The Marches

Paolo Uccello, The Legend of the Profanation of the Host, 1465-69  © Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino

The presence of Jews in The Marches dates from as early as the twelfth century. The community developed especially after the expulsion of Jews from Spain, Sicily, and the Kingdom of Naples. There are still remains of Jewish streets and synagogues in a number of small towns in this region bordering the Adriatic coast. This area of off the beaten tourist path and very picturesque. The Jews were constrained by papal bulls in 1555 and 1569 to live in four cities: Ancona, Urbino, Pesaro, and Senigallia. An intense Jewish life was maintained in these cities until the nineteenth century and their synagogues are worth visiting.