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Siena hidden gems: visit to the Jewish Synagogue

The Jewish in Siena

Few steps from Piazza del Campo, you will find the Synagogue of Siena. We have news of the presence of Jews in the city since the early years of the fourteenth century; for over 350 years, the banking activities performed by the Jews was thriving and pipelines have been regularly renewed after the opening of the pawnshop in 1471. In 1571 Cosimo de 'Medici along the lines of the Papal bull, imposed the Jews of Siena to live in a neighborhood located near Piazza del Campo, bordered by Via Salicotto and Via San Martino where cross street of Sheets, alleys the Luparello and Realto. The Ghetto remained in operation until 1859. You can still find some elements of the original structure along with the names of the streets that crossed the district.

The Sinagoga

Designed by the Florentine architect Giuseppe Rosso as an extension of an earlier place of worship, it was inaugurated in 1786 and is still one of the few examples of architecture between Rococo and Neoclassicism in the area. The simple exterior facade and, in contrast, the elegant environment richly decorated interior are examples of the synagogues built in Italy in the ghettos, before Emancipation. Inside the synagogue, it is still used by the local Jewish community, hosting silver and vestments rituals of great value display in the hall adjacent to the hall of prayer.

The Jewish community of Siena is, nowadays, consists of a few families and not reaching the minimum number of units to form a community official, is annexed to the Florentine Particularly significant is the chair of Elijah or stool circumcision, finely inlaid with verses in Hebrew and built in the 1860s by artists connected to the Sienese school of Purism. The visit of the Synagogue is completed by a small exhibition in the charming rooms of the women's gallery, no longer used: a run of text, images and documents, running through events and significant aspects of the Jewish presence in Siena, over 700 years.


The synagogue is open to the public as follows: Short presentations, included in the ticket price, in Italian and English, leaving every half hour Guided tours for groups and individual visitors in Italian, English, French and Hebrew lasting 30 minutes and reservations required. On request you can take guided issues, private and special openings. Visits and workshops for schools are available by appointment.

There will be a presentation of the educational offer to the teachers at the beginning of school year.

– Visiting hours Monday to Friday: 10,30- 15,00 Sunday: 10.30 to 17.30

On Saturdays and Jewish holidays the synagogue is closed to visitors and is open exclusively for religious services

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