Rome's Jubilee routes promote interfaith understanding

Rome's Muslim and Jewish communities help to design routes for Vatican Jubilee Year of Mercy.

A programme of 20 cultural itineraries featuring 330 sites around Rome was presented by Italy's culture ministry on 29 March as part of the Vatican's Holy Jubilee Year of Mercy.

The routes, which include 330 sites, were drawn up by the Vatican's Office for Religious Pilgrimages (ORP), with the help of Rome's Muslim and Jewish communities, and were designed to foster knowledge, interreligious dialogue and mutual understanding between diverse cultures.

The project, whose title translates as "20 cultural itineraries in Rome for 20 centuries of history, art and religion", highlights cultural itineraries around the capital as well as religious and spiritual events.

The tour 1,000 Religions in Rome: From the Ancient Times until Today includes the Great Mosque near Villa Ada, the Buddhist Temple in the Esquilino district, the Great Synagogue in the Jewish Ghetto, the Non-Catholic Cemetery in Testaccio, All Saints' Anglican Church on Via del Babuino, St Paul's Within-the-Walls Episcopal Church on Via Nazionale, and the Waldensian Evangelical Church in Piazza Cavour.

mosque rome
Rome's Great Mosque

The programme includes a visit to the Jewish catacombs of Vigna Randanini as well as several religious-themed exhibitions such as Botero: Via Crucis: La passione di Cristo at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni and Santa Maria Antiqua. Tra Roma e Bisanzio in the Roman Forum.

There are also itineraries dedicated to saints such as Ignazio da Loyola and Filippo Neri, artists such as Michelangelo and Caravaggio, and tours of animal sculptures, Egyptian obelisks, aqueducts, and the so-called talking statues.

Launching the Vie del Giubileo initiative, Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini cited the late Umberto Eco, who promoted reciprocal knowledge among cultures as a means of tackling war, conflict and hate.

For full details see the Jubilee Cultural Routes website.

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