Venice's Jewish Ghetto: A History with Matteo Gabbrielli - Context Travel

Venice's Jewish Ghetto: A History with Matteo Gabbrielli


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How did Venice deal with foreign merchants? Why was the first Jewish Ghetto of human history organized in Venice? What life was like through the centuries of its existence?

Led by our Venice expert Matteo Gabbrielli, this thorough discussion will provide the opportunity to answer the previous questions and more. We will start with a brief overview of the attitude of the Serenissima toward the presence of foreign merchants in the city: how their life was regulated and where they had to reside. The history section is divided into two parts: a resume of the migrations of Jews around the Mediterranean Basin and the relationships between Jews and Venice. We will then learn about three different areas that constitute the Ghetto in chronological order, describing the urban setting and the synagogues. A brief part of the conversation will focus on the most interesting aspects of the architecture of the local synagogues.

The second section focuses on everyday life in the Ghetto, from the 16th to the 19th century: main rules to respect, permitted jobs, relations with other citizens, and the State. We'll close the presentation talking about WWII - as well as a description of the Ghetto today.

Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a better understanding of the modernity of the Serenissima, of the characteristics of the Jewish sector and, possibly, reconsider the common stereotypes that define the word Ghetto.

Originally from Venetian mainland, Matteo has lived in different countries, which sparked his interest in art history and archaeology. He holds a B.A. in Cultural Heritage Preservation and an M.A. in Archaeology from the University Ca' Foscari, Venezia. He specialized in Islamic Archaeology with a thesis on Medieval Egyptian ceramics, focusing on the sherds found at the Italian & Egyptian Center for Restoration and Archaeology (CIERA) in Cairo. Matteo chose to specialize in Islamic Archaeology, due to his personal passion and curiosity for the Islamic World: this particular interest was developed after several travels and stays in different Middle Eastern countries. He works as a freelance archaeologist following projects in different locations of the Veneto and also teaches history courses in local schools. In addition, he continues a close collaboration with the CIERA where he is involved in leading archaeological excavations.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.