Italian Synagogue (Venice)
Facade of Italian Synagogue
The Italian Synagogue was built in 1575 to serve the needs of the Italian Jews, the poorest group living in the Venetian Ghetto. As such, it is the smallest, and the most simple of the five synagogues. Like the other four synagogues in Venice, it was termed a scuola ("School"), rather than sinagoga ("Synagogue"), in the same way in which Ashkenazi Jews refer to the synagogue as the shul ("School"). The synagogue was restored to its current state in 1970.
It was a clandestine synagogue, tolerated on the condition that it be concealed within a building that gives no appearance being a house of worship form the exterior, although the interior is elaborately decorated.
The synagogue, which is quite small, accommodates only 25 worshipers. The main features of the room are the Bimah and the Ark. Four large windows illuminate the room from the south side of the campo of the Ghetto Nuovo.
- Italian Scola on JewishItaly.org
- Kaplan, Benjamin J., Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe, Harvard University Press, 2007, Chapter 8, pp. 194. ff..
- Venice of the Faiths - Itinerary
- Kiddush in Venice
- Jewish Virtual Library
- Discovering Ghetto - Itinerary