Buona Festa della Hanukkah! Happy Hanukkah! The first mention of Jewish people in Italy can be traced back to 160 BC when the first Jews arrived in Rome. They had fled historic Israel from the Syrian King Antiochus. Rome has the oldest Jewish settlements in the Western European area. The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. Oil that was only supposed to last one day in the Temple lasted for eight days. Many dishes served during Hanukkah are fried in oil in order to celebrate this miracle.
Carciofi alla Giudia (Fired Artichoke) is a typical dish served in Rome during Hanukkah.