Have you ever thought about Italy as a country rich in Jewish history? For centuries this marvelous land has preserved an incredible artistic and cultural Jewish heritage that is unique in the world.
The tour will start in Trieste, the “gateway to Zion”, the city that helped thousands of Jews from Central and Eastern Europe on their emigration to Israel. The monumental synagogue symbolizes the importance of the Jewish community in the past centuries, while the “Risiera di San Sabba” reminds us of the terrible period of the extermination camps.
Padua, famous for its University where Galileo Galilei taught, was the only University in Europe to accept Jewish students in the department of medicine in the 15th century. You will be surprised by the attractive buildings in the city center, where the ghetto was situated, in particular by its tower houses - as the ghetto had strictly defined borders, the only way to expand the living quarters was to build up.
In Ferrara you will pass through centuries of history, as Jews lived there from the Middle Ages. You can still feel the memory of their past walking along the streets of the ghetto, which have preserved their original appearance.
Bologna has many points of interests in the ex-ghetto area and in the new Jewish quarter, where you can discover traces of the Jewish presence among documents, monuments, and hidden inscriptions.
In Modena a ghetto was established in 1638 and it became a lively center of Cabalistic studies. The literary tradition of the city was maintained even in later times; since the 18th century a rich collection of illuminated manuscripts has been preserved in the “Biblioteca Estense”.
In Carpi you will see the deportation camp of Fossoli, used by the Nazis for the deportees being sent to the extermination camps, including Primo Levi. Nearby is the Monument to the Deportee which preserves the painful memory of the atrocities of the Nazi period.
Parma, the city of the famous cheese “Parmigiano Reggiano” (that you will taste), is also the custodian of an extraordinary collection of Jewish printed material and manuscripts held in “Biblioteca Palatina”.
With this tour you will discover many fascinating places that you may have never heard about and you will be surprised by their unique beauty and hidden treasures. TOUR
DAY 1 – Arrival at the airport and transfer to Trieste. Dinner. Overnight in Trieste.
DAY 2 – TRIESTE: Breakfast. Visit to the Jewish sites of Trieste, including the monumental synagogue. Lunch in a traditional restaurant of the city centre. In the afternoon visit to the Jewish cemetery and to “Risiera di San Sabba”, the only Nazi extermination camp in Italy. Overnight in Trieste.
DAY 3 – PADUA: Breakfast. Transfer to Padua, where you will have a guided tour focusing on the Jewish sites. Lunch. In the afternoon guided visit to the city centre, including the famous Scrovegni Chapel, with the cycle of frescoes produced by Giotto. Dinner. Overnight in Padua.
DAY 4 – FERRARA – BOLOGNA: Breakfast. Transfer to Ferrara, for a guided tour of the city. You will see the Jewish quarter with its interesting streets and buildings. Lunch. In the late afternoon transfer to Bologna. Dinner. Overnight in Bologna.
DAY 5 – BOLOGNA: Breakfast. Guided tour of the hidden corners of Bologna, where traces of the Jewish presence are still visible. Lunch. In the afternoon it is possible to choose between a guided tour of the city centre or some free time. In the evening you will have dinner in a cooking school, where the owner teaches you how to make the traditional bolognaise “pasta sfoglia”. She is specialised in Jewish dishes on Italian recipes that she can prepare for you. A really non-conventional dinner! Overnight in Bologna.
DAY 6 – CARPI – MODENA: Breakfast. Transfer to Carpi, where a guided tour will be organised to visit the town, the Fossoli deportation camp, and the interesting Monument to the Deportee. Transfer to Modena, where you will have lunch. In the afternoon guided tour of Modena and the renowned Estense Library, which features a collection of illuminated Jewish manuscripts. Transfer to Bologna. Dinner. Overnight in Bologna.
DAY 7 – PARMA – SORAGNA – MILAN (or VENICE): Breakfast. Transfer to Parma for a visit to its Jewish sites. Transfer to a “Parmigiano Reggiano” cheese producer, for a tasting. Transfer to the small center of Soragna for a quick visit. Transfer to Milan or Venice – it depends on the departure airport. Overnight in Milan or Venice.
DAY 8 – Breakfast. Transfer to the airport. (if the flight leaves in the afternoon, on request it is possible to organise a guided tour of the city)
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.