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Where do you want to travel?

A reader’s journey through Jewish Italy.

The Soncinos

The Soncino family derived its name from the town of Soncino, in the Duchy of Milan. The family traces its descent through a Moses of Fürth, who is mentioned in 1455, back to a certain Moses of Speyer, of the middle of the fourteenth century. The first of the family engaged in printing was Israel Nathan […]

Fratelli Treves

The Treves publishing house was founded by Emilio Salomone Treves, son of Sabato Graziadio Treves, chief rabbi of Trieste, and Lia Montalcini. His father taught at the local university and was considered a man of modern and enlightened views. Emilio was born in 1834, a time when northern Italy was still under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He attended both public school […]


 In 1446, the commune granted Abramo della Vigneria and his son Angelo a concession to establish a loan-bank in Vercelli with the condition that they be prepared to lend the commune up to 100 florins on request. A small Jewish community formed around these bankers, regulated by the severe statutes issued in 1430 by Amadeus […]


The first known Jewish settler in Alessandria was Abraham, son of Joseph Vitale de Sacerdoti (Cohen), who opened a loan bank in or around 1490.  The subsequent history of the community has continued to center around, and to a great degree consist of, the record of his descendants, later known by the name Vitale. ” […]


References to Jews in Lombardy date to the fourth century; subsequently there is only slight evidence down to the very end of the 12th century, when Jews are found engaged in moneylending. In 1225, the Jews were expelled from Pavia and Cremona. In 1278, they began to be harassed by the conversionist sermons of the […]