For a long time, Trastevere was the focal point of the Jewish community in Rome. Then, in the Middle Ages, it gradually shifted to the Sant’Angelo District, where the ghetto
was later built.
The building at 14, Vicolo dell’Atleta is commonly identified as the site of the old medieval synagogue
in the Trastevere area. The building has a brick façade with a wide two arched loggia, surmounted by a cornice with small arches resting on ledges. The column of the loggia bears an inscription in Hebrew with the name Nathan Hai. This might refer to the Rabbi Nathan ben Jehiel, who is thought to have had a mikveh
or ritual bath and a synagogue built in Trastevere in the late 11th and early 12th centuries. One of the best-known works by Rabbi Nathan ben Jehiel is his Sefer Ha‘Arukh
(literally ordered [words]), a Talmudic dictionary of great importance within sacred literature.
Vicolo dell’Atleta, 14 – Rome