'world's First Ghetto' In Venice To Receive An Anniversary Makeover


Community Member
Apr 6, 2013
Did you know the world's first ghetto was established in Venice?
Actually, did you know that the word "ghetto", in Italy, actually means the area Jewish people live in? :) Has nothing to do with anything discriminatory, as I also originally thought when reading the news!

The first ghetto in the world is now 500 years old and, to celebrate history, the area gets a multi-million pound makeover (as the telegraph reports).
The Jewish museum in Venice will be redesigned, the 5 synagogues will be restored and it will all be done "in order to revitalise the area and better tell the story of Jews in Venice".

The articles I quoted is actually pretty interesting, it tells the story about how the gheto came to be and how the Jews were treated in the 1500's. For instance, "the Ghetto was enclosed by walls, with gates locked at midnight by Christian guards and reopened at dawn". So, yeah, it must have been pretty awful for them back then... but history is history, and they're now thinking of renovating everything in the area and make it more accessible to the public.

Regina Juno

Community Member
Dec 5, 2014
That is so interesting to know. Rosie, you are always full of information. I had no idea that the word was really just for Jewish area of residence. I kind of had the stereotypical assumption thst it could be applied to any region that was run down. It is a shame that the word has such a negative stereotypical element associated with it. The thing is that the run down slum idea is associated with any given place not one ethnicity when it comes to the word.


Community Member
Jul 22, 2015
The Venetians where also first to make the Jewish wear specific attire in order to recognise them. Jewish people leaving the Ghetto had to wear a red hat.


Community Member
Apr 14, 2015
I never knew that about the origins of the word ghetto either, so thank you for sharing that with us - I always like when I can learn something new.

Where I live, the word ghetto is really just known as the run down areas of the city, perhaps an area that you would not want to go after dark. It is quite sad that the word spiralled into this feeling of having negative connotations. It's always good to re-frame the way we think and remember where the word really originated from.


Community Member
Mar 15, 2015
Well you learn something new everyday! I had no idea where the word came from to be honest, I guess I just assumed it was American, after watching films such as boyz in the hood, and films of that genre.