Jewish treasures, monuments and books in Italy.

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 […]

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)


While the Jews of Alghero were mostly engaged in trade,  there were also many scholars and physicians among them. The best known were: Isaac Eymies (who was pensioned by the governor of Lugodoro and by the city of Alghero, and who was called in 1406 to the post of city physician of Cagliari); Ḥayyim of Hipre […]


The Jewish presence in Bologna dates back to 1353, when the Jewish banker Gaius Finzi traveled from Rome and took up his residence in the quartier of Porta Procola. In the second half of the 14th century, around 15 Jewish families settled in the city. In 1416, at the time of the papal election, a vigilance committee of […]


Ferrara is home to an ancient and renowned Jewish community. An inscription dating from Roman times and a document dated to 1088 may relate to local Jewish life. Privileges enjoyed by Jews were recorded in 1275. In the same century, two tosafists, both named R. Moses b. Meir, lived in Ferrara, and perhaps also the […]


The first document relating to Jews in Modena may date back to 1025, but the existence of a stable Jewish community, formed by loan-bankers who originated from Perugia, Rimini, and Fermo, was not recorded until 1393. For many years, the Jews of Modena enjoyed the protection of the house of Este, which ruled Modena as […]


Parma is an Italian city, formerly capital of the duchy of the same name; the seat of an ancient Jewish community. When the plague devastated Italy in 1348, many of the Jews of Parma fell victim to the fury of the populace, which regarded them as the cause of the pestilence. In the fifteenth century, […]


The first traces of a Jewish presence in Soragna date back to 1543, when the papal chamberlain granted Giuseppe Colombo di Giacobbe, from Jena, permission to open a lending bank. In 1547, the notary records of the local feudal lord registered a debt with Jsepe hebreo banker in Soragna, which resulted pay interest of 18%. […]

Historical Figures

Pesaro occupies an important position in the history of Hebrew publishing. Abraham b. Ḥayyim “the Dyer” worked in Pesaro before moving to Ferrara in 1477. In 1507, Gershom Soncino opened a printing house in Pesaro and worked there with limited interruption until 1520. He produced, besides books in Italian and Latin, an impressive range of classical […]

Museums/ Collections

Hebrew manuscripts from the Historical Archive in Pesaro. (Read article) The Archive of the Jewish Community of Pesaro is today part of the Historical Archive of the Jewish Community of Rome.


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 […]

San Severino

  ” template=”/home/jitaly/public_html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/ngglegacy/view/gallery.php” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″] There were Jews living in San Severino since the end of the thirteenth century. Surviving thirteenth century documents refer to an ancient and now lost municipal status regulating relations with the Jews. These were granted the freedom of religious practices and protection from assaults and thefts. Jews were […]


The first mention of Jewish presence in Recanati dates back to 1337 and refers to the absolution of 20 citizens of Recanati, among them Gullielmutius Consilii Judeus, from any accusation of arson, theft, injuries, insults and murder, and all penalties incurred both financial and personal. In 14th century Civil Acts, we find a mention of […]

Belforte del Chienti

A Jewish presence in Belforte can be traced back to the end of the 1300’s, as indicated by legal documents from that time. By 1458, documents regarding loans by or to Jews were drafted differently than Christian ones.  The recurrence of Jewish names such as Aronne, Emmanuel, Simone, Salomone, in legal documents is further proof of their […]

San Ginesio

Jewish presence in San Ginesio can be dated back to 1295, when Jews provided financing to a company involved in the wool industry. The Jews resided mainly in the Alvaneto district, which extended from Piazza dei Gentili to what is currently piazza Thomas Eskine Holland. The Jewish cemetery, called “Garden of the Jews”, was located […]


Throughout history this town has been known by a series of different names – including Pausula, Castello di Monte dell’Olmo, Montolmo and Castelvecchio – before finally taking up the name Corridonia, a tribute to Filippo Corridoni, a union leader active in the region before World War I.  Jews have resided in the town since 1436.  Documents attest to […]


Macerata’s public library contains a number of documents attesting to Jewish money lending activities in the city as early as 1287. Though today there is no longer a Jewish community, its history is well documented. Inside the Municipality building there is a Hebrew tombstone inscription dating 1553, possibly transferred there from the former Jewish cemetery […]


Jewish presence in Matelica has been recorded since the 13th century, documented by a great number of parchments, contracts and letters of loan that are preserved by the City Archives. In 1287, the first money lending license was granted to Dattolo, son of Maestro Gaudio Ebreo. No trace remains of the Jewish community in the […]


A document preserved in the monastery of  Santa Caterina attests to loans made by Jews in Cingoli as early as 1296. The Jewish community prospered between the 13th and the 14th century, as Jews mastered the wool trade. Though Jews could not be part of the “Arte della Lana” guild, they excelled in weaving and dying wool. The last name Tintori (dyers) […]


Jews were living near Ancona since the first century. By 1300, they had organized a Jewish community within the city. A letter from that time, sent by the poet Immanuel ben Solomon of Rome, pleaded for exemption of the Ancona community from heavy taxation, due to economic hardship and persecutions. Jews engaged in money lending […]


Jews settled in Pergola in the early 13th century. The city was part of the Duchy of Montefeltro and offered Jews a tolerant environment. The two rivers favored trade, as well as the activities of the dyers and tanners. The synagogue was originally located in a building that still stands in Via Don Minzoni, 9. The […]


Placed strategically between Umbria and Marche, Cagli saw the establishment of a Jewish community with thriving businesses and money lending activities. Cagli was originally built by the Pope in 1289, over an ancient town that had once been destroyed by fire. Shortly after, it became part of the domain Montefeltro and the Duchy of Urbino and would remain […]


Senigallia came under Papal rule in 1631. At that time, the Jewish community consisted of about 40 families, comprising a few hundred people. During the course of the following century and a half, this number increased to approximately 120 families. Jewish loan bankers made their appearance there in the 14th century. As a result of […]


The synagogue in Apecchio, which has not been in function since 1633, is still clearly recognizable today. The site of this ancient synagogue was identified by the narrow pathway, only a little more than a foot wide. It went around the synagogue, separating the Jewish houses from the Christian ones. The path is still visible […]


Federico da Montefeltro (1444-1482), Duke of Urbino, was known for his liberal policy towards the Jews. He invited them to settle in his Duchy, which included Gubbio, Cagli, Fano and Sant’Angelo in Vado. Jews were given license to practice trades and professions and some representatives of the community sat in court as the Duke’s advisors […]


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. […]