The Campania region is renowned for its long and rich history, both ancient and contemporary. From the ancient monuments of Pompeii and Herculaneum to more recent ones such as the Vanvitelli Aqueduct and the Palazzo di Caserta, and of course the bustling city of Naples, which has featured in films from the post-war period to Paolo Sorrentino’s, not forgetting its mythical stadium. 

The Jewish presence in the Campania region goes back a very long way, and the sources found to attest to it are sometimes remote. One example is a 10th century letter found in a genizah in Cairo, referring to the Jewish inhabitants of Amalfi. At that time, the town of Benveneto had its own yeshiva and Naples its own synagogue. Benjamin of Tudela met almost 500 Neapolitan Jews in the latter synagogue in 1159.

As for Pompeii, famous for its volcano and historic eruptions, it was home to Jews as long as two millennia ago, as you can see from the traces found in its ruins. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be moved by more recent cultural heritage too, such as a Passover Haggadah from Capua used by Israeli soldiers in the British forces during the Second World War.