Sant'Angelo is the eleventh historic district or rione of Rome, often written as rione XI - Sant'Angelo. Its coat of arms is an angel on a red background, holding a palm branch in its left hand. In another version, the angel holds a sword in its right hand and a scale in its left.
Sant'Angelo, the smallest of Rome's rioni, lies along the Tiber river east of Tiber Island. Rioni bordering this district, clockwise from north to south, include Regola, Sant'Eustachio, Pigna, Campitelli, and Ripa. Sant'Angelo's western border is the river.
The rione's terrain is low and flat and, until recent times, particularly susceptible to flooding from the river.
The historical significance of Sant'Angelo is mainly the result of the presence here of the Roman Ghetto.
Jewish ghettos in Europe existed because Jews were viewed as foreigners due to their non-Christian beliefs and Middle-Eastern origins in a Renaissance Christian environment. As a result, Jews were placed under strict regulations throughout many European cities. The character of ghettos varied through times. In some cases, they comprised a Jewish quarter, the area of a city traditionally inhabited by Jews. In many instances, ghettos were places of terrible poverty and during periods of population growth, ghettos had wide streets and small, roomy houses. Residents had their own justice system. Around the ghetto stood walls that, during pogroms, were closed from inside to protect the community, but from the outside during Christmas, Pesach, and Easter Week to prevent the Jews from leaving during those times.
In the 19th century, Jewish ghettos were progressively abolished, and their walls taken down. However, in the course of World War II the Third Reich created a totally new Jewish ghetto-system for the purpose of persecution, terror, and exploitation of Jews, mostly in Eastern Europe. According to USHMM archives, "The Germans established at least 1,000 ghettos in German-occupied and annexed Poland and the Soviet Union alone."