Land of the Sirens
From Hercules, Pompeii, the Rothschilds, all the way to pizza, Naples is full of history, mystery and surprises! The Jewish presence in the city dates back at least 2,000 years. In 1159, when Benjamin of Tudela visited the city, he noted that 500 Jewish families lived here. In 1492, many Jews who were expelled from Spain moved to Naples, under the protection of King Ferdinand of Naples. In 1831, a small group of Jews settled in the Maltese Cross Hotel, using one of the rooms of the hotel as a synagogue. In 1841, the Rothschild family set up an office in Naples. At its peak in the 1920s, Naples’s Jewish community had reached almost 1,000 members. Some were saved from German deportation, hidden by villagers in the nearby area of Caserta, and today the community numbers about 200. The synagogue in Naples is located on Via Cappella Vecchia in the Palazzo Sessa, inaugurated in 1864 thanks to the efforts of Baron Rothschild.
Whether you come for mythology, the Jewish history, pizzas or piazzas, Naples is sure to inspire you and leave a lasting impression.
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