The ghetto.

When on March 29th, 1516 the Government of the Serenissima Repubblica issued special laws, the first Ghetto of Europe was instituted. It was an area where Jews were forced to live and which they could not leave from sunset to dawn. The area was closed by gates watched by guards and up till now the marks of the hinges are visible there. Jews were allowed to practice only some professions: they were doctors, because they were the most prepared and able to understand Arab writings, money lenders, because Catholic religion forbade this practice, merchants and "strazzarioli", ragsellers. The Ghetto existed for more than two and a half centuries, until Napoleon conquered Venice and finally opened and eliminated every gate (1797): Jews were finally free to live in other areas of the city.

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