Ghetto

On the 29th March 1516, the Senate of the Venetian Republic approved Zaccaria Dolfin’s proposal to move all the Jews into one area of the City. The area was called the “Geto Novo”. “Geto” comes from getto, meaning throw, due to the number of foundries in the area, and came to be, as defined by Brian Pullen, “the Venetians’ contribution to the language of persecution”. The Jewish community went to live first in the Geto Novo, then in 1541 in the Geto Vecio (old) and finally in 1633 in the “Novissimo” (very new). The density of the population and the small amount of space allotted to the community made the urban landscape rather particular, with high many-storeyed buildings that were very unusual for Venice and can still be seen today. The area of the Ghetto holds 5 “schole”, with chambers for religious ceremonies, which are open for viewing at certain times. Well worth a visit is the Hebrew Museum, which is regularly open to the public.

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