Venice sightseeing: Venice Jewis Ghetto, a must see in the floating city of the Most Serene Republic


Asolo, un piccolo comune a pochi passi da Venezia, ospita un’incredibile quantità di luoghi da visitare: dalle ville private alle chiese, dalle piazze agli edifici storici, Asolo rappresenta un piccolo gioiellino della provincia di Treviso.

Trought the old narrow streets of Cannareggio Sestriere, the charm and mistery of the Jewish Ghetto lead to another athmophere, far from the near crowdy paths. Discover the unique atmophere of one must see in Venice.

Venice Jewish ghetto: discovering the neighborhood

The Venice Jewish ghetto was the first real ghetto in Europe – in the heart of the sestiere (district) of Cannaregio, this lively part of the city preserves Jewish religious traditions and administrative institutions up till now.

A large wooden door, and a sottoportego identify the entrance to one of the busiest areas of Venice – three synagogues and the Jewish museum can be visited thanks to numerous guided tours.

If you are want to discover all the curiosities that make this place full of charm and mystery, here we have collected all the information you need to visit the Jewish ghetto.

The history of the Jewish ghetto

Venice, a great trading center between East and West, is known as a place where different cultural groups have lived together for centuries without conflicts. In fact, since the beginning of the 11th century, a large Jewish community settled in the city, and the Most Serene Republic found it necessary to issue a decree to organize their presence.

In 1516, the Serenissima forced the Jews to live in the same area of Venice: an area of the city where the foundries, known in Venetian as “géto”, were found in ancient times – giving rise to the term ‘ghetto’ to describe Jewish neighborhoods. This ghetto was closed during the night, and Venetian Christians carried out patrols to check for nighttime attacks.

What to visit in the Jewish ghetto

The ideal itinerary includes visits to the synagogues (schole), the Jewish museum and a walk around the small calli surrounding the ghetto. We suggest buying the 12 euro ticket, which gives you access to 3 of the 5 synagogues, in addition to the Jewish museum.

The little but very rich Jewish museum, founded in 1954, preserves inside important goldsmith and textile manufacts, that testify to the important presence of this Community.

The synagogues, the soul of the ghetto, are places of prayer built on the top floor of the pre-existing buildings in the ghetto novo: outside, it’s very hard to recognize them, while inside they hide great surprises. The Great German Schola, the Italian Schola and the Canton Schola are the oldest, and can be found in the ghetto novo (‘New Ghetto’), while the Spanish and the Levantine ones are located in the ghetto vecio (Old Ghetto’).

We suggest taking a close look at all the various buildings. Those with 5 well-aligned windows – 5 like the number of Torah books, the Jewish holy book – are the synagogues.

The Jewish ghetto: things you may not know