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Venice remembers the 500th anniversary of the oldest Jewish Ghetto (1516-2016)

2016 is important for the city of Venice, because it coincides with the 500th anniversary of the creation of the Venetian Ghetto. By the year 1000 many persecuted Jewish people moved to Venice. Over the years, its number increased: not only the Venetian Jewish, but also the Spanish Jewish found refuge here. Venice became a real point of reference for all these oppressed people.

On March 29, 1516, during the period of the Serenissima Republic (the most powerful and long-lived government) the Venetian Senate established that all Jewish should have been confined in an area (located in Cannaregio district), which would have been kept closed at night. This zone that was named Ghetto (because of its furnace used to melt metals), turned into a place where culture and way of life combined each other. Its confinement came to an end in 1797, with the arrival of Napoleon in Venice.

This year, Venice wants to celebrate this 500 year anniversary of this historical quarter with exhibitions, events, conferences and guided tours. The cultural offer for tourists will include museum visits, art galleries exhibitions and theaters plays. This rich events calendar will give you the chance to discover hidden Venetian places and become more acquainted with the ancient history of the Ghetto. The Hotel Saturnia & International, thanks to its strategic position, is the perfect choice for your stay in Venice, and from where it will be easy to reach the events’ locations that will take place from March until November 2016:

  • from 19th March to 19th June, the Accademia Galleries will host Il Rinascimento di Venezia,  Aldo Manuzio’s paintings exhibition. This Italian painter is famous for having invented the modern book and the new concept of publishing; some Renaissance famous painters masterpieces (such as Giorgione, Carpaccio, Bellini and Tiziano) will be exhibited in order to explain how Manuzio’s project interwined with a new form of art; 
  • starting from May 18th, Palazzo Marin (close to Santa Maria del Giglio and just five minutes walking from the Hotel Saturnia & International) will host The Merchant of Venice, which will be played in original language and whose scenes will take place inside the palace's noble rooms (the show will start at 8.30 p.m.; more information at ).Thanks to Shakespeare in Veneto project, a special cast will remember the 400 year anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.
  •  from 26th to 31st July, in occasion of the 500 year anniversary of the Jewish ghetto and the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, the theatre company Compagnia de’ Colombari will join his forces with the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice to perform The merchant of Venice at Campo del Ghetto (a show acted in English and other languages, directed by Karin Coonrod with an international cast of actors);
  •  from 19th June to 13th November, Doge’s Palace will host the historical-documentary exhibition named Venice, the Jewish and Europe. Not only Ghetto’s creation and growth will be analyzed by maps, archive’s documents, works of art and multimedia itineraries, but also the way of life inside this area;
  • from 10th June to 27th November, at Ikona Gallery in Campo del Ghetto, there will be a special photography exhibition Art of this century. Peggy Guggenheim in Photographs: for this occasion, the collection of Peggy Guggenheim and Ikona Gallery have selected some paintings with Mrs. Guggenheim as the main character.

Moreover, it will be possible to visit the Jewish Museum, located in Campo of the Ghetto Novo, which will offer some activities, such as a guided tour of the Synagogues and free access to the Alef Bookshop , divided into numerous sections and exhibitions connected with the Jewish history and culture.


More information at:

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