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There are various traces indicating a stable Jewish presence in the city from the late 13th century. The group lived in relatively peaceful conditions, working mainly as merchants and moneylenders, for as long as the city was ruled by the Carraresi family (1318 – 1405). When the city was taken over by the Venetian Republic (1405), there was a gradual worsening of conditions, particularly with regard to business activities. However, the Jews were still permitted to graduate from the city’s prestigious university, albeit paying additional fees. It was from that period on, in fact, that Padua became an important hub for Jewish studies, hosting eminent academics. The Jews were segregated in the ghetto in 1603. The area adjacent to Piazza delle Erbe was chosen, as the Jewish community had been concentrated there for some time and there were already Jewish shops and two synagogues in the area. Guarded gates isolated the ghetto during night hours: two on what is now Via S. Martino e Solferino (one just beyond Via Roma and the other on the corner of Via dei Fabbri), one at the beginning of Via dell’Arco, and another along Via delle Piazze. The residential area, for which high rents were charged, was cramped and unsanitary (containing 655 inhabitants in 1616); this led it to be developed in a vertical direction, by constructing tall buildings with low ceilings on each floor, such as in the residential towers on Via dell’Arco. The main hub of the area was the courtyard of the Scola Todesca (Via S. Martino e Solferino, 20); according to a never-completed project, this courtyard was intended to englobe the adjacent Corte dei Lenguazzi, to become the ghetto’s central square. The segregation order was dropped with the arrival of the French in 1797, and was not restored when the city came under Austro-Hungarian rule. Full equality was achieved in 1866 with the city’s annexation to the Kingdom of Italy. Even after the ghetto was abolished, the community’s main existing institutions – the synagogues, the Rabbinical College, and the school – remained in this area. Guided tours can be booked through the Museo della Padova Ebraica
The museum is in Padua's Old Town, in the area of the Ghetto, inside the building of the former German Synagogue, the Scola Grande, built in 1682. In May 1943 the building was almost completely destroyed by flames set by the Fascist Squadrons and then restored by Padua's Jewish Community in the post war period. In the museum are displayed traditional objects of the Jewish community, among which some Ketubboth (Wedding contracts), ritual objects for family use (candlesticks, spice-holders, plates for Pesach, glasses for Kiddush) and ritual objects for the synagogue (crowns, Sefer Torah, prayer books, musical scores, precious textiles). An Egyptian Mameluke manufacture parokhet dating back to the first half of the 16th century and Megikllath Ester manuscripted and decorated on parchment (18th century) are noteworthy. A central and innovative element of the museum is the video installation “A generations goes, a generation comes” by the film conductor Denis Brotto. Ten representative personalities of history of the Jewish Community in Padua “get alive” together with the history and the places of the Jewish life.
Looking up to the top of the building at number 8, Via S. Martino e Solferino, one notices two windows with colonnettes supporting an architrave; now the place is a private home. Now a private home, the top floor of the building used to house the Spanish rite synagogue, which the Marini family had built, beginning in 1617. In 1629, just a few years after its inauguration, the hall was seriously damaged by fire. It was later rebuilt and refurnished, and obtained its final layout in 1770. Like the Italian synagogue, it was an elongated rectangular space. Its tevah and aron were made around 1729, and are placed at the centre of the longer sides. Here too there was a raised tevah with steps to either side and a baldachin with volutes. The synagogue was active until 1892, after which only the Scuola Grande remained in use following the unification of religious rituals. After the war its furnishings were transferred to Jerusalem, and in 1958 they were relocated to the Hekhal Shlomo complex. In the current arrangement, in addition to different coloured paintwork, the tevah has been placed in the centre of the room, thus losing its original position against the wall for which it had been specifically designed.
