PHOTOS: The Ghetto Nuovo (or "Gheto Novo" in
Venetian dialect) is the center of Jewish
life in Venice.
Venice's Jewish community
goes back at least to the 11th Century. As the Venetian Republic grew into a
powerful trading nation, Jews flocked to Venice from Germany, Eastern Europe,
the Mediterranean, and points beyond.
By the 1600s, there were an estimated
5,000 Jews living in Venice. Numbers declined after the Ghetto was created in
1516, and the last 200 or so Jews were shipped off to concentration camps during
World War II.
Today, Venice's Jewish population is growing again,
although its numbers are small and are skewed toward Lubavicher Jews who have
moved into Venice from other cities in Italy and abroad. For Orthodox Jewish
tourists, the increased vitality of Venice's Jewish community means that kosher
hotels and eating places are now readily available.
Our four-page article
includes history, information on what to see, and links to other resources.
Ebraico di Venezia
The Jewish Museum of Venice has many examples of
religious objects, books, and other relics of Jewish life in Venice from the
16th to 19th Centuries. It offers guided tours of historic synagogues in the
Ghetto, with narration in Italian and English.
Hotels and restaurants:
This inn is a "Town House Suites 1st Category" property, which
is the equivalent of a three-star hotel. It faces the Campo del Ghetto Nuovo,
with a synagogue and the Museo Ebraico as neighbors.
Kosher House Giardino dei Melograni
The Giardino dei Melograni also looks
over the campo. It has 14 single to quad rooms, a restaurant, mikveh
baths, and free Wi-Fi in public areas.
Gam Gam Kosher
Venice's oldest continuously-operating Jewish restaurant is at
the main entrance to the Ghetto by the Cannaregio Canal. See our
Gam Gam restaurant review. (Many readers have e-mailed
us with positive comments about Gam Gam.)
The Midwife of Venice
Roberta Rich is the author of this historical
novel set in the Venetian Ghetto. The book has been published in the United
States, Britain, Canada, Germany, and Turkey. (This link will take you to a
discussion of the book, with a link to the author's Web site, in our
Venice Travel Blog.)