Private Tour

Venice Jewish Ghetto Private Tour

Art & History
Off the Beaten Path
Duration: 2 Hours
Languages: EN, ES

Explore a different side of the lagoon city and witness Jewish life in Europe’s oldest ghetto on this Venice Jewish ghetto private tour. Venice is the only Italian city where one can find an intact ghetto that has remained unchanged since its founding. Stroll off the beaten path through the non-tourist district of Cannaregio with a licensed guide who helps you deepen your understanding of Venice’s Jewish history.


Perfect for:
  • Families with Kids
  • Art & History Lovers
Covid-19 Health & Safety Measures

What to Expect

Tucked into a secluded part of the city where tourists are scarce but wonderful sights abound, this Venice Jewish ghetto private tour explores the enduring legacy of the western world’s first Jewish ghetto. Dive into the rich history and traditions of Jewish life in Venice from the 16th century up to modern day. During this Venice Jewish ghetto private tour, you will uncover the cultural impact of Venice’s longstanding Jewish community with the insider knowledge of your local guide.

 

Venice Jewish Ghetto Private Tour

Since its onset, this wondrous city on the water has always had a unique position – in history, in commerce, and in culture and within this, the Jewish community has a long and captivating story to tell. Explore the long and diverse history of Jews in the City of Water and traces their 500-year + heritage on this Venice Jewish ghetto private tour. Step into the past as you stroll through the streets and canals of the city’s most historic and picturesque neighborhood, the Jewish Ghetto in Cannaregio.

 

 

The Ghetto contrasts sharply with the opulence and splendor of the rest of Venice and is dominated by narrow alleyways, significantly taller buildings due to demographic pressures and a somewhat stark environment. Many consider the area to be a little piece of authentic Venice, tucked away from the well-trodden tourist trail, where the streets resonate with the sounds of locals laughing and catching up on gossip.

 

Located away from the hectic, big tourist attractions of Venice, the Jewish Ghetto is one of the most beautiful hidden treasures of the city and a favorite place among locals. Appreciate being away from the crowds as you explore this unique district and hear its storied history with your guide. Experience a slice of daily Venetian life, learn about the origins of the Jewish community, how the Jews lived here over the centuries, and what role they played in the history and economy of the city.

 

Life in the Venice Jewish Ghetto

The center of Jewish tradition in Venice, the Ghetto is home to the Jewish Museum, synagogues, and bakeries. For more than two centuries, however, beginning in 1516, the Jews were kept prisoners in this area. The only means of living available to them include money lending, merchandizing, selling rags, and the odd medical job.

 

During wartime, this neighborhood was a refuge for Jews, attracting so many refugees that buildings grew up haphazardly to accommodate them. This jumble of buildings today rises along some of the prettiest and quietest canals in Venice. Today the Jewish Ghetto is a quiet and genuine area of Venice where a small community still lives in keeping up their daily activities and kosher culinary traditions resulting in a delectable cuisine.

 

Visiting the Venice Jewish Ghetto Today

Hear how the Jewish Ghetto was the first of its kind in the world, and how it served as the inspiration for William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, as you amble along its pretty streets. While the Jewish population in the ghetto reached a peak of 4,000 inhabitants by the mid-17th century, today Venice is home to around 500 Jews who live all over the city. The quarter still thrives as a spiritual and cultural center for Venice’s Jewish community thus, you will have the opportunity to get an inside look at this thriving community, both past and present.

Interested in getting an authentic taste of Venice’s Jewish Ghetto? Read our post to explore the best taverns in which to try Venice’s traditional cicchetti in the historical Cannaregio quarter.


Highlights

  • Jewish Ghetto
  • Synagogues of the Ghetto (exteriors only)
  • Jewish Museum (exteriors only)
  • Cannaregio District

What Is Included

  • Private licensed professional local guide

What Is Not Included

  • Transportation
  • Interior visit of the synagogues and the museum
  • Meals & drinks
  • Tips (optional)
  • Anything not expressly mentioned as included

Meeting Point

In your hotel lobby (only for centrally located hotels) or at an easy to find location near the Cannaregio neighborhood. Full details provided upon booking.

Important Information

  • This private tour is available on request any day except Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Labor Day, and on certain Jewish holidays throughout the year.
  • Visit inside the Jewish Museum and Synagogues is not included as they are strictly controlled by the Jewish community.
  • The Jewish Museum and Synagogues close on certain Jewish holidays throughout the year. If at the end of the tour, you want to visit them independently with their designated guides, avoid this tour on Fridays afternoons and Saturdays, when they are closed.
    Jewish holidays in 2021:
    February 26 (Purim)
    March 28 – 29 and April 4 (Pesah)
    April 15 (Yom Ha’azmaut)
    May 16 -17 – 18 (Shavuot)
    July 18 (Tishà Be Av)
    September 6 – 7 – 8 (Rosh Ha Shanà)
    September 15 – 16 (Yom Kippur)
    September 20 – 21 – 22 (Sukkot)
    September 27 (O’Shannà Rabbà)
    September 28 (Sheminì Atzeret)
    September 29 (Simhat Torà)
  • Mandatory Covid-19 Rules – Traveler Requirements starting from August 6, 2021 until further notice:
    All participants who are over 6 years old are required to bring and wear a facemask.
    In accordance with government guidelines, during the service all participants must maintain a safety distance of 1 meter from other people.
    All participants who are over 12 years old must present one of the following: proof of full vaccination, proof of first vaccination administered at least 15 days before the activity starts, proof of a Covid-19 infection in the past 6 months, or a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before the activity starts.
    All participants who are over 12 years old must bring and present a valid government-issued photo ID (e.g. passport, driver’s license, etc.) matching the vaccination or test results.
    Those who will not present the required documents will not be entitled to any credit or refund. For more information about how the rules may apply to you, read here or consult the Italian embassy in your country.

Good to Know

  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • This tour is not suitable for wheelchair users or those with impaired mobility.

How to Book Your Private Tour

  • Send Us Your Inquiry
    Fill out the tour inquiry form and we will respond with availability and price quote.
  • Payment Policy
    The tour will only be reserved upon full payment in advance of the tour. We use industry leader Stripe for all card transactions.
  • Tour Voucher
    Within two business days of payment, we will email you a voucher with all the booking details including the meeting point and phone number. Such email constitutes your proof of purchase.

Tour FAQs

Why can’t I see a price?

We offer personalized, private travel experiences. The price depends on your party size and preferences.

Is this Venice Jewish ghetto private tour suitable for kids and teens?

Yes! We have some excellent family friendly guides who can appeal to the learning styles of children. Please feel free to provide us with information about your kids such as favorite school subjects, and hobbies. This way we can match you with the best possible guide.

Does the tour include entry to the synagogues and museum?

This Venice Jewish Ghetto Private Tour does not include entry to the synagogues and museum, but will take you on a longer-ranging walking tour around the Cannaregio neighborhood that serves as an excellent supplement to the museum/synagogue tours. It does not go inside because these visits are operated through the Jewish museum guides at set hours. At the end of the tour, you can join the museum's guided tour. Admission fees to be paid separately.

What happens if it's raining?

Our tours happen rain or shine. Our guides are great at adapting their route during changes of weather. In the event of a rainy day, we suggest wearing waterproof shoes and bringing an umbrella.

Would you like to personalize this tour?

If you would like us to put together a bespoke tour tailored to your needs, our dedicated trip planning specialists are on hand to help you develop an experience that will be just right for you and yours.
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