THE ANCIENT JEWISH CEMETERY
he Republic of Venice gave the Jews the possibility to create a cemetery of their own in 1386, giving them a non cultivated, piece of land in St. Nicholas of Lido, whose property was however claimed by the monastery of Lido.
At the end of the disputation with the monks the cemetery, starting from 1389, was used with no interruptions and later made bigger reaching its top expansion in 1641.
After this date, the widening of system of fortification of the Lido, wanted by the the Serenissima Republic to defend itself from the Turks, brought to a slow but constant reshaping of the cemetery spaces southbound, so that in 1736 the "University of Jews" was forced to buy a piece of land bordering it.
The fall of the Venetian Republic, the foreigner occupations and the consequent vandalistic acts, as well as the atmospheric agents brought to the disappearance of many monuments and to the ruin of the Jewish cemetery.
In the 19th century because of the project to make the Lido of Venice healthier and competitive, part of the Cemetery (now belonging to the state) was expropriated and bound to other uses.
Later, some attempts to restore it began, without outcome and in 1938 (promulgation of Italian Racial laws) the cemetery was definitely abandoned.
In 1999, thanks to the collaboration of public and private enterprises, both from Italy and abroad, a big work of restoration has begun: many memorials have been saved and classified more than 1000 of them which can be dated between 1550 and the early 18th century.
Now this suggestive place, witness of centuries of Venetian Jewish History, has found again its dignity.