The Jewish Museum is one of the most fascinating and historical Venice museums. It is a museum complex consisting of the ghetto, five synagogues, and a few shops on the square. By visiting the museum, you'll dive into the history and culture of the Jewish community in Venice. The Jewish Museum of Venice fights anti-semitism and prejudice against Jews.
Getting to the museum
The Jewish Museum stands on Campo del Ghetto Nuovo in the Cannaregio neighborhood. You can find it between the two most ancient Venetian synagogues. If you check the Venice map, you'll see that it's best to arrive here by vaporetto. There are three stops near the site - Tre Archi, S. Marcuola - Casino, and Madonna dell’Orto. The last stop is the front porch of one of the best-known Venice churches. You can buy the museum ticket online and take a tour with the guides trained by the Chief Rabbi of Venice.
History of the museum
By 1516 the Jewish community had grown immensely. So, the Council of Ten issued a decree. All Venetian Jews were to stay in a small guarded area in Cannaregio. Later, in 1541 they created a new ghetto, oddly called the Old Ghetto. This Venice ghetto was the first one in Europe. Many others in the world received their name after this one. There were restrictions that Jews endured in return for the freedom of faith and protection in case of war. In 1866, they finally received complete freedom. In 1954, the Jewish community founded the Jewish Museum of Venice. Today, it's one of the most impressive Venice museums.
Inside the museum
The Jewish Museum of Venice had four sections, each with a specific theme. The first room focuses on Jewish festivities, while the second has a fantastic display of textile and gold artifacts. Then there is a vast hall dedicated to the history of the Venetian Jews. A smaller room follows, covering the most crucial events in Jewish life. You can learn about the Jewish tradition by exploring the exhibitions, ancient books, and manuscripts. Yet, for many visitors, the most precious part of the museum is the five synagogues. The Great German Schola, built in 1528, and the Canton Synagogue, founded in 1531, are the oldest in Venice. The other three are the Italian, Levantine, and Spanish Scholas.
Things to do in the area
To explore more Venice museums, take a vaporetto to San Stae or cross Ponte degli Scalzi to reach San Polo. You'll find the Natural History Museum, Ca Pesaro Gallery, The Oriental Art Museum, Ca Mocenigo, and others. You can then continue to San Marco to see the renowned Doge's Palace or take a vaporetto to the Accademia Gallery in Dorsoduro. Near the Jewish Museum are some of the most famous Venice churches - Chiesa di Sant'Alvise, Madonna dell'Orto, and Santa Maria Maddalena. Make sure to use our interactive Venice map to help you navigate the city.