Where do you want to travel?

A reader’s journey through Jewish Italy.


Spoleto was a Roman colony – later occupied by the Goths, then taken by the Lombards – was elected the capital of the duchy. In 1324 Spoleto was conquered by Perugia, then passed under the dominion of the Church. In 1298, an ancient and prestigious Roman Jewish family, the de Pomis, settled in Spoleto. In […]


The Perugian statute of 1279, decreeing the expulsion of the Jews from the town, is proof that a Jewish settlement had previously been in existence in Perugia. It seems, however, that this measure was never put into effect and in succeeding years there was an active Jewish group in Perugia, mostly engaged in moneylending. The […]

Ghetto and Jewish Quarter

Streets downtown Ancona                                       Via Astagno, Ghetto of Ancona Instituted in 1555, the Ghetto of Ancona was located in the area circumscribed by today’s Via Podesti, via Astagno and via Cialdini. From the Citadel’s bastions, to the hill […]


Camerino was one of eleven towns between Ancona and Rome where Jewish merchants were known to be active in trade. The town, and its Jewish community, began a rapid decline in 1545, with the incorporation of Camerino into the Papal States. At that time, the Jews were forced to move into the area between what […]

Jewish Quarters and Ghettos

A conception of Jewish separation, even isolation, has been central to the study of late-medieval and early-Renaissance cities in Italy — particularly after the sixteenth century, when the prototype of the ghetto was invented in Venice. However, the giudecca of Trani was compact in size and diverse in architectural character and largely open to the […]

Archives and Libraries

Historical Archive of the Jewish Community of Senigallia are located at the Centro Bibliografico of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities in Rome. (Read Article)


The history of the Jewish Community of Merano, dates back to the first half of the eighteenth century. At that time, the whole region of Tyrol belonged to Austria, and the Jewish Community of Hohenems, in the Austrian region of Vorarlberg, close to the border with Switzerland, had jurisdiction over the Jews living in both […]


Pisa may be the first city in the Tuscan region in which the Jews settled. A contract was given in 850 that registered a Jewish home-owner. By 1165, Benjamin of Tudela, on his trip from Spain to Jerusalem, discovered a Jewish community of 20 families living in Pisa. In the 13th century, the “Alley of the Jews” (Chiasso di […]


Jews settled in Florence before 1400. They were not needed in this flourishing commercial city – the scene of factional strife between the Guelfs and Ghibellines – as there was an abundance of capital, the Florentines being the greatest speculators and the most rapacious usurers of the Middle Ages. But having admitted the Jews, the Florentines […]


A group of Jews probably settled in this ancient and flourishing Roman colony long before the third century C.E.; the date of the earliest Jewish inscriptions discovered at the site. Fifty-four epitaphs originating from a Jewish catacomb have been brought to light; they date from the third to sixth centuries and are composed in Greek or […]

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