Jewish Heritage Tour in Southern Italy Rome to Calabria to Amalfi
An Exclusive 7-night Exploration of 2,000 years of History
3 Dates to choose from in 2008 May 5 -12 ~ Sept. 15 - 22 ~ Oct. 15 - 22
Our Special Guides
Dr. Laura Supino in Rome Rabbi Barbara Aiello in Calabria
This ground-breaking itinerary is unique in the realm of Jewish Heritage travel. It focuses on the oldest places of Jewish presence in Italy as well as the rebirth, after 500 years, of Jewish life in remote parts of Calabria the, “toe” of Italy. The tour begins with 2 days in Rome. On the 3rd day we journey down to the very “tip of the toe” of the Italian mainland then follow the fascinating trajectory of Jewish history as we make our way up to Amalfi—Italy’s most beautiful coastal region. The tour is designed for a maximum of 14 participants allowing us to provide a uniquely personalized small-group experience. We are privileged to have Laura Supino and Rabbi Barbara Aiello as our principal guides; women of impressive scholarship and stature who embody the legacy of the Jewish people in Italy. (see Bios below) This tour is an entirely unique journey through Jewish Heritage and an exploration of the Italian-Jewish experience as it has flowed through two millennia. It is also a great culinary and cultural immersion into the authentic life of Southern Italy. Throughout the tour you are in the company of local experts with an intimate knowledge and love for their native regions. Laurie Howell and Giocondo Cavaliere of “Amalfi Life” are the developers of this special program. Both are seasoned professionals and experts in highquality tourism. The tours and services they offer have garnered years of rave reviews for their creativity, attention to detail, and access to the local life.
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The Italian Jewish community is the oldest surviving minority in the known world and the oldest Diaspora community in world Jewry. The Jews’ first official presence on the Italian peninsula is documented to be in the year 161 BCE when a delegation from Judea arrived in Rome. After the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the second Temple in 70 CE, 2,000 Hebrew slaves were carted off to Rome. What is not commonly known is that all during this period and throughout the first centuries of the Common Era Hebrew merchants, traders, and scholars crisscrossed the Mediterranean settling all along Southern Italy’s vast coastal regions. Settlements grew and it is said, “there is no corner of Italy where the Jews were not”. In recent years archeologists and scholars have followed a trail of evidence pointing to a vast and vibrant Jewish presence in Southern Italy from ancient times to the Renaissance and in numbers that dwarf the size of the entire Jewish community in Italy today. Beginning in the early 16th century that presence all but disappears. But not entirely, and that’s what you will discover on this tour. The efforts of Laurie Howell, Laura Supino, and Rabbi Barbara Aiello are bringing this long-neglected heritage to light. It will change your perspective on Jewish history forever.
“We can’t stop talking about the wonderful trip. It couldn’t have been better. We truly enjoyed ourselves.”
Ed & Myrna W., NJ
Dr. Laura Supino
Laura was born in Northern Italy. Her family moved to Rome when she was a child and she has lived there ever since. She is a professional architect, historian, and special guide to the Museum in Rome’s Great Synagogue. She is a distinguished member of the Association of Jewish Women in Italy and lectures widely on issues important to European Jewry. On this tour you will be the fortunate beneficiaries of her lifetime of research.
Rabbi Barbara Aiello
Rabbi Barbara is the first woman rabbi to hold a pulpit position in Italy. She is a first-generation American whose Jewish parents were born in Southern Italy; her father in a remote mountain village in Calabria and her mother in Sicily. She has traced her roots even further back to a small group of Jewish families expelled from Sicily during the Inquisition. Rabbi Barbara’s story holds the key to the Jewish heritage in the southernmost regions of Italy. Her research will astound you.
