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Mussolini

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Formiggini Editore

Angelo Fortunato Formiggini was born in Collegara, near Modena, on June 21, 1878 to Pellegrino and Marianna Nacmani. His father belonged to a well-to-do family of Jewish descent that, since the 18th century, had  successfully conducted careers in the precious stone trade. After completing his studies in Modena, he graduated in Law with a thesis […]

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 […]

World War II

At the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the Italian dictatorship had already stripped Jews of civil rights and had expelled Jews who did not have Italian citizenship. When Italy entered the war in 1940, many Jews appealed to Mussolini and to the king, reiterating their loyalty to their country and requesting to be able […]

Twentieth Century

At the beginning of the 20th century, Jewish integration into Italian society appeared well on its way, as prime minister Luigi Luzzatti took office as one of the world’s first Jewish heads of government in 1910. Another Jew, Ernesto Nathan served as mayor of Rome from 1907 to 1913. Italian Jews volunteered in large numbers in […]

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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 […]

Venice

In 1516, Venice’s ruling council confined all the Jews in a small area not far from today’s train station, where there had been getti, or foundries. The gates were locked at night, and restrictions were placed on Jewish economic activities. Jews were only allowed to operate pawn shops and lend money, trade in textiles, and […]

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 […]

San Nicandro Garganico

San Nicandro Garganico is a small town in the Gargano National Park dating back to the 10th century. Although there is no evidence of a historic Jewish presence here, in the late 1920’s, San Nicandro became the theater of the only case of contemporary mass conversion to Judaism. A local shoemaker called Aldo Manduzio discovered […]

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 […]