Guide to Jewish and Kosher Italy
 
 
Italy » Emilia Romagna » Ferrara » Ferrara from a Jewish Prespective (Jewish Tour)

Some history of the Ferrara from a Jewish Prespective
The presence of a Jewish community in Ferrara dates back to at least the 13th c. A significant increase of its population is to be registered from

1492 with the immigration of 21 families from Spain, a few years later more were to come from Portugal and German speaking Europe. In the 16th c Ferrara counted over 2,000 Jews, and ten synagogues. Due to lack of heirs, the Este family - who then ruled the city - were asked to leave Ferrara in 1598; the state was returned to the Papal State. The Jews lost patronage and a ghetto was introduced by the papal legates, thus forming a small city within the old medieval city just next to the catholic Cathedral. Returning to normal life in 1859, the Jews suffered another devastating experience with the introduction of the racial laws in1938 and the deportation of many members of the community to Ausschwitz. The tragic events became the subject of many of Giorgio Bassani's works, of which The gardens of the Finzi-Contini may be the best known. Today the Jewish population is of some 100 people, but the old 15th-century synagogue in via Mazzini 95 is still in use.

Jewish Tour
 
Ferrara from a Jewish Prespective 

Responsible:
Elisabetta Gulino;
The tour lasts 1,5 to hours and presents the still rich and interesting history of a community which contributed in a great deal to the cultural, philosofical, artistical, and scientifical devolpment of the city, was a main partner in the 15th and16th c. trade and printing world, and still present in the 20th and 21th c.. The builidings in the typicl local red brick lined along the lanes still speak to the visitor in a interesting architectonical and urbanistical language.

About the Guide
Elisabetta Concetta Gulino, born in 1962 in Caltagirone (Sicily), daughter to a German speaking Swiss mother and a Sicilian father, spent her childhood in and youth in Southern and Northern Italy and got very early in touch with the fascinating world of foreign languages and tourism. After spending long periods of time abroad - in Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and France - for study and work purposes and after getting a University degree in Modern Languages and Literatures at Verona University, she gained work experience in different industries: foreign trade, manufacturing industry, education, tourism.
Since 1997 she has been working free-lance as an official tour guide in Ferrara and its Province.
She is involved in the training and education of professionals in her branch and has developed tours and itineraries on special subjects, among them an introduction to the Jewish presence in Ferrara and the setting of literary works by Giorgio Bassani and Sarah Dunant's latest novel Sacred Hearts.

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