This afternoon, I was walking through the Ghetto -- one of Rome's most historic and fascinating neighbourhoods -- when the plaques on this wall and others on the ground reminded me that it wasn't so long ago that this Jewish neighborhood was devastated by the Holocaust.
I am certain that I've walked this street before, but today was the first time I noticed the collection of plaques on the wall at the beginning of Via della Reginella, where it leads off Via del Portico d'Ottavia.
It was also the first time I noticed these small brass plaques among the cobblestones in front of certain old apartment buildings.
They're a bit hard to read, thanks to my less than great skills as a photog. But this one says:
Several of these brass markers lie along this street, commemorating some of the 2,100 Jewish victims of the Holocaust -- and of the Second World War more generally. I say that, because I noticed one plaque was dedicated to a Jewish man who was among the 330 Romans randomly rounded up by the Nazi forces and assassinated at the Fosse Ardeatine outside Rome on March 24, 1944. The round-up occured in retaliation for an attack on German soldiers by Italian partisans.
Rome is brimming with history from so many ages.
At the end of Via della Reginella, the pain of the past is tempered a bit where the street opens up into the Piazza Mattei, with its delightful Fontana delle Tartarughe (Tortoise Fountain.) This Baroque fountain was created by Giacomo della Porta with the tortoises added later by the great sculptor Bernini.