The Museo Ebraico is one of the lesser known museums of Bologna, hidden away in the former ghetto. The easiest way to get there is to walk down Via Zamboni from the Due Torri (Two Towers), then after 100 metres turn left when you get to the Renaissance palazzo that houses the Best Western Hotel San Donato, walk under the archway leading into the ghetto, turn right into Via Valdonica, and make your way down to the far end, then ring the bell beside the gate, and at the far end of the alleyway you find yourself in the courtyard, with the ticket office on your right. It is a compact museum with only a small collection of artifacts, mainly sacred items. Most of the exhibition space is given over to display panels explaining the migratory patterns and settlements of the Jewish communities in Emilia Romagna over the centuries, giving the impression of being designed more for school parties than for the independent traveller. The audio guide does not allow you to select the exhibit that you are interested in, but is an automatic system that crackles into action as you move from one room to the next, first in Italian then in English, and at times rather than crackling into action, it just crackles, and some visitors may find this disconcerting. The auditorium for conferences and book presentations is impressive, but there were no events taking place during my visit. This is only a small museum all on the ground floor, about as large as an apartment, and you should not expect an exhibition as impressive as the Jewish Museum in Dorotheergasse in Vienna, or you may be disappointed. After visiting this museum you might be interested in the palazzo on the right-hand side of Via Goito (after leaving the museum and crossing Via Oberdan) that has a Hebrew inscription carved into the stonework on the façade, bearing witness to the Jewish presence in Emilia Romagna over the centuries.
Admission: 4 euros. Open from Sunday to Thursday 10.00-18.00, Friday 10.00-16.00. Closed on Saturdays.
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