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Venice

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Meir Parenzo

The Parenzos were a family of Hebrew printers active in Venice in the 16th and 17th centuries. Jacob (d. 1546) had come to Venice from Parenzo, on the Dalmatian coast of Italy, hence the family name, but was probably of German origin. His son, Meir (d. 1575), probably learned the printing trade at the Bomberg […]

Renaissance

When Jews were exiled en masse from Spain in 1492, a great number of them took refuge in Italy, where they were given protection by King Ferdinand I of Naples. Don Isaac Abravanel was even granted a position at the Neapolitan court, which he retained under the succeeding king, Alfonso II. The Spanish and Portuguese […]

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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 […]

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 […]

Brindisi

  After Pompeo’s conquest of Jerusalem in 63 AD, Jews were brought back to Italy as prisoners. They arrived in Brindisi; some remained there, but most settled in Terra d’Otranto. More arrived after the destruction of the Temple. As chronicled by Ahimaaz in the XI century, Jews from the Middle East continued to arrive in […]

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 […]