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The Giudecca of Trani, Italy (1000–1550)

A Mediterranean Jewish Quarter and Its Architectural Legacy Mauro Bertagnin, Ilham Khuri-Makdisi, Susan Gilson Miller In: Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review During the late Middle Ages, the city of Trani in southeastern Italy was home to a significant minority population of Jews. This community reached a highpoint during the thirteenth century, when, under the protection […]

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The Jews of Italy

Arnaldo Momigliano 1. Italian history is always a difficult subject. Behind it and inside it there is the extraordinary variety of regional and urban units; the history of Florence is not the history of Pisa, or even that of Arezzo, or Siena, or Volterra. Where the Jews are involved, the differences in local traditions are […]

Merano

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 […]

Rome

The Jewish Community of Rome is probably the oldest in the world, with a continuous existence from classical times down to the present day. The first record of Jews in Rome is in 161 BCE, when Jason b. Elazar and Eupolemus b. Johanan are said to have gone there as envoys from Judah Maccabee. The […]

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 […]

Bologna

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 […]

Soragna

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%. […]

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 […]

Cherasco

It is difficult to determine the exact year that the first Jews arrived in Cherasco. However, it probably occurred following the expulsions from southern France.  Bankers In 1580, Meir De Benedetti led the only existing bank in town and his name appeared again in the papal tolerance edict of of 1584. Sixteenth century Piedmont was theater to […]

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 […]

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 […]

Macerata

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 […]

Senigallia

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 […]

Sicily

There were probably Jews living in Sicily during the period of the Second Temple. The great Jewish rhetorician Caecilius of Calacte moved from Sicily to Rome around 50 C.E. and the epigraphic records start in the third century. After this period, records are scarce. In 590, Pope Gregory the Great ordered the ecclesiastical authorities to reimburse […]

Lombardy

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 […]