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Camerino

Camerino was one of eleven towns between Ancona and Rome where Jewish merchants were known to be active in trade. The town, and its Jewish community, began a rapid decline in 1545, with the incorporation of Camerino into the Papal States. At that time, the Jews were forced to move into the area between what […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

Trieste

The first written mention of a Jewish presence in Trieste is in the 14th century. After this tiny village came under Austrian protection in 1382, German Jews settled there, engaging in moneylending, banking and trade. In 1697, Trieste’s 60 Jews were forced to live in a ghetto. To create a mercantile empire, the Hapsburg rulers […]

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 […]

Sabbioneta

Sabbioneta is located on the left bank of the Po river. In the 16th century, an important center of culture thanks to the effort of Vespasiano Gonzaga. In 1427, Sabbioneta was annexed to Mantua by the Marquis Gianfrancesco Gonzaga, and, in 1444, was assigned it to his son Carlo. ” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″] Vespasiano […]

Alghero

While the Jews of Alghero were mostly engaged in trade,  there were also many scholars and physicians among them. The best known were: Isaac Eymies (who was pensioned by the governor of Lugodoro and by the city of Alghero, and who was called in 1406 to the post of city physician of Cagliari); Ḥayyim of Hipre […]

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Tolentino

The Jewish presence in Tolentino dates from the early 1300s and is tied to the trade fairs held in the city for the feast of St. Catervo, and later to those for St. Thomas and St. Nicholas. Jews were welcome at the fairs because of the goods they brought, particularly the silks, wool and leather […]

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 […]

Pergola

Jews settled in Pergola in the early 13th century. The city was part of the Duchy of Montefeltro and offered Jews a tolerant environment. The two rivers favored trade, as well as the activities of the dyers and tanners. The synagogue was originally located in a building that still stands in Via Don Minzoni, 9. The […]

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 […]

Basilicata

The history of the Jews in Basilicata is at least 2000 years old. This area, which is a mix of mountains and rich fertile plains, is south of Rome but north of Calabria and Apulia. Most of the Jewish communities in this area were settled in the Roman Era by Jewish merchants or by Jewish […]

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 […]

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 […]