Venice has the dubious distinction of being home to the world’s original ghetto, the area where in 1516 all the city’s Jews were ordered to move to. This came on top of other economic and social restraints, although the oppression was still less severe than in other parts of Europe and, ironically, these Dark Ages were not as dark as the allegedly enlightened 20th century.
The Jews of Venice only achieved equal rights with other Venetians after the Unification with Italy in 1866. The following plaque honors the Venetian Jews who fought and died for Italy in World War I,
but like in other Fascist/Nazi countries in Europe, this did not protect the community from the Holocaust only a few decades later. The memorial The Last Train commemorates the Venetian Jews deported to concentration camps.
There is a Jewish Museum in the ghetto, but you shouldn’t get the wrong impression that the whole ghetto is a museum. People, now of all religions, live there, as this active bakery attests to.