Jewish Florence Tour
We will start our tour at Piazza della Repubblica that during Roman times, was Ancient Florence downtown. As of the Middle Ages and for several centuries thereafter, it remained the old city market. Although it has undergone many changes over time, the Piazza della Repubblica was very lively and busy, until recently.
Cosimo I forced the Jews to reside in that area of the city, which thus became a ghetto known as the Jewish Quarter. The changes were part of urban planning that resulted from the establishment of Florence as the capital of the Kingdom of Italy (1865-1871). Consequently, many buildings, including the ones forming the ghetto and the Loggia del Pesce (Lodge of the Fish) were demolished.
After visiting the square, we will head to the Baptistry of the Duomo to learn about the Biblical stories of the door panels.
We will proceed then to the Academy where we will admire the perfection of David’s Michelangelo.
This astonishing Renaissance statue was created between 1501 and 1504. It is a 14.0 ft marble statue depicting the Biblical hero, represented as a standing male nude. Originally commissioned by the Opera del Duomo for the Cathedral, it was meant to be one of a series of large statues to be positioned in the niches of the cathedral’s tribunes, way up at about 80 mt from the ground.
Then we will go to Synagogue or Tempio Maggiore that is one of the largest synagogues in South Central Europe and was built between 1874 and 1882. Travertine and pink pomato stone were used to build it, in the Moorish style, centrally planned and with a dome flanked by towers. Standing in a garden filled with exotic plants, surrounded by cast-iron railings designed by P. Franci, the synagogue will evoke in you a sense of oriental splendour.
At the end of the tour we will take a break for lunch at the Kosher restaurant right around the corner.