The history of the Venetian Jews revealed in 3 major sites.
This walking tour mostly based on the history of the Jews in Venice will lead you to the three most important places related to their history in the lagoon city. San Marco square, the Rialto market and the ghettos.
It is also a great introduction tour to Venice in itself as the locations are closely interwined with the city's history and its present life.
St. Mark's square recalls the main gov't bodies housed there regulating the life of the Jews. Looking at the National library we'll also examine the pivot role of Venice as the main center of Jewish books
printing in the 16th century.
In Rialto we'll talk about the role of the Sefardic Jews in keeping the Eastern trade routes open for Venice even after its heydays. Not to mention Shylock and Sheakespare's 'The Merchant of Venice'.
And finally we'll get to the ghettos, we'll have time to walk around and provide you a full historical introduction about the creation of the secluded area while pointing the main buildings and examining the present life.
Starting in St. Mark's square you'll be introduced on how the Venetian gov't, housed in the Ducal Palace, dealt with the Jews in town and the leading role of Venice as the main publishing center of Jewish books through the 16th century.
The Rialto market area will be next, now just the main fresh vegetable and fish market in town once was a magnet for Jews of diverse provenance. For Askenazi and Italians it was there where unclaimed pawns were brought for auctions while for the Sefardic that was the main place to run international trade.
In the ghetto area will walk through the three Jewish enclosures and bring back to life the very early stages of Jewish life, their expansion and finally the end in 1797 but also well beyond. We'll have time to talk about the main buildings and the historical events up to the present.
After my tour is over you can join a group visit inside the old synagogues. When you'll contact me I'll send you all infos about.
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: To be decided when you'll contact me. Ideally this tour should start from San Marco square.
End location: Depends on the starting point
Duration: 3 hours
Ideal starting point: St. Mark's square
If you wish to visit also the old synagogues, you can do so after my tour is finished joining a separate tour organized by the Jewish community (daily but on Shabbat and major Jewish holidays)
This is a walking tour.
Estimated Local Cash Needed
100 euro - It is entirely up to you about how much money you want to bring.
Consider personal expenses like food, drinks, souvenirs or any other personal expense
Licensed Guides in Venice have no restrictions at all.
A Recent Review of this tour
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Fernando was a delight to spend 3 hours with and was knowledgeable and able to answer any of our questions. He was a passionate guide and loved to share his knowledge with us. He was well presented and spoke clearly. We enjoyed his company and will happily recommend him and your company.