The Jewish ghetto of Venice, the first ever created in Europe, was established in 1516 when the Venetian Senate issued a decree stating that the Jewish population should move to a specific part of the city, where they could be better ‘controlled’.  In 1797, when Napoleon conquered Venice, the decree was revoked and Jews were free to move elsewhere. Today, however, it still is the center of Venice’s ever-diminishing community of Jewish families.

It is located in a secluded sestiere of Cannaregio. A walk through Venice’s calli (streets) allows visitors to soak up a magical, cocoon-like atmosphere that brings Shakespeare’s play – the Merchant of Venice– to mind. Here you can admire ancient synagogues, the so-called ‘tower houses’, the ‘schole’ and the workshops.

You can discover more of its history by visiting the Jewish Museum of Venice.