Delve the layers of Jewish heritage of Genoa with us on a Jewish Genoa tour. The wealth of things to do in Genoa, Italy, is reflected in the city’s nickname. “La Superba”, or “the Proud One”, refers to Genoa’s glorious past and its many impressive landmarks, some of which are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The recorded Jewish history of Genoa dates back before 511, and our Genoa Jewish tour reveals the many aspects of Genoa’s remarkable Jewish history, including an in-depth exploration of the rescue efforts coordinated from here during the darkest days of World War II!
Genoa is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus and one of Italy’s most major industrial ports dating back to the Middle Ages. During its long history, Genoa has been defended by different lines of walls, some dating back to the 9th century.
The policy of the Genoese doges and senate toward the Jews varied over time, and in 1660 the 200 Jews living in Genoa were confined to a ghetto. They did not gain full rights until 1848. Because of its location and its large and active port, Genoa was an important center for assisting Italian Jews during the Holocaust. Until the very last minute, some managed to escape by boat from the city. Many Jewish refugees gathered in Genoa also because the city was the headquarters of the Delegazione Assistenza Emigrati Ebrei (DELASEM), which coordinated assistance and rescue programs. The Genovese office of DELASEM was headed initially by Lelio Vittorio Valobra, who later fled to Switzerland and continued to work from there. Massimo Teglio, a particularly courageous Genovese Jew, remained behind and played a central role in helping both Italian and foreign Jews in danger of arrest.
At the end of World War II, 1,108 Jews were left in Genoa. The port became a transit center for various groups of Jewish emigrants who came mainly from Eastern Europe and were heading for Israel. In early 2000s the community numbered a few hundred, operating a synagogue and a Jewish school.
Genoa is a well-loved port destination. If you will be on a cruise ship, request our convenient transfer service in combination with your Genoa shore excursion!
Walking tours starting at 330 EUR/3h
Walking & Driving tours starting at 500 EUR/7h