History of the Jewish Ghetto in Florence Audio Guide

Trace the history of Florentine Jews from the ghetto to the Great Synagogue
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Audio Guide Details
1 hour
Product Type
Audio Guide
  • Orsanmichele Church
  • Palazzo Medici-Riccardi
  • Florence Duomo
  • Baptistery of St. John
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • Piazza della Repubblica
  • Oltrarno neighborhood
Preview History of the Jewish Ghetto in Florence Audio Guide
Start: Introduction at Belfredelli Tower
Ponte Vecchio
The Stumbling stones in Florence
Photos & Highlights
Audio Guide Description
  • Put your map away as you follow the history of Florence's Jewish residents, on your own schedule
  • Hit play together and stroll the city or wander solo, but always with an expert in your ear as your personal guide
Jews have been in Florence for over 500 years, but they didn't always have an easy time living here. On this Florence audio guide tour with Context Travel expert, Paola Barbetti-Bohm, you'll follow in the footsteps of Florence's Jewish residents and discover the challenges they overcame throughout the centuries. 

Your audio tour starts in front of the Belfredelli Tower in Oltrarno, the neighborhood where people first settled in the early Middle Ages, or perhaps even in Roman times. As you make your way over Ponte Vecchio to Piazza della Repubblica, you'll hear how, in 1437, Cosimo de' Medici permitted well-off Jewish families to set up bank counters from storefronts in Florence, encouraging them to settle in Florence's historic center. As you walk, Paola will tell you about the discrimination Jews faced when the wrong Medici brother gained power, the restrictions placed on them, and how they eventually started thriving in the city. You'll learn about their expulsion from Florence and other parts of Italy, and find out how, even once they'd been reintegrated into society, they faced anti-Semitic laws and deportation under Mussolini. While winding through Florence‘s streets, Paola will share the sad and shocking statistics about how few Italian Jews returned home after World War II. As you make your way to the Synagogue and Jewish Museum of Florence where our audio guide tour ends, you'll get a sense of the extent to which the history of Jews in Florence is buried just below the city's surface. 

On this self-paced audio tour, you'll also:

• Learn about the severe and humiliating restrictions placed on Tuscan Jews to discourage personal relations between Jews and Christians 
• See how Ghiberti, a protagonist of the Renaissance, represented a few chapters of the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible
• Discover how the Synagogue of Florence avoided destruction by the Nazi Army in 1944, and find out about the damage it endured during the Flood of Florence in 1966
• Hear about Gerhard Wolf who saved Ponte Vecchio from destruction and rescued political prisoners and Jews from persecution during the Nazi occupation
• Find out about the era when Jews obtained full civil rights and the ghettos were opened up in 1841
• Spot a few of the 104 Stolpersteine or Stumbling Stones, laid on streets in Florence to commemorate those murdered in concentration camps
• Meet key figures who fought to preserve Jewish culture, including Gerhard Wolf, Bartolomeo de Cases, Salomon Fiorentino, the Finzi family, Rabbi Nathan Cassuto and many more
• Learn about the post-unification period in Italy, when Jewish segregation was eliminated and Florence was chosen as the capital of the kingdom
• Get a grasp on how Mussolini and his Fascist regime led to Italy's demise

By the end of this self-guided tour, you'll have a deeper understanding of Florence's Jewish ghetto, how Tuscan Jews have faced discrimination and prosecution over the years and how, when given the chance, they have thrived in spite of adversity.
Meet Your Expert

Paola was born and raised in Florence and is an active member of the Jewish community. She is a licensed tour guide who leads art historical and cultural tours of Florence and specializes in the history of Judaism in Florence. She holds degrees from the University of Florence in History and art and has been leading tours since 2010.

How do I access the audio guide and download it for offline use?
Once you complete your purchase, you will receive a voucher code for your Audio Guide. You must download the Voicemap app and enter the code. 
  1. Install VoiceMap from the Apple App Store or Google Play
  2. Create an account
  3. Select Tour Codes from the menu, then select Enter Codes
  4. Enter your Voucher Code
  5. Select Download Now
Is closed captioning (i.e. subtitles) available?
Yes! All of our audio guides have the option to turn on closed captioning should you have difficulty hearing the expert.

How long does each event last?
Our recorded audio guides typically run for 75 minutes.

How can I share this audio guide with friends or family?
You are welcome to listen together with friends or family, but each person listening to the guide on their own device will need to purchase the audio guide individually.

How long does my access to the audio guide last?
Once you purchase an audio guide, you are welcome to listen to it as many times as you would like. Your access to a purchased audio guide does not expire.

What is your cancellation and refund policy?
Sales for recorded audio guides are final upon purchase. Please contact us at digital@contexttravel.com if you have any questions or concerns about your purchase.

Can I purchase a gift card for a friend who is traveling?
Absolutely! Gift cards can be purchased here. Gift cards are good for 365 days from the date of purchase.