Italian Jewish History: From Rome to Florence

Jews have lived in Italy for the last 2000 years—longer here than in any country outside of Israel. Although always a small community (today the Jews in Italy number only around 35,000 people), over the years they have developed an incredibly rich tradition, religious art objects and books, wonderfully preserved synagogues—in amazingly disparate parts of Italy (including far away Sicily).

Sophisticated Italy is pleased to present these programs on the Jewish tradition in Rome and Tuscany, as well as in Northern Italy. While it concentrates on Jewish aspects and culture in these areas it obviously does not overlook the other art highlights that dot these noted tourist treasures. These itineraries are designed for small groups—they can be organized from 6–8 persons and we can also add parts to other tours you may be making. The tours focus on the historical, cultural and religious traditions that have made Italy such a special place. Please note these are not kosher tours (although kosher meals can be obtained upon request).

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ITALIAN JEWISH HISTORY, ART AND CULTURE: FROM ROME TO FLORENCE (9 days, 8 nights)

FIRST DAY. ROME

Arrive Rome Airport and transfer to a first class hotel in the heart of Rome. Afternoon tour of Rome highlights by bus. Welcome dinner.

SECOND DAY. ROME

Depart hotel for the first Jewish tour, visiting the Ghetto, the Synagogue and its museums, Tiberina Island, the Theater of Marcellus and the Roman Forum to view the Arch of Titus with its Jewish symbols. Afternoon free. Transfer to typical Roman trattoria for dinner.

THIRD DAY. ROME

Depart hotel for Michelangelo’s Moses in the church of St. Peter in Chains, the Basilica dei Quattro Santi Coronati, the Appian Way to visit the Jewish Catacombs (opened especially for this group) and the Fosse Ardeatine. Afternoon free. Transfer in evening for dinner at one of Rome’s most famous restaurants in the Ghetto area.

FOURTH DAY. PITIGLIANO, SORANO, SIENA

Check out and depart to Pitigliano and Sorano, two ancient Jewish communities, one and a half hours north of Rome in the Maremma. Lunch in Pitigliano and visit the Ghetto, the Jewish Matzoh bakery (still functioning), the magnificently restored Synagogue and its Museum. A representative of the small remaining Jewish community will meet the group. After a tour of the ghetto of Sorano proceed to Siena. Check into a first-class deluxe hotel in Siena. Dinner in hotel.

FIFTH DAY. SIENA, FLORENCE

Check out and depart for a visit to Siena’s historic center to see the Piazza del Campo, Cathedral, Baptistry. Lunch in the Piazza del Campo. Afternoon visit of the old Ghetto area and the synagogue. In late afternoon proceed to Florence and check into a special first class hotel in Florence. Dinner on own.

SIXTH DAY. FLORENCE

Visits will be made to the old Ghetto, Piazza del Duomo, Baptistry and Cathedral, the magnificent Synagogue and its Jewish Museum. Lunch on own followed by a guided preset visit to the Uffizi. Dinner at Florence’s only kosher restaurant.

SEVENTH DAY. FLORENCE

Visit of the Accademia Gallery to see the David by Michelangelo. Lunch on own. After lunch, tour of the Ponte Vecchio and the old Jewish area. Free time for wandering and shopping. Dinner in a typical Tuscan trattoria.

EIGHT DAY. PISA

Depart for Pisa to visit the Piazza dei Miracoli, the Cathedral, Baptistry, Leaning Tower, the Synagogue and the Jewish Archives. Meeting with a member of the Jewish Community. Return to Florence hotel in late afternoon. Farewell dinner in evening.

NINTH DAY

Check out and depart for return flight to US.

Itinerary includes:

☑ 8 nights accommodation in 4-star hotel
☑ Breakfast included
☑ Meet and greet at airport on arrival
☑ Private transfers with private driver and bus
☑ Entrance fees in museums as per program
☑ English-speaking guide specialized in Italian Jewish art and culture

Minimum: 6–10 pax