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Florence

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Salomone Belforte & Co.

The tolerance papers issued in Pisa and Livorno between 1591 and 1593, included among their provisions in favor of the Jews the freedom to publish and trade in “books in Hebrew or other languages, printed or handwritten….”. This freedom was nonetheless subject to a review on behalf of the Inquisitor of the books that were […]

La Giuntina

La Giuntina is the publishing branch of the old and glorious Giuntina Press, founded in Florence in 1909 by a Polish Jew, the antiquarian bookseller and publisher Leo S. Olschki.  A humanist and book lover, Olschki drew the name “Giuntina” from the Florentine typographic tradition: a “giuntina” is one of the many valuable editions of […]

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History of the Jewish Community in Trani

Francesco Lotoro   The presence of a Jewish community in Puglia can be traced all the way back to the Roman Empire. The origins of the community are disputable; some maintain that the first Jews arrived in Trani after the expulsion from the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon around 1144 C.E., others argue that they […]

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 […]

Florence

Jews settled in Florence before 1400. They were not needed in this flourishing commercial city – the scene of factional strife between the Guelfs and Ghibellines – as there was an abundance of capital, the Florentines being the greatest speculators and the most rapacious usurers of the Middle Ages. But having admitted the Jews, the Florentines […]

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 […]