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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 […]


From: “Synagogue without Jews, and the Communities that used and built them”, by Rivka and Ben Zion Dorfmann. Almost all the Holy Arks of the Renassaince and Baroque period in Italy adopt the same solution. They may be made of marble or wood, but the style is identical, generally with upper and lower sections. In […]


Up until 1633, the year the ghetto was established, Pesaro had three synagogues and numerous prayer rooms. There was a synagogue for the Hispano-Levantine rite, as well as two separate synagogues (of great beauty) following the native Italian rite. The former was commissioned and financed by Mordekhaj Volterra, a wealthy Portuguese banker, prior to his […]


The old Jewish cemetery in Pesaro was once located just outside Porta Fano. Of the remains that have been found, the earliest mentioned dates come from 1214 and the oldest surviving fragment of a tomb stone is dated to 1415. A second cemetery was inaugurated after 1550, on the San Bartolo hill, where it still stands […]

Jewish Quarter and Ghetto

Buildings and narrow streets in the Ghetto of Pesaro The Ghetto of Pesaro extended through what today are Via Mazzolari and Via Sara Levi Nathan, Via delle Scuole, Via dei Negozianti, Via delle Botteghe and Via Almerico da Venutra. The ancient via dei Negozianti (Merchants’ Street) was renamed after Sara Levi (1819-1882), a friend of […]


Jews had settled in Pesaro by the early 15th century. Money lending to the poor was the most conspicuous, but by no means the most important, of the many activities of Jewish bankers. Jews supplied floating capital to local artisans and merchants, as well as providing financial support to farmers in anticipation of the crops. […]


The history of the Jews in Marche dates back more than a thousand years. Land records as early as 967 show that Jews were owners of vineyards and olive groves. Documents dating from that year record a land sale by Peter, bishop of Ravenna, to Elijah “The Righteous”. Over the centuries, this region had at […]