VENICE JEWISH GHETTO
The Jewish Ghetto of Venice is located in Cannaregio
district, just a five-minute walk from the station and ten from Piazzale
Roma. A Jewish community was present in Venice since the XII century
(documented in 1152) and consisted of about 1300 people. From the thirteenth
century it had stable residence at the Isle of Spinalonga, since then, with
many inhabitants Jews, changed its name to "Giudecca". Since
1298 it was forbidden for Jews to reside in Venice and they moved to Mestre and
neighboring areas but they could still go to the city for their activities and
businesses. Over the years, was lifted their ban to reside in Venice
and by decree of the "Maggior Consiglio" in 1516, it was determined that
the Jews had to settle in the area of Cannaregio called Getto. The name
derives from the foundries in that location that laid or "merging" the
metals, manufacturing and supplying guns to Arsenal. From Getto to
Ghetto the change was brief. With the word "Ghetto" since
then were identified urban areas of European cities in which was
forced to live the Jewish community. Currently, the word ghetto
has assumed the significance of a place of segregation.
The Jewish community of Venice was then transferred in the Old
Ghetto, where it had an obligation to return in the evening.
The entire area was controlled at night by guards and access roads were
closed. The population of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice continued to increase
up to 5000 people and this explains why in this area there are houses with 8
floors. The Jewish Ghetto of Venice was not sufficient to accommodate all
its inhabitants and then was decided to expand it into adjacent areas, the Ghetto
Nuovo (in 1541) and the Ghetto Nuovissimo (1663). In 1492 was
accepted in Venice a large group of Jews "Marrani" that was expelled from Spain.
By the end of the Republic of Venice (1797) to the Hebrews was allowed to live
in other parts of the city.
In Campo del Ghetto Nuovo in Venice is visible the Holocaust Memorial (1980),
that is the work of the Lithuanian sculptor Arbit Blatas.
Not far is still active a retirement home.
Currently the community of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice is small (30 residents),
but there are 500 members in it, yet. While once in the Jewish Ghetto of Venice were
active the banking and printing (especially in the sixteenth century),
the main resource today is tourism. It's painful to remember that during World
War II were deported from the Jewish Ghetto of Venice more than 200 people
on December 5 1943 and August 17 1944.
Restaurants in Venice Jewish Ghetto
At a few steps from the vaporetto stop "Guglie", in Sotoportego
del Ghetto, is located the Jewish restaurant Gam Gam complying with the
requirements imposed by the Bible to the Jewish culinary, and it is a Kosher
restaurant. This restaurant has
the following opening hours: Sunday to Thursday, 12am-10pm, on Friday from noon
until two hours before Shabbat. Closed during the Jewish holidays. For information,
phone +39 041 715284. In Campo del Ghetto Nuovo in Venice, Cannaregio 2873c is located
the Kosher Club "Le Balthazar" which proposes traditional Jewish cuisine
at the fixed price of 18.00 euros. Open 6 days a week and Shabbat on reservation only,
tel. +39 346 0391183.
How to get to Venice Jewish Ghetto
It's possible to get to the Jewish Ghetto of Venice either
on foot or by public waterbus transportation Actv (vaporetti). To get there on
foot from Piazzale Roma you must cross the Ponte della Costituzione
(Constitution Bridge) then straight on along Lista di Spagna, go to Campo S. Geremia,
cross Guglie Bridge, turn left and enter the Sottoportico located opposite the
vaporetto stop. To reach the Jewish Ghetto of Venice from the train station
follow the route above, from the Lista di Spagna.
To reach the Venice Jewish Ghetto
from the train station or Piazzale Roma with the boat you should take the
line 4.2 or 5.2 Actv and get off at "Guglie" stop. To go on foot from St. Mark's
Square you have to take the long road of
"Mercerie", then head towards the Strada Nuova (follow the yellow signs with black
arrow to "Ferrovia"), once arrived in Rio Terà S. Leonardo, turn right and follow
the detailed landmarks. To get to the Ghetto of Venice by boat from
both S. Mark's or Rialto you must take line 1 and get off at S. Marcuola stop,
head towards Rio Terà S. Leonardo and follow the signs.
Synagogues in Venice Jewish Ghetto
Inside the Jewish Ghetto of Venice were available in 1719 nine synagogues, which
were also called Schole. Currently there are only 5, one for every Jewish
confession. In the square of Ghetto Nuovo is the Schola Grande of Germany (1528), the
Schola Canton (1532) and the Schola Italiana (1575). In Campo del Ghetto Vecchio is
the Schola Levantina (1538) and the Schola Spagnola or Ponentina (1555), which was
rebuilt in 1654 by Baldassarre Longhena.
In Campo del Ghetto Nuovo there is the entrance
of the Jewish Museum of Venice, (former Museum Vittorio Fano, since 1955), which
complies with the following opening hours: 10am-5,30pm closed on Saturdays and during Jewish
holidays (admission 8.50 euros, tel. +39 041 715359). For guided tours of the synagogues
of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice we must ask at the ticket desk of the museum, as are not
allowed unaccompanied visits. The visit starts each hour from 10,30am, in summer
the last tour starts at 5,30pm while for the rest of the year it starts at 3,30pm.
It was authorized by
the Republic of Venice in 1386 the construction of a Jewish cemetery outside
the city, in the island of Lido of Venice near St. Nicholas, (or S. Nicoletto).
The Italian tour in the Jewish cemetery is done every first, third, fifth
Sunday of the month at 15.30 hours, to book a visit it can be done even
during the week. The entire ticket costs 8.50 euros, the reduced tickets
cost 7€, you can buy tickets on the spot or at the Jewish Museum. The cemetery
is easily reachable by bus line A provided by Actv from Piazzale Santa Maria
Elisabetta of Lido. From stop S. Zaccaria-Pietà you can take the watebus public
transportation (motonave) and get off at stop S. Nicoletto.
The typical cakes made in Venice Jewish Ghetto are:
"Orecchiette di Amman", filled with fruit, the
"Bisce" have an s shape, the "Zuccherini"
and the "Sweet Azime" have a donut shape. All cakes
are made with ingredients allowed by the Kosher rules. You can buy
these Jewish cakes at the bakery Volpe, located in Calle
del Ghetto Vecchio, Cannaregio 1143, Venice, tel. +39 041 715178. Opening
hours: Sundays from 9am to 1,30pm, Mon-Fri from 7,30am to
1,30pm and from 5pm to 7,30pm, closed on Saturday.
Affordable hotel in Venice