THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF SIENA
Jews were known to be present in the city of Siena since the early years of the fourteenth century. For over 350 years the banking activity carried out by the Jews had flourished, and these practices were renewed even after the opening of the Monte di Pietà in 1471. With the papal decree issued in 1555, anti-Jewish provisions were tightened. Cosimo de ‘Medici along the same lines of the Pope, also imposed tightened restrictions for Jews in Siena, and in 1571 they were forced to live in a ghetto near Piazza del Campo, bordered by via Salicotto and via San Martino where via delle Scotte meets via del Luparello and Realto.
The Ghetto functioned until 1859. In about 1935, reconstruction work began.
Some of the original structures of the Ghetto remained as is and are still visible to today’s visitors. The original names of the streets have also remained unchanged.
Opposite the synagogue, one can find the Fonte del Ghetto, as it is still called today by the local people of Siena, built in the wall in Via degli Archi.
The ancient cemetery in Via Linaiolo is still used today.