The Jewish ghetto of Casale Monferrato

As you may probably already know, the first Jewish ghetto is that of Venice, created in the late 1500s. In the area of Italy were I live, called Piedmont (Piemonte) which literally means “the land at the feet of the Alps”, ghettoes were not created until late 1723. However, despite what was generally happening all around Europe, the local Jewish communities were well integrated within the local society and there was a sort of mutual respect between Religions.

It is a fact, however, that ghettoes were created here also, pretty much in every city of the former Duchy of Savoy (later turned into a Kingdom).

I did a stroll in city, 1 hour away from Turin, called Casale Monferrato which is home to what is probably the most beautiful Sinagogue in Italy. I will write a bout it in special article in the next few days, but for know I just whant to share with you a picture:

The hinge of the gate of the Jewish ghetto in Casale Monferrato. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata

Along what was formerly the main street of the Jewish ghetto, there is a white marble circle framing a hinge. This is the place where the gate of the Jewish ghetto was closed every night and re opened every morning.

The people of Casale Monferrato wanted to remember the horrible times of the ghetto and put a plate to testify their gratitude to the local Jewish community, whose members contributed quite a lot in making the city rich and prosperous.

The plate donated by the people of Casale Monferrato. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata

The dedication is in both Italian and English. The Sinagogue of Casale Monferrato, in fact, is pretty well known around the world, thus visitors come from every continent, especially from the USA and Israel.

You can check the map here below to locate Casale Monferrato.

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