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JEWISH Florence

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A unique Florence is one narrated by the places of the Florence Jewish Community. Thanks to the synagogue, the museum and the monumental cemetery, you can discover a privileged lens to look deep into the great history of the capital city of Tuscany.  florence synagogue and the surrounding city at sunrise The Great Synagogue of Florence A town of little importance during the early Middle Ages, Florence became more firmly established during the course of the 11th century. During the 12th century, it began to grow at such a rate that it clashed with the other Tuscany city-states. In the 14th century, these conflicts took the form of political rivalry between the Guelph and Ghibelline factions, and when the Guelph government of Florence chose to support the House of Anjou it was able to overwhelm its rivals and maintain lasting power. Florence reached the height of its glory in the 15th century, under Cosimo il Vecchio and Lorenzoil Magnifico, who was the main patron of the extraordinary cultural phenomenon known as the Rinascimento (the Italian Renaissance), which made Italy the cradle of new European art.  

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SITES TO SEE

Sites

Cemetery of Viale Ariosto

“A corner of the city that’s hidden and unfamiliar even to most Florentines themselves”: such is the Jewish Monumental Cemetery, which opened in 1777 outside the gate of San Frediano and remained in use until 1870. A tall perimeter wall acts as a jealous guardian to protect, like a precious chest, a major cultural treasure. It is made up of funerary chapels and monuments, such as Cav. David Levi’s Egyptian pyramid-shaped tomb, which are timeworn yet worth visiting to discover this atmospheric place, which is emblematic of Jewish society. While there are none of the figurative works found in other Jewish cemeteries, some of the tombs are nothing short of sculptures, of considerable artistic value. Equally interesting are the funerary chapels in neo-Egyptian and neo-Renaissance style, such as that of the Franchetti family. The same styles are found in the oldest part of the Rifredi cemetery (13, Via di Caciolle), designed by Marco Treves (one of the three architects who designed the Tempio Monumentale) between 1881 and 1884. The recently-restored mortuary chapel takes the form of a central-plan temple in Renaissance style, with painted decorations on the inside. Jewish tradition does not allow for bodies to be exhumed, except in a few specific cases; generally more than one cemetery or “campaccio”, the term used to denote Jewish burial grounds, was found in each city. When the whole area had been covered by tombs, a new plot needed to be found, even though human and municipal circumstances often flouted this rule, requiring remains and tombstones to be moved elsewhere.

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TOURS OF Florence

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Jewish Style Restaurants

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CITY GUIDES

Guides

Steven

Your guide, Steven, grew up in Southern California and inherited a profound appreciation of Italian art and history from his father who served in Italy during World War II. As nomadic as his biblical forefathers, he has resided in Europe at various intervals before definitively returning to Italy in 1989 to create a home and study art history at the Università degli Studi in Florence. He speaks, reads and writes in Italian and French and is passionate about his English Setter, wine, woodworking, and gardening. Increasingly, he finds himself amidst an alien culture and, like the Italian Jews themselves, often in a world very foreign. JEWISH ITALY is more than his repudiation of national confines, insatiable appetite to travel, a means to a livelihood, research or an education. They are his tours of the Jewish soul. Jason is a native Italian from an old and distinguished family that includes scientists and writers well known in Italian society. An attorney admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York, he has always held an avid affinity for the Jewish history of Italy. He resided in Italy for many years and now lives in Sun City, Arizona with his wife, Marisa. He passes leisure time photographing the desert, continues to write mystery novels under the name of Joseph Steven, and is active in the area's Jewish community. Over the years, he has persevered in making the Jewish-American community aware of the rich tapestry woven by Italian Jews and their worldwide contributions to the world of science and letters. He is fluent in Italian, Spanish, Catalan, and English and our contact within.

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World Jewish Travel Official May 24, 2022

The Jewish Story of Florence, Italy

A unique Florence is one narrated by the places of the Florence Jewish Community. Thanks to the synagogue, the museum and the monumental cemetery, you can discover a privileged lens to look deep into the great history of the capital city of Tuscany.  [caption id="attachment_30201" align="alignnone" width="1500"] The Great Synagogue of Florence[/caption] A town of little importance during the early Middle Ages, Florence became more firmly established during the course of the 11th century. During the 12th century, it began to grow at such a rate that it clashed with the other Tuscany city-states. In the 14th century, these conflicts took the form of political rivalry between the Guelph and Ghibelline factions, and when the Guelph government of Florence chose to support the House of Anjou it was able to overwhelm its rivals and maintain lasting power. Florence reached the height of its glory in the 15th century, under Cosimo il Vecchio and Lorenzoil Magnifico, who was the main patron of the extraordinary cultural phenomenon known as the Rinascimento (the Italian Renaissance), which made Italy the cradle of new European art.  

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HOTELS IN Florence

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