Museo Nazionale dell'Ebraismo Italiano e della Shoah

Top choice in Ferrara

Born by an Italian Parliamentary decree to create a National Holocaust Museum, the National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah partially opened in 2017 in the renovated buildings of Ferrara's 1900s prison. The museum chronicles 2200 years of Italian-Jewish history (Italy was once the cradle of Jewish culture in Europe and it remains the oldest active Jewish community in the Western world) via restrained, audio-visually stunning exhibitions told from the perspective of Jewish-Roman historian Josephus Flavius.

At the time of writing, two of the museum's four buildings were completed (and represent Italy's first historic buildings to receive Green Building Council certification) and were housing long-running temporary exhibitions, parts of which will eventually be incorporated into the permanent collection. Don't miss the Holy Arc dating to 1472, an extraordinarily detailed 1st-century statue of Titus once buried under Pompeii, vibrant Renaissance paintings by Andrea Mantegna and the 24-minute introductory film Through the Eyes of Italian Jews, which puts the whole experience here into perspective. By the time it's finished in 2021, the buildings will be connected via five massive, inscripted brise-soleil solar panels of diffused light bearing inscriptions from the five books of the Torah – a remarkable modern architectural twist to the otherwise historic setting.

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