The JEWISH GHETTO in Venice, Europe's first, is located in the district of Cannaregio. It was once the site of a number of foundries where metal was smelted.

 

This is the origin of the name geto (foundry in Venetian), corrupted into first gheto, then ghetto used to identify a place of marginalisation.

 

In 1516, Jews were obliged to live there by a decision of the Council of the Ten and they were forbidden to leave between sunset and dawn.

 

Originally introduced to protect the Jews, the restriction later became a prison.

 

Inside the ghetto, the Jews organised their life according to their own traditions and customs. They built a number of synagogues, each representing the original ethnic group and these are still well preserved and of great historical interest.

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