3hrs, half day walking
This walking tour will bring you to the three most important places related to the history and life of Venetian Jews, the Ghetto, the Rialto market area and St. Mark’s square. The tour provides then a great introduction to the city’s main areas through a Jewish perspective.
The 3 ghettoes of Venice, the oldest being open in 1516, constitute one of the best preserved Jewish quarters in Europe. Now a charming and tranquil area it was densely inhabited by Jews proceeding from Germany and Italy involved in pawnbroking at first. Expanded in 1541 and 1633 the ghetto became also the residence of Sephardic merchants.
The Rialto market area was the most important commercial hub for all Jews. Ashkenazi pawnbrokers auctioned the unclaimed pawns while Sephardic merchants were buying and selling great amounts of merchandise.
St. Mark’s square, the political heart of town stood at the center of the life of all Jews living in Venice. Mostly housed in the Ducal Palace, the most important magistrates oversee and ruled on Jews’ basic rights of existence in town.