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Giudecca

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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 […]

Jewish Quarters and Ghettos

A conception of Jewish separation, even isolation, has been central to the study of late-medieval and early-Renaissance cities in Italy — particularly after the sixteenth century, when the prototype of the ghetto was invented in Venice. However, the giudecca of Trani was compact in size and diverse in architectural character and largely open to the […]

The Giudecca of Ortigia

An attractive island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been a hub of migration routes for millennia. Jews are thought to have been part of the patchwork at least as early as the 1st century, after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. At the end of the 15th […]

Genova

Walking along Vico del Campo, a narrow road deep within this tangled ancient town, it is not unlikely to find odd, empty hollows on the facades of some sixteenth century buildings. We are in the heart of the ancient Jewish ‘ghetto’ of the ‘Lanterna’ (the old lighthouse symbol of the city). ” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” […]

Manduria

The Giudecca of Manduria is located in the area of the Chiesa Matrice and developed around the synagogue, which still stands today.  The Jews of Manduria lived prosperously in the city until the 13th century when Charles of Anjou imposed harsh life conditions on the Jews hoping that this would force them to convert. With […]

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Castignano

The town of Castignano was already known in the 15th century for its fairs. Jewish merchants who exported precious laces from the nearby town of Offida settled here around 1550. Although the community never grew significantly, it appears that the Jews who had arrived here from Sicily set up a silkworm businesses and a small production […]

Veneto

While Jews did not settle in Venice until the 13th century, many Jewish merchants and moneylenders visited and worked in the city beginning in the 10th century. Jews were mentioned in documents from 945 and 992 that forbade Venetian captains from accepting Jews onboard their ships. In 1252, Jews were not allowed to settle in the […]

Apulia

Jews lived in Apulia from ancient Roman times until 1541, when they were banished from all of Southern Italy. They arrived after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD, when emperor Tito brought back 5,000 Jewish war prisoners, who subsequently settled in and around Taranto. The records are sparse over the next two […]