Venice, one of the most beautiful and renowned cities in the world, also bears the dubious distinction of being the city from which the word “ghetto” originated. But this attests too, to an old Jewish history, as rich and varied as “The City of Canals” itself.
Begin your tour of Venice at the world’s most famous square: Piazza San Marco. Countless decisions that would impact Venetian Jews were made here. In front of the magnificent Doge’s Palace we will discuss the Venetian government’s related attitudes towards the Papacy and the Jewish community. We will then take a Traghetto (a gondola ferry) across the Grand Canal to visit the three areas of the Ghetto (Ghetto Nuovo, Ghetto Vecchio and Ghetto Novissimo), retracing the history of the Jewish Community of Venice from the 15th century through the modern day.
Your guide will tell you about today’s community of about 500 people, served by five synagogues, a Jewish bookstore, a Jewish publishing house, a social center, a rest home, a museum, a yeshiva and a kosher restaurant. Time permitting, we will visit the small Jewish Museum there. Located in the Campo of the Ghetto Novo, it is situated between the two most ancient Venetian synagogues.