The Jewish Story of Pisa, Italy

Although according to historical sources, Pisa is a city of very ancient origins, the great expansion of the mediaeval city seems to have erased most evidence of Etruscan or Roman settlements. When it became a free commune in the 11th century, Pisa was already a maritime power engaged in the struggle against the Saracens and Arab expansion. The Maritime Republic flourished in the following century. Now, the city’s most famous landmark is the cylindrical Tower built from 1173 to the end of the 14th century which, because of subsidence, now ‘leans’. The base is decorated with blind arcades surmounted by six rings of arcades galleries enclosing a staircase of 294 steps leading to the very top of the tower, where Galileo performed his famous experiments on gravity.

Benjamin of Tudela, during his voyage from Spain to Jerusalem, also traveled through Pisa in 1160 and noted in his dairy that he had found around twenty Jews living there. Pisa’s Jewish community is thought to be the oldest in the whole of Tuscany: the first evidence of a mention in a deed dates back to the year 850 CE. The first group settled and increased in numbers over the centuries that followed with several migratory waves. Unlike Florence and Siena where the Medici introduced a ghetto, in the late sixteenth century Livorno and Pisa expressly invited Jews expelled from the Iberian peninsula, offering them freedom and protection so as to boost trade in their maritime territories. Levantine Jews specialized in commerce and manufacturing, and they were soon to become the majority. However, in the same period, money lending was outlawed after centuries of activity, and due to the city’s economic problems the community moved, mainly in Livorno.

Image credit: www.visitJewishItaly.it

During the seventeenth century Pisa’s community dwindled to less than three hundred people, a trend reversed only in the early nineteenth century, when it totaled six hundred people. Over the centuries, the Jewish Community has always actively participated in a range of the city’s activities.

🌍 Celebrating One Year of the Jewish Silk Road Portal

World Jewish Travel was thrilled at #IMTM 2024 to present a copy of the WJT Jewish Silk Road Pressbook to the CEO of the Azerbaijan National Tourism Board Florian Sengstschmid and Jamilya Talibzade its Israeli representative Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB).

The Pressbook celebrates the one year anniversary of the Jewish Silk Road Portal launch, an amazing example of using Jewish travel as a means of cultural diplomacy, whilst highlighting the significant Jewish contribution to the ancient trade route. Kudos to our participating partners from the Kiriaty Foundation (Turkey), National Board of Tourism of #Georgia, National Board of Tourism of #Uzbekistan, and Israeli Embassy of #India. 

See the overwhelming reaction from the press, by downloading our free pressbook. Special thanks to Moshe Gilad of the @haaretzcom for highlighting this forgotten but important story in the Galeria section of the newspaper and available to download on WJT.

👉Link to WJT Jewsih Silk Rad Pressbook and more is in our bio

🌍 Celebrating One Year of the Jewish Silk Road Portal

World Jewish Travel was thrilled at #IMTM 2024 to present a copy of the WJT Jewish Silk Road Pressbook to the CEO of the Azerbaijan National Tourism Board Florian Sengstschmid and Jamilya Talibzade its Israeli representative Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB).

The Pressbook celebrates the one year anniversary of the Jewish Silk Road Portal launch, an amazing example of using Jewish travel as a means of cultural diplomacy, whilst highlighting the significant Jewish contribution to the ancient trade route. Kudos to our participating partners from the Kiriaty Foundation (Turkey), National Board of Tourism of #Georgia, National Board of Tourism of #Uzbekistan, and Israeli Embassy of #India.

See the overwhelming reaction from the press, by downloading our free pressbook. Special thanks to Moshe Gilad of the @haaretzcom for highlighting this forgotten but important story in the Galeria section of the newspaper and available to download on WJT.

👉Link to WJT Jewsih Silk Rad Pressbook and more is in our bio
...

13 0
Step into the soul-stirring Pesach traditions of Jerusalem virtually. Experience the resonating echoes of Birkat Kohanim🌿

 Link is in our bio

#VirtualTravel #JerusalemVibes #SpiritualJourney #JewishTravel #Isarel  #BirkatKohanim #JewishJerusalem

Step into the soul-stirring Pesach traditions of Jerusalem virtually. Experience the resonating echoes of Birkat Kohanim🌿

Link is in our bio

#VirtualTravel #JerusalemVibes #SpiritualJourney #JewishTravel #Isarel #BirkatKohanim #JewishJerusalem
...

10 0
Discover the enigmatic “Donkey Stable” in Jerusalem's underground. Unveil the city's secrets from home. 🌌

Find link in our bio

#JerusalemUnderground #CitySecrets #ExploreHistory #JewishTravel #Israel #Travel #WesternWall

Discover the enigmatic “Donkey Stable” in Jerusalem`s underground. Unveil the city`s secrets from home. 🌌

Find link in our bio

#JerusalemUnderground #CitySecrets #ExploreHistory #JewishTravel #Israel #Travel #WesternWall
...

12 0