One of our most highly recommended places to visit in Florence is the Sephardic Synagogue. We had an informative tour guide who explained the history of Jews in Florence and the significance of the synagogue. While Jews in Rome date back over 1000 years, Jews in Florence arrived from Spain after the inquisition. Like the rest of Italy, Jews in Florence experienced ups and downs depending on local leadership. Two important events have shaped the synagogue we visited and the Jews of Florence today. The first was the Holocaust which devastated the Jewish population and saw the synagogue used as a garage for German vehicles. This actually saved the building structure from being destroyed but much of the interior was unrecognizable. The second influencing event was a massive flood which left water and mud a few meters high inside the synagogue. Eventually with generous donations and help from the Italian government, the synagogue was restored to the stunning sanctuary it is today. Unfortunately pictures are not allowed so you will have to take our word for it.


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