Italy / Calabria


Catanzaro. Photo by Glabb – Wikipedia

The Jewish presence in Catanzaro dates from the end of the 11th century.

In 1073, Robert Guiscard, the Norman conqueror, invited them to develop silk weaving there. They allowed the city to become the hotspot of this specialty in Italy, popular throughout this region.

Benjamin of Tudela attested to the Jewish presence in it and its development. However, after two centuries of a relatively peaceful life, the charges and expulsions caused the departure of most of the region’s Jews, mainly to Greece.

The   ancient synagogue of Catanzaro was transformed into a church dedicated to St. Stefano.