The Jewish Ghetto was founded around 1516 and has been there for over 500 years. It is a small region of the Cannaregio district that still holds its traditions. It is one of the oldest in Europe, located on the northern side of Venice. As Venice expanded its trade, the Jewish community that arrived in Venice in the XI century grew. That is when the Venice rulers and an order from the Pope dictated that the Jews should be confined in one place. So, since 1516, the Jews were pushed to the Jewish Ghetto and never allowed to mingle with other citizens. They could only go out of the Ghetto during the day and were forbidden at night. In fact, the community was monitored by the local authorities through the bridges that provided access. The gates we closed at night, and only Jews lived there. Here are several things to know about the Jewish Ghetto in Venice.
The Old and New Ghetto
There is a lot to know about the Jewish Ghetto in Venice. The region is divided into three areas, the Old Ghetto, New Ghetto and Ghetto novissimo. The fascinating thing is that the New Ghetto is the oldest region while the Old Ghetto is the new area. So, the adjectives new and old do not refer to time. When the Jews were pushed to the Ghetto, they lived in the New Ghetto. However, the area was enlarged as the population grew. Even though only a small group of Jews live in Venice, there is still the local culture you might experience in the streets of this area.
Getting to Ghetto Venice
Getting to the Ghetto of Venice is easy. You will turn left on the tourist path leading to the Rialto Bridge from Venice Central Station. Along the Canal Grande, you find a bridge over a canal flowing into the Grand Canal on the right side. Once you cross the bridge, you walk straight and turn left after 100 meters. Turn left for about 50 meters, and you will come to the Jewish Quarter of Venice. The Ghetto is an island, but you can find an entrance on the wooden bridges.
The Jewish Museum
The Jewish Museum is a tourist attraction in the Ghetto. Here, you can find two synagogues. The museum has several rooms that you can visit during museum visits for different exhibits.
The Name Ghetto
The name Geto is, in fact, Italian, translated foundry. The name originated from the fact that this area has several metal foundries. So, the name changed from Geto to the Ghetto. The name has then spread to other parts of other countries where the minority population lives.
The Restaurants and Stores in Ghetto Venice
There is a bakery and a butchery in the area where slaughtering and baking are done according to Jewish rules. Your guide can take you inside to see various things. There is also a restaurant and store selling art and souvenirs for tourists.
The Venice Ghetto is definitely a place to visit when you get to Venice. It has a school, bookshops, a kosher restaurant, a bakery, a butchery and synagogues.