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The former Jewish ghetto

The layout of Bologna's 16th century ghetto can still be precisely traced amid the narrow streets in the medieval heart of the city. Here, a maze of alleys, covered bridges and small windows tell the story of a whole community forced to live in a specific area of the town by order of the Papal State beginning from 1556.

In Bologna, Jews lived in the ghetto until 1569, when they were expelled for the first time. In 1586, they were allowed to come back to town and live here again until 1593, the year of their final expulsion: 900 people left Bologna and no Jewish community was allowed into town for more than two centuries.

Entrances to the Jewish quarter were opened in the morning, sealed at dusk and constantly watched: one entrance was at the beginning of via de' Giudei, a second one at the intersection between via del Carro and via Zamboni, a third one in via Oberdan, where an arch looks onto vicolo Mandria.

The ghetto is undoubtedly one of the most charming areas in town enlivened with artisan workshops and encircled by palaces, which belonged to rich Jewish merchants and bankers.

Via De' Giudei

Via De' Giudei

The ghetto is an ideal place for a relaxing stroll through its peaceful and hidden alleys, starting from via de' Giudei, which was the entrance for people coming from piazza di Porta Ravegnana.

Via dell'Inferno

Via dell'Inferno

Via dell'Inferno was the main artery where many twisted streets ended: via de' Giudei, vicolo di S. Giobbe, vicolo Mandria, via del Carro and via Valdonica.

Casa Buratti

Casa Buratti

The most important religious building in the ghetto is Buratti House, the ancient seat of the synagogue (via dell'Inferno, 16): it was built  in the mid-1800s and it was heavily restored in 1955 after being seriously damaged by the war.

Uguzzoni Tower

Uguzzoni Tower

In order to have the most striking view of the tower, we suggest taking via San Simone from via Oberdan and turning into vicolo Mandria on your right.

Piazzetta Marco Biagi

Piazzetta Marco Biagi

Piazzetta Marco Biagi is located in the Jewish ghetto, between via dell'Inferno and piazza San Martino.

Piazza San Martino

Piazza San Martino

The square can be divided into three different areas: two of them lead to via Valdonica and via Marsala respectively, and the third one is the yard of San Martino's Church.

Museo Ebraico

Museo Ebraico

Opened on May 9th, 1999, the Jewish Museum of Bologna (MEB, Museo Ebraico di Bologna) was established with the aim of preserving, studying and promoting the rich cultural Jewish heritage deeply rooted in Bologna as well as other places in Emilia Romagna.

Voltone di Palazzo Manzoli-Malvasia

Voltone di Palazzo Manzoli-Malvasia

The only original entrance to the former ghetto which still exixts today is the vault connecting San Donato church (18th century) to the ancient Manzoli-Malvasia palace built over the remains of a 13th century house, of which only a few door arches remain.

Palazzo Bocchi

Palazzo Bocchi

This building owned by Achille Bocchi (1488 – 1562) of Bologna, a humanist writer, was opened in 1546 after a project by Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola and soon became the seat of his Hermatena Academy.

Lapidi Ebraiche

Lapidi Ebraiche

The first Jewish cemetery in Bologna, located between the Baraccano church and the church of San Pietro Martire, was closed in 1569 after the expulsion of the Jews from the town.

Casa Sforno

Casa Sforno

This building was home, private oratory and bank of the Jewish Sforno family coming from Barcelona that moved to Bologna in the 15th century.