The Levantine synagogue of Ancona is housed in a purpose-built building dating from 1876, in what was formerly the ghetto. Its historic site, overlooking the port, was demolished by the papal authority in 1860 not long before the city was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy. We know about it though the detailed survey that the Community had conducted before it was transferred. The synagogue had been built in the 16th century under Rabbi Mosè Basola (1480-1560), at a time of particular religious fervour in the Levantine Sephardic community. The furnishings were initially installed in the new building according to their original, “bi-focal” layout. On the entrance side the space was dominated by the tevah, raised by around two and a half metres; this was later removed. On the opposite wall a monumental baroque-style aron in gilded wood with marble-effect paintwork has survived, featuring ten columns and topped by an onion dome; the Scrolls compartment has finely embossed silver doors. The public seating was originally placed against the walls and along the central axis, with double benches placed back-to-back. In the years around World War II the furniture was rearranged to resemble many synagogues from the emancipation years, which had for their part been modelled on Catholic churches. And so the tevah was moved to sit in front of the aron, within a single area enclosed by a balustrade. The seating was rearranged in parallel rows facing this area. In 1970, the parapet from the tevah of the Sephardic synagogue of Pesaro was installed between the gratings along the right-hand wall which had screened off the women’s gallery in the historic synagogue.
The basement rooms house the Italian synagogue, which was also transferred here after its historic premises had been demolished.
Via Astagno 10, Ancona AN
Jewish Community of Ancona
Via M. Fanti 2 bis
Tel. +39 071 202638