Italy / Calabria


Via Giudecca in Reggio di Calabria. Photo by Franc rc – Wikipedia

The Jewish presence in Reggio seems to date from the 4th century. However, official documents tracing this presence date from the 12th century. As in various towns in the region, the Jews worked mainly in the field of silk and wool.

The first Hebrew books printed in Europe were printed in Reggio by Abraham Garton in 1475. The first Hebrew commentaries on the Hagaddah were also published there in 1482. There is still a via Giudecca today. Many Jews took refuge there after the Spanish Inquisition, before the city fell into their hands as well.

Ancient objects attesting to the Jewish presence in the city are kept at the National Museum of Archaeology of Reggio. Among them is an inscription in Greek on marble “Synagogue of the Jews” dating from the 4th century, an oil lamp with a menorah drawn on it, and bronze coins from the 5th century with a menorah.