This aluminum-roof synagogue has been the city's largest Jewish temple and a Roman landmark since its 1904 construction. At the back the Jewish Museum, with its precious ritual objects and other exhibits, documents the uninterrupted presence of a Jewish community for nearly 22 centuries. Until the 13th century the Jews were esteemed citizens of Rome. Among them were the bankers and physicians to the popes, who had themselves given permission for the construction of synagogues.
But later, popes of the Counter-Reformation revoked this tolerance, confining the Jews to the Ghetto and imposing a series of restrictions, some of which were enforced as late as 1870. For security reasons, guided visits are mandatory; entrance to the synagogue is through the museum located in Via Catalana (Largo 16 Ottobre 1943).