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Where to buy Judaica (a menorah) in Florence? Rome? Venice?

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Mar 4th, 2011, 08:56 AM
  #1
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Where to buy Judaica (a menorah) in Florence? Rome? Venice?

There's exactly 6 months until my Hubs and I leave for our First Anniversary-moon in Florence and the Dolomites. We're so excited. We're trying to learn a little Italian (I've got "I am a vegetarian" committed to memory) and with all the hotels booked, we now get to concentrate on the fun stuff!

We would very much like to buy a Menorah while we're in Italy. We will be in Florence, and then also in Rome and Venice -- all of which have Jewish communities. Does anyone know of a Judaica shop in one of those cities where we could find a beautiful menorah?

Also -- We would like to attend Sabbath services at the Grand Synagogue in Rome while we are there. Has anyone done that? I am assuming I'll need my passport for identification. I am in the year of mourning for a parent so it's important that I'm able to do this.

Thanks!
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Mar 4th, 2011, 09:20 AM
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We'll be in Venice in May, definitely visiting the Ghettos, I'll let you know if there are shops in that area.

For now, check this out, Murano glass Judaica,
http://www.davidshop.com/
DAVID'S SHOP
Cannaregio, Campo del Ghetto Nuovo n. 2895
30121 - Venezia (Italy)
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Mar 4th, 2011, 09:33 AM
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Hi hikrchick.

I attended services in the Grand Synagogue in Rome this past year. You will need to show your passport and answer some security questions. You'll need to leave your camera with security as well. Feel free to ask if you have any further questions.

Ross
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Mar 4th, 2011, 10:58 AM
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Great Synagogue of Florence would be a place to look. It is well-named.
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Mar 4th, 2011, 11:03 AM
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In either Florence or Rome, visit the main sinagogas...in Florence, security has tightened up with a new fence and a guard kiosk. The visit to the handsome Moorish building is illuminating and there is a gift shop which has all matter of Judaica.

In Rome, same thing, the Grand Synagogue...take the tour, an interesting background on the history of the Jewish communty in Roma. There is a daily minyan where you can recite the kaddish. Also a gift shop (come to think of it, in visiting synagogues worldwide, I'v rarely come across a "working" synagogue without a gift shop). Better to leave your money there where it will help to maintain the building. A mitzvah!

In Venice, I recall there was a small gift shop in one of the relic shuls in the old ghetto...can't recall which one. There was a Chabad shop nearby which may have had gift items.

As an aside,I will be happy to send anyone my list of well over 100 synagogues visited worldwide.

stu tower [email protected]
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Mar 4th, 2011, 12:00 PM
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Thanks so much for the advice and suggestions. I'll absolutely check the gift shops at the synagogues -- you're right, Stu, it's a mitzvah to buy something, even a postcard or two. I love touring synagogues -- and going for services -- in different countries. I think the furthest-flung I've been is to the synagogue in Aukland, New Zealand. It was lovely. Actually, the one in Helsinki, Finland, was quite interesting too.

I'm not arriving in Florence until Saturday afternoon Sept. 3, so I'll miss morning services, but I'll check if they also have a daily minyan. The next Shabbat I'll be in the Dolomites (I'm assuming no synagogues up there) but on Sept. 14 we're heading to Venice and then on Sept. 16 we'll arrive in Rome for the weekend.

Really looking forward to visiting the Venice Ghetto.
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Mar 4th, 2011, 01:39 PM
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Hikrchick: I was In Auckland in 1969 and was warmly greeted at the shul for shabbat. My unfortunate visit to the Helsinki synagogue came when I got shocking word from daughter that my dad passed on unexpectedly...so I hunted up the beauitful synagogue for El Molay Rachamim...took two days to get a flight to L.A. (there's a synagogue in Turku also...Bukhara, Samarkand and Tashkent were quite remote also. Trondheim was the furthest north)
stu
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Mar 4th, 2011, 02:28 PM
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In Rome visit the area of the ghetto which where the synagogue is and along the main street that cuts across the area are several shops selling Judaica. The name of this street is Via Portico as best I can remember.

