A short itinerary focused on the history of Europe's oldest ghetto
The first family households of Jewish origin in Venice are attested even before 1000 CE, but until the late fourteenth century, there was no real substantial and stable settlement. During the fifteenth century, however, the community grew very rapidly, especially in the economic field; it managed to obtain official business recognition regarding certain professions, such as doctors and sellers of second-hand goods. Most importantly, the community was able to establish money-lending activities, which were forbidden to Christians for religious reasons (it was in fact considered contrary to Christian morality to earn interest on sums given as pledges). This exponential growth aroused suspicion and concern among many residents. On March 20, 1516 CE, Cardinal Zaccaria Dolfin, in the Collegio Dei Savi (or College of Sages, one of the governing bodies of the republic), attacked the Jews and demanded their isolation to the so-called “New Ghetto”. Finally, nine days later, on March 29, the Senate, with an overwhelming majority of 130 yes and 44 no, put its hand to the matter, stipulating that all Jews should compulsorily reside in the location of the New Ghetto. Thus, here in Venice was born the oldest ghetto establishment in Europe.
This itinerary pass by the following suggested museums/sites (tickets below are not included within this tour):
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