The Jewish Story in Venice - Private Walking Tour
Interestingly, the term "ghetto" originated from Venice, where it was first used to describe the Jewish district - the place in which the Venetian-Jewish population were restricted and segregated following 1516. As such, this area of Venice is full of cultural and historical significance.
- First, discover Cannaregio, where over half of the Venetian local poplation lives today
- Visit where the Jewish Venetian population was forced to live: the Ghetto
- Learn about the local context surrounding Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice
In 1516, the City Council ruled that Jews had to be kept within a small area in the north of the city. A concession to Jews, who were able to live in a secure space, it became a cultural center for their religious brethren across the Mediterranean. The fact that space was at a premium in the ghetto had a direct impact on people’s lives, with buildings rising ever higher to accommodate all its inhabitants. Additionally, Jewish law forbids anything between a synagogue and the sky, therefore many attics became places of worship.
With anecdotes including Napoleon Bonaparte burning the gates in 1797 and the deportation of 1944 during the Holocaust, your guide will help you imagine what it must have been like throughout the centuries to live in the Ghetto.