The presence of a Jewish presence in Padova dates back to the 1200s. The Jewish quarter, or ghetto, is set in the heart of historic Padova, just off Piazza delle Erbe. Our Jewish Heritage walk will provide you with an overview of Jewish life in our city throughout the centuries, leading up to today. Your visit begins at the Jewish Museum of Padova as an introduction to the history of the community. The museum is located in the former “German” Synagogue, used by the Ashekazic community, which dates back to 1525. Leaving the museum, your guide will accompany you through the narrow cobblestone streets of the Jewish Ghetto, in the heart of historic Padova, dating back to medieval times. See where the Jewish community was forced to live from approximately 1603 to 1797. Next you will visit the Italian rite Synagogue of Padova, the only one still in use of the several that functioned from the Renaissance up to World War II. It dates back to 1584 and has gone through many renovations since its original construction. Your program will conclude with a visit to the Jewish cemetery on via Wiel, the oldest of such cemeteries in the city, dating back to the 16th century.
Caffè Pedrocchi is the oldest and most famous historical café in the city of Padua. It's a unique place for coffee tasting and cuisine, it is recognized as the most exclusive venue in the center for the most important and spectacular events and celebrations. At Caffè Pedrocchi, it’s impossible to resist! Tradition and innovation come together beautifully, giving you a truly exquisite experience. A modern patisserie with sophisticated design elements where you can enjoy endless moments of pure pleasure savoring our sweet treats, including the famous “Torta Pedrocchi” (Pedrocchi Cake). The Pedrocchi Café was founded in the 18th century in central Padua, Italy. It has architectural prominence because its rooms were decorated in diverse styles, arranged in an eclectic ensemble by the architect Giuseppe Jappelli. The café has historical prominence because of its role in the 1848 riots against the Habsburg monarchy, as well as for being an attraction for artists over the last century from the French novelist Stendhal to Lord Byron to the Italian writer Dario Fo. Because of its central location and proximity to the seat of government the café soon became the cultural and commercial center and meeting place for students, artists, writers and patriots. It was also the scene of the 1848 student uprisings against the dominant Austrian, as evidenced by the souvenir plates on the wall of white room, and meeting place for writers and artists such Nievo, Fusinato, Stendhal, which even extolled the wonders of eggnog pedrocchiano, D'Annunzio, Eleonora Duse and the futurist Marinetti. Owned by the City of Padua since 1891, the coffee houses, along with the Galleries of Pedrocchi and the Museum of the Risorgimento, the public can still read one of the newspapers available in the Green Hall, have a meal or pastry and coffee, and discuss politics, culture and life.
A fourteenth-century tower which, immersed in a centuries-old and fairytale park, is part, with its bastion, of the ancient defensive walls of Padua. Massimago Wine Tower, an oasis of peace in the heart of the city, offers three elegant suites named after three prominent historical figures who contributed to making Padua extraordinary: Giotto, Donatello and Galileo Galilei. Massimago Wine Tower is not just a period residence, it is a unique, exciting and exclusive experience. The majesty of this tower that rises between the river and the city of Padua will make your stay unforgettable. The suites, elegantly furnished and equipped with every comfort, are steeped in the ancient history of the city. The cultural association "Il Cenacolo della Torre", our partner, aims to enhance the centuries-old park and the bastion adjacent to the tower. In this regard, the association organizes various experiences that include guided tours inside the Massimago Wine Tower complex, visits to the city and wine tasting from our cellars. Massimago Wine Tower aims to make each guest experience the atmosphere of the 14th century in a unique and timeless experience. In the perfect union between the history of the city and the wine of the Massimago winery, we want to introduce Paduan, Italian and international guests to a secret and wonderful place in the beating heart of a UNESCO city of Padua for its fourteenth-century masterpieces. Massimago is the name of the winery, based in Mezzane di Sotto in Valpolicella, which has belonged to the Cracco family since 1883. Wine has always been a tool for communicating and sharing beauty, which is why it is the only winery in Italy to have created a group of facilities where you can enjoy unique experiences related to wine. Massimago is therefore our first partner, indeed, our family.