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Telemaco Signorini, Il Ghetto di Firenze, 1882
 
Italy is unique in Jewish history. It is home to a community dating back over two thousand years, the oldest in Europe and the only to have survived uninterrupted. For seventy generations, it has succeeded in conserving its original characteristics, patrimony and identity without conforming to the surrounding environment often hostile and oppressive, political and individual inclemency. The community's presence is unknown and miniscule, deeply rooted in Italy's long history, a mosaic pieced from scarce documentation available. Not only differences in religious beliefs but customs accenting these discrepancies continually aggravated the Italian Jews' already difficult situation. In spite of the extremely limited population and the overwhelming adversity surrounding them, the Jewish and Christian populations have endured in extremely close contact. Yet both have continued to remain reciprocal strangers in a disparity which often favored (or disfavored) one legally and politically and the other economically. The Florentine Rabbi Samuel Zvi Margulies (1858-1922) compared the two people to two liquids—oil and water. Italy is emblematic of the Diaspora but within it are many Jewish worlds. Each has its own unique features, history and humanity. A name may indicate provenance from the land of exile or adoption and well understood between one Italian Jew and another. This is not the case with the language. Yiddish never existed in Italy. There is a Judaic dialect in Rome, another in Mantova, and still others in Turin and Leghorn.
   
   
JEWISH HERITAGE is a fourteen-day tour extending throughout Italy, generally Rome to Venice as herein, but may include any other communities of historical importance. It may be more suitable for families desiring a bar or bat mitzvah or wedding, small groups or couples seeking a more in-depth study of the community in Italy.

JEWISH TUSCANY is a eight-day tour amidst very diverse and contrasting worlds within the region of Tuscany alone, nevertheless enabling the visitor to understand the multiplicity of Italian Jewish character and color. To enhance the cultural setting and lend an artistic perspective to our tours, visits are arranged to numerous state and civic museums, monuments, archaeological sites and a winery-—all outside the Jewish historical context. Tours may be arranged as wished, wherever in Italy, for Jews and non-Jews alike.
 
Luca della Robbia, Cantoria, 1431-38
   
   
S.A.Hart, Festa della Legge in Livorno's Antica Sinagoga, 1850
 
Days are planned to be leisurely, with travel in the countryside and ample individual time for dining, further visits or shopping apart from the itinerary. Groups are generally limited to 15 to 20 persons. In addition to your group guide, the group may be also accompanied full-time by an historian or rabbi. Each visit will be conducted by a licensed Italian tour guide and native of that particular community. Both accommodations and restaurants are well-known from past experience, generally family operated, conveniently situated and selected to offer the best in typical regional cuisine, atmosphere and comfort. One of us on at least one occasion has lodged or dined in these establishments and no price will exceed that published. The tour leader and a van will remain with the group throughout the tour.