Friday, July 06, 2007

Urbino synagogue

Not many people know that in Urbino there's a synagogue, less people know that in Urbino there are actually two, I was lucky enough to see both (well, see one and lurk at the other one from a window in a building under restauration) a few days ago.

I went with some guests from the Locanda to meet Mrs Moscati - she has the keys of the "new" synagogue (it was built in 1633, when the "old" one was abandoned because, after Urbino passed from the Della Rovere family to the Pope, the Jewish population in Urbino was relocated into the newly established ghetto).
The Urbino synagogue is a quite anonimous building just inside Porta Valbona.


I spent a most beautiful morning visiting the "new" synagogue and then looking for the place where the "old" one still stands and trying to have a look at it. The University of Urbino recently bought the building and is renewing it and we had to sneak into a nearby building to take a glimpse of the courtyard.
I didn't take any picture of the synagogue but I will ask the guests that were with me to send me some so that I can post them here.

The synagogue can be visited but the visit has to be arranged with Mrs Moscati.


The torah ark of the old Urbino synagogue is currently the oldest existing in the world and it's one of the highlights of the Jewish museum in New York.

Le Marche region has a long and interesting Jewish history and many towns still have a lively Jewish community, such as Senigallia and Ancona.
In Pesaro the Sephardic synagogue can be visited some Thursdays and Fridays in July and August.