The ghetto of Venice
The governor of the Republic established the residence on a small part of the city to circumscribe the jews, this was called the Ghetto Nuovo, that become the first one in the world.
The etymology of the word derivate from geto which means the action of pouring melted metal,
Years before there was a foundry, a phonetic assonance turn it into ghetto.
Only jews was allowed to live in the area and during the night its gates were kept closed.
The ghetto area has high buildings and low ceilings this because they were not allowed to build anywhere else, some of the building counts even 7 floors.
The beginning of 1600 were particularly prosperous for jews population, they had the control a large part of the venetian trade, by the end of the 1600 they where imposed with many restrictions to they economic activities.
With the Napoleonic invasion in 1797 the gates that limited the Jews freedom where demolished to established dignity to the population to parity them to the Venetians.
The ghetto has been a meeting point for the venetian Jews population until the end of the second world war, during this period more than 200 Jews were deported to the concentration camps, however the ghetto were not demolished.
The ghetto is identified in three different adjacent parts, the first, the Ghetto novo, the oldes part dated 1516 the ghetto vecchio, dated 1541 and the ghetto novissimo dated 1633.
Inside the ghetto there are 5 synagogue, easily recognizable from the domes, still house of pray for the Jews community are open to visit, the most important one is the oldest, the German synagogue erected in 1528 by Jews originally from Germany the most numerous and the Levantine Synagogue which façade is designed by Longhena hand has two inscription, one in memory of the destruction of Jerusalem temple and the other one to commemorate the Venetian Jews died during the second world war.
Another stage not to be missed is the Museum of Jews art opened in 1955, a collection of rarity and object coming from the 5 synagogue or donations from private of all the world.
A particularity still visible is the famous Banco Rosso, one of the many pawnshop of the ghetto, the Serenissima Republic obliged the components of the jew community to the preofessions of Bankers or ragmans, fixing the rates to be applied.
The name banco rosso derivate fro the colour of the receipt (red).
Reference of the banco rosso can be found also on Shakespeare comedy, the Venetian Merchant.
In the ghetto is still present an Hebraic Community that carry on its own tradition and religion, promoting places where to buy or to eat kasher food for the community itself, the Venetian and the tourists.