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Rome’s Great Synagogue, Jewish Quarter, and Museum Jewish history in the Roman Forum Hebrew Catacombs at Appia Pignatelli Ostia Antica and its First century synagogue Fourth century synagogue site at the “toe” of Italy “Il Timpone” Jewish Quarter in Nicastro WWII Concentration Camp at Ferramonti di Tarsia Medieval Hebrew inscription at Salerno Jewish history on the magnificent Amalfi Coast
Jewish Heritage Tour Itinerary Map
(Overnights in orange)
Amalfi Salerno Salerno Amalfi
Reggio Nicastro Bova
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Jewish Heritage Tour
DAY 1: Rome - The tour begins in Rome, with a beautiful lunch at the Hotel Rose Garden Palace. For the first 2 days we will be in the hands of Dr. Laura Supino, devoting our time to the ancient sites in and around Rome. This afternoon we will visit Rome’s Great Synagogue, the Museo Ebraico, and the former Ghetto area. We conclude the day with Laura’s special tour of the Forum making it come alive with Jewish memories inextricably woven into its Roman past. Overnight in Rome DAY 2: Rome Vicinity - Today we spend a fascinating full day on the outskirts of Rome, starting with a private visit to the Hebrew Catacombs at Appia Pignatelli, then visiting the awesome World War II Memorial of Fosse Ardeatine, then moving on to the archeological site of Ostia Antica where we end the day at the ruins of its 1st century synagogue. Overnight in Rome DAY 3: Rome to Calabria - This morning we hop on a EuroStar Italia train and head for Calabria. Our destination is the town of Nicastro, 80 miles from the tipof-the-toe of the mainland. We travel in perfect comfort through the grand and diverse countryside of the Mediterranean coastline and arrive in early afternoon at the hometown of Rabbi Barbara Aiello. Later in the day we visit the old Jewish Quarter known as Timpone with Rabbi Barbara and with Professor Vincenzo Villella of the University of Calabria. We will see the structure that was the synagogue, existing from sometime around the year 1000 to the 14thcentury, and also the remains of a mikveh. The Rabbi and Professor will speak about the evidences of the all-but-lost Jewish past in a multitude of locations in this region, and about the subtle rebirth taking place now after 500 years. Overnight in Nicastro DAY 4: Bova and Reggio - This morning we travel to the southernmost tip of the mainland to visit one of the amazing discoveries of the very ancient Jewish presence in the Mediterranean. We go by deluxe minibus from Nicastro to the village of Bova Marina to visit the excavation-site of a 4th century synagogue. Discovered about 20 years ago in the course of highway improvements this thrilling find also contained a precious mosaic floor that has been reconstructed, and which we will see, in a nearby facility. We continue to the town of Reggio di Calabria to visit their excellent Archeological Museum to see several Jewish artifacts from the late Roman period discovered in the region, and the wonderful Bronze di Riaci, the 2,000 year-old Greek statues pulled up in a fisherman’s net in 1972. Overnight in Nicastro DAY 5: Tarsia and Amalfi - This morning, in a deluxe minibus, we start our journey north to the legendary Amalfi Coast. Not long into our drive we will stop at the site of the WWII Concentration Camp at Ferramonti di Tarsia, where about 4,000 Jews from Italy, the Balkans, and Eastern Europe were interred during the war. Still standing are one of the barracks, the school building, and now a small museum. One can even walk the railroad tracks that brought the internees into the camp. Many fascinating stories surround the history of this camp—where
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Jewish Heritage Tour
Day-by-Day Itinerary — continued
no one died except of natural causes. We will take this opportunity to discuss the Italian Racial Laws of 1939 and Italy’s overt and covert actions toward the Jews during that period. We continue traveling north through the regions of Calabria and Basilicata, to Campania where we reach the hugely charming town of Amalfi in late afternoon. Your hotel, the historic Luna Convento is positioned to guarantee you a pictureperfect view over the most beautiful coastline in Europe. Overnight in Amalfi DAY 6 & DAY 7: Amalfi Coast Region - We have much to show you in our 2 days on the Amalfi Coast. There are unique points of Jewish history in this region. In the Archdiocese Museum in the town of Salerno there is a tombstone dating from the 13th century documenting the death of the community’s rabbi. The stone was found in the zone of Salerno’s