At about 5pm on our final day in Venice we decided to explore the Cannaregio area where we were staying further and try to find the old Jewish Quarter. The skies were blue and the late afternoon sun was spectacular. When it fell on the old buildings it lit them up beautifully, and I was keen to get some photos while the light was so good.
By this stage we had sort of gained our bearings for this part of Venice, so we walked for a while with little reference to the map until we found the Jewish Quarter. The boys in the playground wearing kippahs, the Hebrew text on shop windows, the kosher food restaurants and the signs requesting people to refrain from talking near some of the windows in order not to disturb people praying was ample evidence that we had found the Jewish Quarter. The area we walked through was known as the New Ghetto, but the word ‘ghetto’ here originated from the word ‘getto’ in the local language, which meant ‘foundry’, rather than any connotation relating to the current meaning of ‘ghetto’. We did not attempt to enter the synagogue as there were no signs inviting us in or letting us know the etiquette to observe.
Some very confronting artwork on the walls was a sad reminder that the Jewish inhabitants of Venice were not spared from the horrors of the Holocaust. The names and ages of those who were sent to the death camps were printed on one wall.
We left the Jewish Quarter and walked through some of the parts of Cannaregio we hadn’t seen before. It was peaceful and quiet, and the late afternoon sunlight was magic. Sometimes we needed the map, as we came to a few dead ends. We did, however, discover the best coffee shop we’d come across in weeks, and also a great restaurant (Ristorante Diana) where Marg had the gnocchi gorgonzola and I had calamari fritti – both were superb.
We also discovered, as we walked through Cannaregio, that Wednesday must be washing day, because everywhere we went, people had hung out their washing, often on a line stretching overhead. See photos below.