It was a huge experience crammed into a short period. I highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see Rome.

3 thoughts on “Old Rome Walking Tour with Esther

  1. Very nice peace of information given here. I like the way blog started and the middle part of urge me to have tour like this. I really impressed with the peace of Information given here. Please guide me how can I perform this kind of tour? and what will be estimated cost of the tour in first week of march this year? I am not a regular or frank tourist so far as a tourist I have only experience of Sunderban So I also need guide during the tour.


  2. Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case


  3. So wonderful! I love the earthy & classic tones in the wedding! I’m so stealing the succulent idea. Attractive bride, handsome hubby & bridal party. Wonderful footage as constantly Tammy!


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