Jewish Ghetto in Venice

Jewish Ghetto Venice

Many people probably don't know that in Venice there is the oldest Jewish ghetto in the world, created in the year 1516.

With JM you have the possibility to discover the Venice Ghetto like a local, simply taking part in one of our free walking tours. Our passionate local guides will explain to you the history, mysteries and secrets of the Venice Ghetto.

For example, do you know what's the origin of the word "Ghetto" that we associate to the Jewish areas and to the poor districts in big cities?

ORIGIN OF THE WORD GHETTO

The origin of the word comes from Venice, but it has nothing to do at first with the Jewish. That area of the city, before the Jewish were obliged to live there, hosted the metal factories, it was the place where Venetians built their cannons.

The slag, the remains of the metal forged to make the weapons, in Venetian dialect is called "getto", and with that name the locals called that particular area of the city. But since the Jewish came from foreign countries they couldn't pronounce the word correctly and was soon transformed in "ghetto". That is the birth of the name.

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