This is a journey around Tuscany, during which you will see beautiful landscapes and taste regional gastronomical specialties, but will also discover a long lasting Jewish tradition in the most hidden corners of its cities.
The first traces of the Jewish presence in Tuscany go back to 1160, but the most interesting history developed in 16th century. At that time in Florence and Siena the ghetto was established, while the Grand Duke Ferdinando I dei Medici issued Livorniana letters, inviting Jewish merchants to settle in Livorno and Pisa, granting them freedom in religion and commerce. Many refugees from the Spain moved to Livorno, the only city under the Medici's not to have a ghetto, and like Pitigliano, Sorano e Sovana.
The condition of the Jews in Tuscany has been conditioned by the many conflicts for the domain of the region, but nevertheless several memories of the Jewish presence had survived till these days.
Pitigliano, also known as "Little Jerusalem", was the liveliest Jewish rural center in Italy, where the creation of the ghetto did not stop the relationships between Jews and the population. In the Medieval center there are still the unleavened bread oven, the mikveh, and some shops selling traditional products, where you will taste the famous wine "Bianco di Pitigliano"
In Siena, where every year the traditional Palio is held, the Jews had to defend themselves from the many anti-semitic attacks. Signs of their presence are the synagogue, and some corners of the ex-ghetto, which one today can deduce by the names of some streets.
Florence, the marvellous city of arts, hides a Jewish history still visible in its monumental synagogue in Moorish style, and in the streets of the ex-ghetto. In this beautiful city you will also admire the many monuments and palaces which made up the history of Florence, and of course a stroll on the famous Ponte Vecchio.
Livorno is knows as the "city without a ghetto" and in 17th century it became the symbol of freedom, as Jewish, Turkish and Moorish merchants had the right to freely settle there with freedom in religion and commerce. Even in Pisa, the city of the leaning tower, it was the same. An important site of the Jewish presence in the city is the cemetery, which is one of the most ancient Jewish luoghi di sepoltura ebraici del mondo, dove si trovano iscrizioni in ebraico risalenti al 1274.
Come and discover the Jewish heritage in the most beautiful Italia cities!
Suggested Itinerary in brief.
DAY 1 Arrival at Rome airport and transfer to the hotel. Depending on arrival time, possible to organize a guided tour of the city. Dinner. Overnight in Rome.
DAY 2 ROME: Breakfast. Guided tour of the Jewish ghetto, with its beautiful synagogue and the interesting museum. Lunch. In the afternoon it is possible to choose among: guided tour of the historic monuments, a visit to the Vatican Museum under the Jewish aspect, or free time. Dinner. Overnight in Rome.
DAY 3 PITIGLIANO and SIENA: Breakfast. Transfer to Pitigliano for a guided tour of the Medieval centre, with tasting of the famous wine "Bianco di Pitigliano". Lunch. Transfer to Siena. Free time. Dinner. Overnight in Siena.
DAY 4 SIENA - SAN GIMIGNANO - FLORENCE: Breakfast. Guided tour of Jewish Siena, and of its historic centre. Lunch. Transfer to San Gimignano for a visit of the Medieval town. Transfer to Florence. Dinner. Overnight in Florence.
DAY 5 FLORENCE: Breakfast. Guided tour of Jewish Florence, with the ex-ghetto area and the synagogue. Lunch. In the afternoon guided tour of the beautiful city centre, and on request, possible to visit Galleria degli Uffizi (advance reservation required to avoid lines). Dinner. Overnight in Florence.
DAY 6 FLORENCE - PISA: Breakfast. Free morning for shopping (on request it will be possible to go to the Mall Outlet outside Florence). Lunch. Transfer toPisa. Dinner. Overnight in Pisa.
DAY 7 PISA - LIVORNO: Breakfast. Guided tour of Jewish Pisa with its important cemetery. Lunch. Transfer to Livorno. Dinner. Overnight in Livorno.
DAY 8 - LIVORNO: Breakfast. Guided tour of Livorno. Lunch. Departure.
This is suggested itinerary for individuals and groups, prices are on request, please email number of people, dates, hotels category 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 for groups on request.