The first Jews to settle in Naples are recorded around the 1st century under the Romans, by the year 536 the Neapolitan community was sufficiently sizeable and economically established to fight with the then-resident Goths against the Byzantines.
In 1159, when Benjamin of Tudela visited he noted that 500 Neapolitan Jews were living in the city.
In 1288, after Dominicans priests spread anti-Jewish sentiments, the Kingdom of Naples issues an expulsion for the Jews and in 1293 the Jews are forced to convert.
In 1473, the first Jewish press is established in Naples.
In 1492, many Jews that were expelled from Spain came to Naples, King Ferdinand of Naples protects the Jews until in 1495 the French conquer the Kingdom of Naples and oppress the Jews, when in 1510 the Spanish kingdom wins control on the city they expel the Jews, those who want to stay need to pay 300 ducati, in 1535 the price was raised so more Jews had to leave and by 1541 all Jews living in Naples were expelled from the Kingdom of Naples.
In 1735 the Jews are admitted back in Naples, in 1831 a small group of Jews settle in the Maltese Cross Hotel where one of the rooms serves as a synagogue, in 1841 the Rothschild acquire the Villa Pignatelli who according to some accounts serves as the Jewish Center, in 1864 the community rents space in Via Cappella Vecchia, which will become the Community center and in 1867 Rothschild sold the Villa Pignatelli.
Naples’s Jewish community in the 1920’s had almost 1,000 members, and just after World War II numbered between 600 and 700. Today it claims around 180.