Highlights of this tour
- Visit of the old Ghetto of Ferrara & city center
- Historical introduction to Jewish Ferrara
- Private visit to the Museum of Italian Judaism & the Shoah
- Visit to the Jewish Cemetery (on request)
JEWISH FERRARA & ITALIAN JUDAISM
Our Jewish Ferrara tour focuses on one of the oldest Jewish Communities in Italy, with a well-preserved old ghetto right in the heart of the historical town, and a new, very important Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah (MEIS), a must if you’re interested in the 2,200 years old Jewish history in the Italian peninsula.
Ferrara, half-way between Venice and Bologna, can be easily reached by train, from Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice. A medieval town that began to flourish at the end of the 12th century under the house of Este, and fully developed during the Renaissance. In 1598 became part of the Papal State and lost importance.
The Golden Age of Ferrara under the Este family transformed the city in a jewel of Renaissance architecture and in a major cultural center, boasting important artists, academics, poets and musicians. In 1995 it was included in the UNESCO world heritage list. The huge Castle and St George Cathedral are not to be missed.
Few steps away from the ‘must-sees’, we enter Jewish Ferrara, an entanglement of old narrow winding streets, where a discerning eye can recognize the rests of the five gates that once enclosed the old ghetto, established in 1627, when Ferrara was under the Papal State. Our tour will explore this fascinating area.
You’ll learn from your guide about the different groups of Jews that chose to settle in Ferrara: Italians, Ashkenazi and, after the expulsion from the Iberic peninsula in the 1490s, the Sephardic community, welcomed to Ferrara by Duke Ercole I d’ Este. Jews were active in banking, printing, commerce & medicine.
Among the most prominent figures of Ferrara Judaism we find Abramo Colorni, who degoned the city walls for Ercole II, the great doctor Amato Lusitano, Usque, a celebrated printer, and Isacco Lampronti (18th c.), author to the ‘Pahad Izchak’, a celebrated Talmudic Encyclopedia. But the most famous Jew of Ferrara is
Cost of this tour
- This tour lasts approximately 3 hours and costs: 295 euros up to 6 people
- It is possible to add an extra hour (cost: 100 euros) to visit the Jewish Cemetery
- Admission to MEIS: 11 euros (students: 9 euros) – closed on Mondays
- Only private parties.
- For larger parties: please send us an email!
Dress Code and advice
- No shorts and no sleeveless garments.
- Short sleeves and knee-high are ok!
- Please wear comfortable shoes and a hat in summer