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Tobia Foa

Tobia ben Eliezer Foà came from a Jewish family from Sabbioneta, where he established a printing press specializing in Hebrew books. The Foà printers operated in Sabbioneta from 1551 to 1559, where they produced very important volumes and  26 books, including the first printed edition of Isaac Abrabanel’s work Mirkevet Ha’ Mishnah, parts of the […]

Avraham ben Garton ben Yishaq

Abraham Garton was a Jewish printer who printed the first dated Hebrew book in Europe in 1475. Very little is known about the personal life of Abraham ben Garton. Most scholars believe he was born in Spain, and emigrated to Calabria, Italy prior to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. Many other […]


Early Jewish History in Italy

Daniel M. Friedenberg   AFTER HIS VICTORY IN THE FIRST JEWISH WAR, TITUS sent back to Italy many thousands of Jewish slaves. Some went to Rome and the records also indicate a large number were shipped to the ports of Apulia (now called Puglia), the extreme southeastern region of Italy facing the Adriatic Sea. Most […]


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, […]


Few traces remain of the Jewish Community that flourished in Taranto during the Middle Ages. Much can be inferred from funereal epigraphs found here (as well as in Brindisi, Venosa and Bari). It is worth noting that these tombstones are all in Hebrew, which shows that the Jewish communities of Apulia were using their original […]



Jews lived in Fano from the 14th century under special protection. In 1332, they were prosperous enough to lend 1,000 ducats to the lord of the city, Galeotto Malatesta. When all heretics were exiled in 1367, the Jewish community was unaffected. Besides money-lenders, it included customs farmers, physicians, and merchants and the Jews are said […]