NEWS Italian Jewish Heritage Goes Online

mapsBy Francesca Matalon

There are synagogues, museums, cemeteries and historic sites, without forgetting that when it comes to Italy you can’t help but mention food. All of them are part of the great Jewish Italian heritage. All of them, the ‘imperdibili’, the must-see places, are now a click away thanks to the new website called, Italian Routes of Jewish Heritage. The new interactive maps were developed by the Foundation for Jewish Heritage in Italy (FBCEI), as part of a project of the European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage (AEPJ).

Italy is now part of a European network that connects the Routes of Jewish Heritage throughout many different countries. “It is still a work in progress, but we hurried with the sites that we decided to call the ‘imperdibili’, located in places where Jewish Communities already have structures to welcome tourists,” said Baruch Lampronti, the architect who developed the project together with the Foundation’s vice presidents, Annie Sacerdoti and Renzo Funaro. In the coming weeks the maps will be updated and will display the Jewish heritage in all Italian Jewish Communities.

Tourists that want to travel to Italy this summer and discover its’ history, Jewish museums, beautiful synagogues, cemeteries and streets of Jewish life, will thus be able to browse the map and get information, contacts and a multimedia taste. Next to the main touristic sites, the routes also include other facilities that might be needed, such as kosher restaurants, hotels, and shops. Moreover, the maps were developed to be easily readable on smartphones. “This was essential, due to the touristic nature of the project,” Lampronti stressed.

Jewish Communities across Italy took an active part in the project, by providing pictures and by helping review the texts. Behind the European Routes of Jewish Heritage there is a will to answer to the growing interest in Judaism by the non-Jewish public. And meanwhile, as read in the introduction to the maps on AEPJ’s website, “Jewish institutions themselves have become more aware of the historic and artistic values of their heritage and specific features”.

The maps are now available on both FBCEI and AEPJ’s websites.