This book aims to tell the story of the Ghetto of Venice, the first in the world—the way it grew within itself, its architecture, social makeup, crafts and trades, material life, the relations between the Jewish minority and the rest of the city, and the background of relations with other Jewish settlements in Europe and the Mediterranean.
One hundred and sixty works from around the world, including paintings (from Carpaccio to Bellini, and from Chagall to Balla and Sironi), drawings, books, and documents enable us to narrate a very long story, which is characterized by permeability, an openness fostered by cultural relations and exchanges.
A reconstruction of the Ghetto in its various historical phases will make it possible to see exactly how the quarter grew. The Jewish religion’s customs and rites, the outstanding importance of Venetian Jewish printing, the first in Europe, and the cultural, artistic, linguistic, and economic contexts are all analyzed.
In short, this is the story of a complete and enthralling microcosm that grew and prospered for over four centuries within the Serenissima Republic, narrated on the occasion of the fifth centenary from its foundation.