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Papal States

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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 […]

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 […]

Ancona

Jews were living near Ancona since the first century. By 1300, they had organized a Jewish community within the city. A letter from that time, sent by the poet Immanuel ben Solomon of Rome, pleaded for exemption of the Ancona community from heavy taxation, due to economic hardship and persecutions. Jews engaged in money lending […]

Cagli

Placed strategically between Umbria and Marche, Cagli saw the establishment of a Jewish community with thriving businesses and money lending activities. Cagli was originally built by the Pope in 1289, over an ancient town that had once been destroyed by fire. Shortly after, it became part of the domain Montefeltro and the Duchy of Urbino and would remain […]

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 […]

Urbino

Federico da Montefeltro (1444-1482), Duke of Urbino, was known for his liberal policy towards the Jews. He invited them to settle in his Duchy, which included Gubbio, Cagli, Fano and Sant’Angelo in Vado. Jews were given license to practice trades and professions and some representatives of the community sat in court as the Duke’s advisors […]

Umbria

There were Jewish communities in Umbria from the second half of the thirteenth century, when Jewish settlement in the region became permanent and continuous, until the expulsion of the Jews decreed by Pope Pius V in 1569. Umbria was an important geographical and political entity in central Italy during the late Middle Ages and was […]

Emilia Romagna

The Jewish settlement in what now is Emilia Romagna had begun to gradually spread by the 13th century, with evidence today of a Jewish presence in at least 37 localities. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Jewish communities in many centers, big and small, in Emilia and Romagna enjoyed long periods of coexistence and […]

Marche

The history of the Jews in Marche dates back more than a thousand years. Land records as early as 967 show that Jews were owners of vineyards and olive groves. Documents dating from that year record a land sale by Peter, bishop of Ravenna, to Elijah “The Righteous”. Over the centuries, this region had at […]