Inscriptions and carvings from the old Cinque Scole - where Catalonian, Aragonese and Sicilian Jews traditionally worshipped with Roman Jews in the Ghetto - line the entrance passage to this fascinating museum, which details the history of the city's Jewish community. The recently extended and refurbished display is housed beneath the magnificent neo-Assyrian, neo-Greek Great Synagogue inaugurated in 1904.
As well as luxurious crowns, Torah mantles and silverware, this museum presents vivid reminders of the persecution suffered by Rome's Jews at various times through history. Copies of the 16th-century papal edicts that banned Jews from a progressively longer list of activities are a disturbing foretaste of the horrors forced on them by the Fascists and Nazis; the Nazi atrocities are in turn represented by stark photographs and heart-rending relics from the concentration camps, as well as film footage from the post-war period.
There are also displays on the ancient Roman synagogue excavated at Ostia in 1964, as well as Jewish items from the city's catacombs. Admission to the museum includes guided tours of the synagogue in English and Italian. Services are held daily.