former Jewish quarter and is the only physical remnant of a vibrant community that existed for 500 years. The stone’s inscription is in the traditional Hebrew format we still use today. Not far from the village of Amalfi, in the lesser-known village of Maiori, there is a medieval structure that has been identified as the synagogue of a small Jewish community present there during the 13th century. We will also enjoy an illuminating walk through the village of Amalfi with Giocondo Cavaliere, cultural expert and native of the Amalfi Coast, to learn about its extraordinary history and rich traditions. YES, there is Jewish Heritage here too. It is intertwined with the founding of Amalfi’s famous handmade paper industry that flourished in the medieval period. We will visit the other renowned villages, of Positano and Ravello, and we’ll treat you to a wonderful private cruise along the coastline (weather permitting) The tour ends with a Gala Farewell Dinner on the last evening. Day 6 Overnight in Amalfi Day 7 Overnight in Amalfi except on Oct.21st DAY 8: May 12 and Sept 22 depart for home. Please arrange your return flights to depart from the Naples Airport. (If you prefer to depart from the Rome Airport we will assist you with the proper arrangements. But Naples is MUCH closer.) Change in schedule for specific dates: DAY 7 : On the tour of Oct. 15 –22 we will return to Rome for the last night of the tour, Oct. 21st so we may be Laura Supino’s guests at the Main Synagogue for the procession and celebration of Simchat Torah. Overnight in Rome DAY 8 : Oct. 22, depart for home. Please arrange your return flights to depart from the Rome Airport.
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General Information & Costs
We pride ourselves on the high level of food and wine we offer. We are uniquely knowledgable about the cuisine of Italy and we share this passion with you by providing terrific gastronomic experiences. This is not a Kosher tour. Our menus are mostly composed of kosher fish, vegetarian, and dairy dishes. We also work hard to honor your special requests whenever possible.
Summary of 7-night Itinerary
May 5 – 12 / Sept 15 – 22 Rome – 2 nights Nicastro – 2 nights Amalfi – 3 nights Oct. 15 - 22 Rome – 3 nights (first 2 nights, last night) Nicastro – 2 nights Amalfi – 2 nights
“Once again, you exceeded our expectations and created a magical, memorable travel experience for all of us. Everything was executed perfectly — the variety of activities, hotels, food, wine and companionship.”
Sue D., NYC
Rome – Hotel Rose Garden Palace www.rosegardenpalace.com Nicastro – Hotel Savant Amalfi – Hotel Luna Convento www.lunahotel.it
Costs & Inclusions
$4885 per person based on double occupancy Single supplement $750 (double room for single use) Includes: - 7 nights in charming, personalized, well-located hotels - All meals, including wine - Airport transfers in Rome and Naples on the start-date and end-date - Entrance fees, Guide services - Hotel taxes, Gratuities
Airfare (please consult with us) Travel Insurance (please consult with us) Bar-drinks, beer and liquor Room service, Laundry Airport transfers on other than specified days
If you would like to arrive in advance of the tour or extend your stay at the end we would be happy to make these arrangements for you. We are highly experienced in all aspects of travel to Italy and other parts of Europe.
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General Information & Contact
We highly recommend the purchase of Trip Insurance. There are many reasons to opt for it, in addition to the peace of mind it provides. After evaluating various companies we decided to offer information on the policies of Travelex. We can answer some of your questions and you can also visit http://www.travelexinsurance.com/ When enrolling please put our location # 32-0245 in the designated box.
Contact Amalfi Life
The best way to learn about our Tour of Jewish Heritage in Southern Italy is to call and speak with Laurie Howell at 718.797.9300 ext 1. This is how our knowledge and passion is best communicated to you. We also invite you to visit our website: www.AmalfiLife.com to learn more about our company and the unique collection of tours and services we offer. Laurie@AmalfiLife.com New York Office: 41 Schermerhorn St., Suite 128 Brooklyn, NY 11201 Tel (718) 797 9300 ext 1 Fax (718) 243 1547 Amalfi, Italy Office: via Corte, 1 84011 Amalfi (SA) Italia Tel (39) 089 813028 Fax (39) 089 874194 Skype Name: AmalfiLife
“This personal touch makes you stand out from whatever competition you might have. We felt completely comfortable and cared for throughout the trip.”
Bill G., PA