Guide to Jewish and Kosher Italy
Italy » Emilia Romagna » Carpi » Jewish Carpi Tour (Jewish Tour)

Jewish Tour
Jewish Carpi Tour 

Manuela Roversi;
Carpi - The route of memory
Jews arrived in Carpi in the 14th century and lived under the local princes, the family Pio. In 1527, Carpi was annexed to the Duchy of Este. Jews stayed and lived two centuries of political tolerance until 1719 when Papal pressure led to the establishment of a one-street ghetto. Segregation was completely ended with the Unification of Italy in 1859. The community built a new synagogue in 1861, old ones were built before this one even if we do not exactly know where. The new synagogue was closed in 1922 as it was too big for the small community. Later on synagogue furnishings were distributed between Modena and Israel. The cemetery in use from 1825-1922 has 11 gravestones but before building the last one Carpi had other 3 Jewish cemeteries whose locations are unknown. In the Pio’s Castle is located the museum dedicated to political and racial deportees sent to extermination camps. Its 13 rooms house information, documents, letters, and the names of thousands of Italian deportees. The objectives are to conserve, recover, supply information on and extend knowledge of the historical memory of deportation. It contains artefacts, documents and testimony of the Nazi deportations during the Second World War. In the Palace courtyard is also located the Monument to the deported. Carpi and the hamlet of Fossoli have long been an important stop for commemorating the tragic events of 20th century Jewish Italian history. Fossoli former deportation, transit camp (6 Kms far from Carpi) was the largest one of the 48 areas that hosted an internment camp during Fascism in Italy and one of the 3 Italian camps run by Nazis, is now national museum commemorating victims of concentration and extermination camps.
Altogether, about 5,300 prisoners were deported from Fossoli, of whom 2,461 were foreign and Italian Jews including Primo Levi who was deported to Auschwitz on February 22, 1944 and who wrote “If This Is A Man” and the poem “Sunset in Fossoli”.

The tour starts in Piazza Martiri, the heart of the city and one of the biggest squares in Italy, surrounded by the most important buildings of Carpi, the Cathedral, the long and grain market arcades, the Pio Palace and the town theatre. Behind the Pio Palace is Piazza Re Astolfo with the church of Santa Maria in Castello. Near the synagogue, located on the upper floor of the grain market arcade, via Rovighi, the one-street old Ghetto. In the Pio Palace courtyard is located the Monument to the political and racial deportees and in the palace itself the museum dedicated to the deported. The tour goes on with the visit of the former internment camp of Fossoli, 6 kms outside Carpi.

Please check when it is possible to visit the sites. For the former interment camp of Fossoli a CAR IS NEEDED AS IT IS 6 KMS FAR FROM THE CARPI CITY CENTRE

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