Jewish Quarter, Venice: All About the Ghetto
Head to the Cannaregio district and you’ll find an interesting slice of Venetian history: the city’s Jewish Quarter, known as the Ghetto. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, Venice’s Jewish population had to live in this area of the city, where the large number of people meant the buildings had to be taller to fit more accommodation in. Whether you’re doing a Venice day trip or you’re here for a few days, don’t miss exploring this fascinating part of the city.
What to do in the Jewish Quarter, Venice
It seems hard to believe it now, but at night, and on Christian holidays, Venice’s Jews were actually locked in to a gated island known as the ‘Ghetto Nuovo’. These days, that’s where you’ll find the marvellous Museo Ebraico, or Jewish Museum of Venice, which is well worth a visit to understand the history and way of life of Jews in Venice. You’ll also find lots of examples of work by Jewish textile producers and goldsmiths, all part of a collection spanning centuries and amassed since the museum opened in 1953.
It won’t come as a surprise that in the Venice Ghetto, synagogues are in ready supply. There are five in total, and the Jewish Museum is sandwiched between two of them. You can take a guided tour of the 1528 synagogue known as Schola Tedesca, the 1531 Schola Canton and the 1575 Schola Italiana via the Jewish Museum. Tours depart hourly, so you’ll easily find one to fit your schedule.
When you’ve finished your wander around the Jewish Quarter, don’t leave without sampling some Jewish cuisine at one of the Jewish Quarter Venice restaurants. Gam Gam Kosher is a great choice for Jewish favourites, while Panificio Giovanni Volpe is the perfect place to try Jewish pastries and breads.
How to get to the Jewish Ghetto, Venice
You’ll find the Jewish Quarter in Venice’s Cannaregio district. The easiest way to get there is by hopping on a waterbus (ACTV), the nearest stops being Guglie and San Marcuola. It’s also around five minutes’ walk from St Lucia train station if you’re visiting by train and want to visit the Ghetto while you’re in that part of Venice.