The Pesaro Synagogue was long believed to be of the Spanish or Sephardic rite and it was believed to have been founded by Semite exiles who first arrived in Ancona and, after the restrictions of July 1555, in Pesaro, where the Jewish community enjoyed a period of peace, protected by the dukes Guidobaldo II and Francesco Maria II Della Rovere.
Recent studies have established that the Sephardic Synagogue was located on Via delle Scuole but it was demolished in 1957 because it was condemned after the 1930 earthquake. In the same street (Scuola is synonymous with Synagogue) there was also the Italian Synagogue that has survived still today.
The information is confirmed in the Gregoriano Cadastre in which the two synagogues are clearly indicated: “house for use of Spanish School” and “Italian School with two rented workshops”. Built in the sixteenth century and transformed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Italian School is included in the urban fabric of the ghetto without signs of particular distinction for security reasons.
In fact, there was also another Synagogue of Italian rite on Via delle Zucchette- the oldest of the three- that was closed to worship with the establishment of the ghetto (after the devolution of the Duchy of Urbino to the State of the Church) because it was outside its enclosure; it would be torn down probably in about the mid-20th century.
The ground floor
On the simple facade that characterizes the exterior of the Synagogue, two front gates open: a larger one for men and a smaller one for women. On the ground floor even today it is possible to admire the oven, for baking unleavened breads, the pool for purification baths and the well.
The Prayer Room
The first floor houses the Prayer Room (Temple): the Holy Ark (Aròn) and the pulpit (Tevàh) are contrasted in the center of the smaller walls. Today the Synagogue is no longer a place of worship, for this reason some of the furnishings have been transferred to synagogues that are still active: the Holy Ark is now in Livorno, the small balcony in the pulpit in Ancona, and the gratings of the women’s gallery in Talpioth (Jerusalem). The ceiling is decorated in plaster with rose windows and oak wreaths, a clear tribute to the Della Rovere family, lords of Pesaro, who for decades ensured prosperity and tranquility for the Jews in the city.
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