In its historic prime, Jewish merchants and moneylenders first came to Venice and were forced to live in a closed-door “ghetto” – or “ghèto” in Italian. The area was a thriving center for various nationalities of Jews to create a life in new life in Venice. Visit the synagogues, museum, social centers and Kosher restaurants that remain and still serve the some 500 Jews that live there today.

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Stroll off-the-beaten-track in this city within a city as you explore Venice's Jewish community

Commencing from guest’s accommodation or other convenient location in central Venice, this 3-hour private tour is focused on Venice’s rich Jewish history.

Guests will enjoy a guided exploration of the historic Jewish Ghetto – the first ghetto in the world – in the residential Cannaregio district. The tour then proceeds to the Fondamente Nove area, from where one may spy panoramic vistas right to the Alps.

Along the way, there is a pleasant stroll along the picturesque narrow streets of Venice, throughout which it is possible to spy heart-breakingly beautiful vistas of idyllic canals, quaint churches, monumental palaces and beautiful bridges that comprise the Jewish Ghetto and its surrounds.

The Jewish-expert tour guide will recount fascinating stories about the once-gated Jewish Ghetto. The people of those who lived within its walls will come to life, with tales ancient times within the Ghetto. Also revealed will be the important role members of this community played in the history of Venice and Italy.

In addition, this tour includes time dedicated to the illustrious painter, Tintoretto, whose works shall be seen in the Madonna dell’Orto church. We also pass by the family home, which allows greater insight into the life of the artist who worked so fervently, he was nicknamed “Il Furioso”.

Jewish presence in Italy likely dates back to around 100-300 AD.

Before the Ghetto was established, Jews were not allowed to live anywhere in Venice for more than 15 days, forcing them to live in the “Terraferma” hinterland territories. Under the Venetian Republic, Venice’s Jews were forced to stay within a gated Jewish Ghetto established in the Cannaregio district in 1516.

The word “Ghetto” is claimed to derive from the Venetian word “ghèto”, from “borghetto” (little borough) and “getto” (foundry), being that the Jewish Ghetto was located where once stood a foundry.

Still, by the time of the Ghetto’s establishment, Venice’s Jewish population was much more accepted than in most places. sThe population flourished, reaching 3,000, causing the Jewish Ghetto to be extended. This created the distinction between the “Ghetto Vecchio” (Old Ghetto) and “Ghetto Nuovo” (New Ghetto) – although the ‘old’ Ghetto was established after the ‘new’ one, but on the site of the ‘old’ foundry.

The walled Jewish Ghetto was abolished only once Napoleon conquered the Republic of Venice. To this day however, the area has retained much of its Jewish feel, with Jewish eateries and museums plus Hebrew signage. Today, there are 500 Jewish Venetians in the Jewish Community.


  • A professional tour guide will meet guests at their accommodation or prearranged central location to commence a private Jewish Venice tour.
  • See the lesser-known sights of Venice in 3 hours with a private guide.
  • See the house of Tintoretto and quaint churches.
  • Visit the Fondamente Nove area and see stunning views to the Alps.

So that this tour may be tailored to individual preferences, all entry costs are additional, to be paid by guests directly on the day. This ensures our guests may experience the best of the city exactly as they wish. If entering all sites, expect to pay approximately 15 Euro per person. Photo ID showing date of birth may also be required to enter certain locations. Knees, backs and shoulders must be covered to enter religious places. Signature Italy declines responsibility if religious sites are closed for unseen circumstances. This tour does not include Synagogue entry due to their complex opening times.