Try not to miss the bakery (on a corner) that sells the best (Kosher I am sure) ricotta cake with either dark cherries or chocolate. It is along this street I was mentioning. Cake sold by the gram so you can get less than a whole one.
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Mar 4th, 2011, 02:41 PM
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Stu -- I ended up at the synagogue in Auckland in Dec. 2006, while I was in NZ for a 3-month sabbatical. The rabbi told me he had come there by way of Brooklyn. Very nice to meet someone from home when I was so far away. He asked me if I was moving there since so many young people were leaving for better opportunities elsewhere. In Helsinki, not on Shabbat, I had a very interesting tour from the maintenance man who showed me an exhibit that honored the Helsinki Jewish Community for its sacrifices and work during WWII.

Lowcountry: I will definitely check out Via Portico -- and the ricotta cake. That sounds delicious.

Thank you!
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Mar 4th, 2011, 02:49 PM
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I got beautiful gifts in the gift shop at the Rome synagogue.
Be sure to see the little museum there--including the prayer book that stopped the bullet during a massacre.
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Dec 27th, 2011, 10:26 AM
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here's a website that may help…

http://www.jewishitaly.org/detail.asp?ID=44>>

I stayed in a very nice B&B in Florence which had a view of the dome of the Synagogue from its terrace - it really wasn't very far away. you may have missed the service, but you could still have a look at the building.

http://www.residenzacasanuova.it/

the B&B is very suitable for a honeymoon - quite luxurious, but quiet and unassuming. Beatrice does tours of the local market which are very interesting, ending with lunch in the very traditional market cafe. It's about 10 mins walk from the Duomo through a very interesting and non-touristy area. Given the proximity of the synagogue, you might be able to find something suitable there.
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Dec 27th, 2011, 06:41 PM
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Where are you going in the Dolomites? There is a synagogue in Merano (NW of Bolzano).

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/...jw/Merano.html
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Dec 27th, 2011, 06:55 PM
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If my math is correct, OP has already gone on her trip. This thread was topped by an advertiser.
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Dec 28th, 2011, 10:10 AM
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missed that, debt - again!

pity the OP didn't come back to tell us how she got on!
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Dec 28th, 2011, 01:36 PM
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Hi, I'm the OP. My TR is very late, but it is still forthcoming. I have had a bit of a rough year personally (including the death of both parents) so my energy after work has not the best this year and I just haven't had a chance to transcribe my notes. But it is coming, I promise you.

But I will tell you quickly that our trip was one of the highlights of the past few years for me. The Dolomites were just fantastic. I fell in love with Florence. I could be there for a month and not get tired of it. We found kosher restaurants in Florence next to the synagogue, and in Venice in the Ghetto. We went to La Zucca, a vegetarian-friendly restaurant in Venice, which was the highlight meal of the trip. We visited synagogues in Florence and in Rome, and I said Kaddish for my parents at Friday night services in the Grand Synagogue of Rome. My DH picked up a lot of Italian and was able to speak a bit. I learned to like cappuccino. I very nicely told every waiter, Sono un vegetariana. And we saw the Masaccio frescoes!

We had an amazing adventure in the Dolomites one day and instead of visiting Otzi the frozen man in Bolzano found a museum in the mountains and then discovered the South Tirol Wine Trail.

We bought Murano glass mezuzahs and dreidles at a tiny shop in the Venice Ghetto run by a young man, who also makes the Judaica objects. The shop doesn't have a name, but it is across the little square from the Levantine Synagogue. We bought 4 mezuzahs, one of which was a wedding gift, and 4 glass dreidles, and those cost 1 euro apiece, as Hanukkah gifts for our young nephews and nieces. No Seder plate nor menorah, but I realized that was for the best, because how would I get it home?

I am so grateful for all of your suggestions to help us have the very best First Visit to Italy. We can't wait to go again. After reading so many great TR's I'm a bit shy to start, but I'll just have to get past that sort of thing...
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Dec 28th, 2011, 02:24 PM
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Sorry for your losses.

The trips sounds like it was wonderful. Look forward to reading complete report. The gifts you bought sound so nice...
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Dec 28th, 2011, 08:15 PM
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hkrchick..sounds like you had a great trip..keep it going..happy you found a place at the sinagoga in Rome to say kaddish for your departed parents

La Zucca is one of our favorites in Venice, also...we stayed just a few streets away at the Al Mocenigo near St. Sae vap stop. Keep on truckin'!

stu tower ....write to rozstu1 at aol dot com and I will send the worlwide synagogue list)
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Dec 29th, 2011, 11:03 AM
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hikrchick,

so sorry about the year you've had but it must have been good to be able to say kaddish for them.

it would be really interesting to read your TR, when you have the time.
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