The Jewish community of Rome goes back to the 2nd century B.C and this is a great opportunity to see how two diverse places of worship can sit side by side.

The present Synagogue was constructed shortly after the unification of Italy in 1870. In  1986, Pope John Paul II made an unexpected visit to the Great Synagogue. This event marked the first known visit by a pope to a synagogue since the early history of the Roman Catholic Church. He prayed with Rabbi Elio Toaff, the former Chief Rabbi of Rome of Rome. This was seen by many as an attempt to improve relations between Catholicism and Judaism and a part of Pope John Paul II's programme to improve relations with Jews.