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Benvenida Abravanel

Howard Tzvi Adelman from Jewish Women’s Archives Benvenida Abravanel was one of the most influential and wealthiest Jewish women of early modern Italy. Her family life, however, was wracked by strife. The sources about her life include: literary praise of her and her family, references to her in the travel diary of the messianic pretender […]

Pisa

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 […]

Trieste

The first written mention of a Jewish presence in Trieste is in the 14th century. After this tiny village came under Austrian protection in 1382, German Jews settled there, engaging in moneylending, banking and trade. In 1697, Trieste’s 60 Jews were forced to live in a ghetto. To create a mercantile empire, the Hapsburg rulers […]

Sabbioneta

Sabbioneta is located on the left bank of the Po river. In the 16th century, an important center of culture thanks to the effort of Vespasiano Gonzaga. In 1427, Sabbioneta was annexed to Mantua by the Marquis Gianfrancesco Gonzaga, and, in 1444, was assigned it to his son Carlo. ” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″] Vespasiano […]

Vercelli

 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 […]

Torino

Turin was the capital of the duchy of Savoy and later of the kingdom of Sardinia; it is now the capital of Piedmont province. The presence of Jews in Turin was recorded by Bishop Maximus in the fourth century, but thereafter no evidence of Jews exists until 1424, when the French Jewish physicians and bankers, […]

Saluzzo

From 1142 until the end of the sixteenth century, Salluzzo was the capital of the independent domain of the Marquis of Saluzzo. Contended for by France and Savoy in 1548, the king of France, Henry II, took the city under his rule and, in 1588, the Duke of Savoy Carlo Emanuele I occupied it. The […]

Cuneo

An undocumented source dates the arrival of Jews in Cuneo to the end of the 14th century. A document dated 1436 attests to the fact that the Council of Cuneo tried to expel the Jews at the request of local citizens. They had argued that, on given market days, Jews caused the rise of the price of wheat. It was therefore forbidden for Jews […]

Asti

Up until the twelfth century, the episcopal and imperial powers alternated in the rule of Asti. In 1275, the Emperor Henry VII donated the city to Amedo V of Savoy. In 1387, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, lord of the city, gave it as dowry to his daughter when she married Louis d’Orleans. After the fall of the […]

Alessandria

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. ” […]

Napoli

The Jewish Community of Naples is centrally located in Via Cappella Vecchia, in the San Ferdinando district of Naples, near Piazza dei Martiri. It is the southernmost Jewish community in Italy – the only one south of Rome – with jurisdiction over the regions of Campania, Molise, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily. While the synagogue is […]

Recanati

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 […]

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 […]

Tuscany

There is evidence that Jews have lived in Tuscany since the Early Middle Ages, although it was in the period of Medici rule that Jewish-owned banks and moneylenders really began to grow. Florence and Pisa had the largest Jewish populations, although many of the smaller towns also had significant Jewish communities. On one hand, the […]