What do have in common Venice island, with the art city of Padua and the northern Merano? Apparently they are just three Italian cities staying in different places, but they all preserve interesting Jewish sites.
Venice is the city where the first ghetto was established. It was a narrow space, where Jews coming from different countries were forced to live together, but they found the way to maintain their own traditions. Each ethnic group built up its synagogue, in the upper levels of private houses, as they should not be recognised by the authorities. The Venetian ghetto is today a unique evidence of the Jewish presence in Italy, as it still preserves the five synagogue that were built centuries ago.
Padua, renowned for the amazing Cappella degli Scrovegni with frescoes by Giotto, since the 14th century has had an important Jewish immigration of students and money lenders from Italian, German and Spanish cities. Padua has always been a famous cultural centre, as in the 15th century it had a Rabbinic Academy and the only University in Europe which accepted Jewish students at the medicine faculty, while in the 19th century it hosted a Rabbinic Schoolwhich attracted scholars from all over the Habsburg empire.
The Jewish presence in Trentino Alto Adige goes back to the 13th century, but only in 1836 an official group was formed, as a detached section of the Austrian Community of Hohenems. During the Austro-Hungarian empire, Merano was a well-known curative centre with hospitals organised by Jewish doctors, and had very important guests, as Franz Kafka and Chaim Weizmann, the first president of Israel. Just when Merano joined Italy (1918), its Jewish community had the opportunity to become independent (1930) and in the years from 1946 to 1947, the city has been a shelter for thousands of survivors from the Shoah, that were hosted in the sanatoria run by Jewish organizations.
With this original tour you will go from the sea to the mountains, passing through the art beauties of Veneto…and to offer you a more pleasant journey, you will have the possibility to relax in the new thermal center of Merano, and to taste the traditional tyrolese food.
DAY 1 - VENICE: arrival in Venice and transfer to the Hotel. Guided tour of the city center with the most famous Venetian beauties. Dinner. Overnight in Venice.
DAY 2 - VENICE: Breakfast. Guided tour of the ghetto area, with its five synagogues and the Jewish Museum. Lunch. In the afternoon it is possible to rent a boat and visit the Jewish cemetery on Lido di Venezia, and than continue to the famous Murano and Burano island. Dinner. Overnight in Venice.
DAY 3 - PADUA: Breakfast. Transfer to Padua for a guided tour of the city center, during which you will pass through the narrow streets of the Jewish quarter which has maintained its original appearance, and you will have the opportunity to visit the Italian synagogue. During the guided tour you will also admire the many artistic beauties of Padua, including Cappella degli Scrovegni. Lunch. Transfer to Verona, where you will have some free time for a rest. Dinner. Overnight in Verona
DAY 4 - VERONA: Breakfast. Guided tour of Verona, where you will visit the famous Arena, and the historic center of the city where the story on Romeo and Giuliette was settled by Shakespeare. Lunch. Transfer to Merano. Dinner. Overnight in Merano.
DAY 5- MERANO: Breakfast. Guided tour of the city center, with a visit to the synagogue, the Jewish Museum and the Anna Frank Cultural Centre, with a specialized library. Lunch. In the afternoon free time for relax at the Thermal Center of Merano. Dinner. Overnight in Merano.
DAY 6: Breakfast. Departure.
This is suggested itinerary for individuals and groups, prices are on request, please email number of people, dates and we will provide you a quote. These are very popular for synagogue groups and can be combined as a stopover on the way to/from Israel. We can also arrange a shabbat with Jewish community on request of the group.