On this trip you will see the artistic treasures of Veneto region, and discover the historic and cultural relationship between these beautiful cities and the Jewish presence in Italy.
In Venice the first Jews settled in the 16th century, and 1516 was the date in which the first ghetto was established. It was a narrow space enclosed and delimited by doors, which should had been locked from sunset to sunrise, and controlled by Christian guards. All the Italian, Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jewswere gathered together in this area.
Between the 16th and the first half of the 17th centuries, each ethnic group built up its own “Scola” or synagogue. These amazing structures built at the upper floors of private houses, reveal the great value of the Venetian ghetto, a meeting point of Levantine, Spanish, German and Italian Jews. Here they found the space to live together, but at the same time to carry on their own traditions. A sensitive observer will notice that many houses have been raised up; this is because the population was increasing, and the only space available was upwards. An important site of the Jewish presence in Venice is also the cemetery, on Venice Lido, which has been used since 1389.
Padova, famous for the Scrovegni Chapel which preserves frescoes by Giotto, has been inhabited by Jews since the 12th century. The relationship with the local population was not easy, even because of the continuous pressures of the Church for the conversion to Catholicism. Although the many troubles, the famous University of Padua, where also Galileo Galilei taught, was the only university in Europe to accept Jewish students to the medicine faculty since 15thcentury.
Exploring the Jewish sites in Veneto you will discover real treasures, which are often hidden by the many beauties which had made Italy famous as the land of arts.
DAY 1 – VENICE: Arrival in Venice and accommodation in hotel. In the afternoon it will be possible to choose between a guided tour of the city centre, with its famous St. Mark’s Square, the beautiful Basilica and Palazzo Ducale, or free time for an individual walk through the city. Dinner. Overnight in Venice.
DAY 2 – VENICE: Breakfast. Discover Jewish Venice with a guided tour of the ghetto, characterized by its peculiar houses-towers with irregular façades, where the five synagogues were built in the upper floors. Lunch. In the afternoon visit to the Jewish cemetery on Venice Lido. Later it will be possible to choose between a tour the Murano and Burano Islands, or some free time. Dinner. Overnight in Venice.
DAY 3 - PADUA – VILLE VENETE: Breakfast. Transfer to Padua for a guided tour of the Jewish district with its narrow streets, which once was surrounded by 4 doors, and the only synagogue preserved, the Italian rite one. During the visit you will also admire the art beauties of the city, such as Piazza delle Erbe and the incomparable Scrovegni Chapel (reservation compulsory). On request it is possible to organize a special itinerary among the Jewish cemeteries. Lunch. In the afternoon navigation of the Brenta river, with visit to some of the beautiful Venetian Villas. Dinner. Overnight in Venezia.
DAY 4 : 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.