Jews, an Italian story

Permanent Exibition

With “Ebrei, una storia italiana” (Jews, an Italian story), the MEIS recounts the experience of Italian Judaism, describing how it formed and developed along the Peninsula — from ancient Roman times to the Renaissance — and how it engineered its own identity, unique even when compared to other places in the Diaspora.

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It has been constantly repeated that Jews have been present in Italy for more than two thousand years and that, over this long period of time, this presence has been essentially uninterrupted. In fact, no other place in the Western Diaspora can boast such an ancient, widespread and steadfast Jewish presence.

Anna Foa, Giancarlo Lacerenza from the catalog “Jews, an Italian story. The First Thousand Years” (ed. Electa)

Down a road of ongoing evolution

The itinerary is the result of a well-balanced dialogue between two temporary exhibits, “Jews, an Italian story. The first thousand years”, edited by Anna Foa, Giancarlo Lacerenza and Daniele Jalla, and “The Renaissance speaks Hebrew”, edited by Giulio Busi and Silvana Greco. The ever-evolving exhibition is enhanced with new objects and stories and, in the coming years, will come to tell the story of Italian Jews through to current times.

An Italian story that begins in Ancient Rome

Through video contributions of experts, artifacts, immersive breaks, multimedia videos, reconstructions (the Temple of Jerusalem, the Arch of Titus, the Jewish catacombs, the synagogues of Ostia and Bova Marina), this itinerary reveals the areas of origin of the Jewish people and traces the routes of their exile to the western Mediterranean. It documents their time in Rome and southern Italy, speaking of migration, slavery, integration and religious intolerance — both in relation to the pagan and Christian worlds.

The Renaissance speaks Hebrew

The MEIS’ journey continues as we see how the Jewish presence in Italy in the Middle Ages transforms and witness the arrival of new migrations from northern Europe and Spain. The exhibition ends with the rooms dedicated to the cultural blossoming seen during the Renaissance, a period in which humanist intellectuals saw Judaism as a source of invaluable knowledge; a centuries-long journey to discover the history of the country.

Other exhibitions

Return to Ferrara. The universe of Leo Contini Lampronti

Return to Ferrara. The universe of Leo Contini Lampronti

TEMPORARY EXHIBITION09.11.2023—04.02.2024
The exhibition Return to Ferrara. The universe of Leo Contini Lampronti, curated by HavaContini and Yael Sonnino-Levy, is a path leading to the discovery of an eclectic, ironic and highlyimaginative artist.Leo Contini Lampronti was born in Nice in 1939. Although the family was originally from Ferrara,he moved to Tel Aviv after his degree in nuclear […]
CASE DI VITA. SYNAGOGUES AND CEMETERIES IN ITALY

CASE DI VITA. SYNAGOGUES AND CEMETERIES IN ITALY

Exhibitions Temporary20.04.2023—17.09.2023
The exhibition covers two thousand years of history, offering projects, designs, documents and objects, architectural features, rituals and social features of both synagogues and Jewish cemeteries in Italy. Case di vita. Synagogues and Cemeteries in Italy – curated by Andrea Morpurgo and Amedeo Spagnoletto – is an exhibition where the history of cities and people […]
Under the same Sky

Under the same Sky

Exhibitions Temporary14.10.2022—05.02.2023
Beyond the ghetto. Inside&Out

Beyond the ghetto. Inside&Out

Exhibitions Temporary29.10.2021—03.07.2022
THROUGH THE EYES OF THE ITALIAN JEWS

THROUGH THE EYES OF THE ITALIAN JEWS

MULTIMEDIA EXHIBITION
Two thousand and two hundred years of Jewish history and culture in twenty-four minutes.  This is the multimedia show Through the Eyes of the Italian Jews, realized by Giovanni Carrada (author and curator) and Manuela Fugenzi (iconographic research).  A complex, rigorous project, the result of months of research and fine-tuning, this show provides a popular investigation […]