Home to the oldest Jewish population in Europe, Italy is a great country that offers a variety of travel options for Jews. There is at least one kosher restaurant, alongside several bakeries, butchers, and food shops in each major city. In addition, hotels, sights, and kosher tours in Italy can also be found.
You’ll find some of the best places to visit in Italy here. From the breathtaking northern Alpine region to Venice, and from fashion capital Milan to fascinating southern gulfs, this country has it all. In this article, I will focus on providing the best kosher hotels in Italy and key highlights of four regions in the Bel Paese (beautiful country): Venice, Milan, Canazei, and Capri. Embark on this enthralling journey with us to Italy the Jewish way.
Live like a local in Rome: The Eternal City
A city that’s featured in almost every traveler’s bucket list, Italy’s capital city is rich in history and boasts marvelous sights. From the ancient ruins of the Colosseum to the sparkling euros in the waters of Trevi Fountain, Rome is a destination that naturally draws tourists in droves. A week-long visit may not be enough to see all that the Eternal City has to offer, so be sure to plan ahead because an organized itinerary is key. Head down the Spanish Steps to Piazza di Spagna, then make your way to Trevi Fountain, which is eight minutes away on foot. After making a wish and tossing your coin, head to the Pantheon or the Roman Forum, or take a longer route to the Colosseum.
The Jewish community in Rome is one of the oldest in the world, so Jewish travelers can sign up for kosher tours with various travel agencies online, and there are plenty of kosher restaurants in the city too. Renato al Ghetto and Little Tripoli are two highly rated eateries in the city, so be sure to check them out while you’re here.
HT6 Hotel Roma is a four-star property along Via del Tempio, and it’s just 50 meters (164 feet) away from the Great Synagogue of Rome. The rooms at this accommodation are equipped with comfortable beds, air conditioning, a kettle, and a mini-bar. Families can book the quadruple room, and couples or solo travelers can opt for the suite with city views. Previous guests have enjoyed the breakfast offered here, which is a buffet-style breakfast with plenty of kosher, halal, and vegetarian options. Nearby attractions include Campo de’ Fiori and Piazza Navona.
HT6 Hotel Roma
Address: Via del Tempio 6
Babysitting/child services Contactless check-in/check-out Physical distancing rules followed Use of cleaning chemicals that are effective against Coronavirus Ticket service Children television networks All plates, cutlery, glasses and other tableware have been sanitized Kid-friendly buffet
Visit Capri, a mythical island retreat in Italy
Located just three miles (five kilometres) off of Italy’s Bay of Naples, Capri is a small island with remarkable links to the Roman Republic, and full of incredible natural scenery. Surrounded by glittering deep blue waters and mysterious sea grottoes, blanketed with lush greenery and white cube houses, the island’s gorgeous laid-back lifestyle is a huge playground for the rich and famous.
Start your day in Capri atop Monte Solaro, the island’s highest point in Anacapri, where the fascinating views will blow your mind away. Do not rush to leave the quaint town without taking a relaxing stroll through its historic centre. Then hop aboard a boat for spectacular views of Capri’s main attractions such as the famous Blue Grotto, Tiberius’s Leap, and Arco Naturale. If you are itching for a memorable swim and wanting to be one with nature, head to the Grotta Verde (Green Grotto), an enchanting sea cave with dazzling waters and emerald green rocks for a one-of-a-kind mermaid experience!
Capri may be a small island that is great for a day trip but to enjoy a truly laid-back retreat, book a two-night stay on this idyllic island at Capri Tiberio Palace. The five-star hotel is set in a refined 19th century building just a two-minute walk from Capri’s central Piazzetta. Rooms are tastefully furnished, and most are fitted with a balcony or terrace looking out to the gorgeous sea. Savour local Mediterranean dishes on its sea-view terrace, and also enjoy kosher cuisine that is served in a separate dining area during the summertime. Pamper yourself with a massage or beauty treatment in the wellness centre that is luxuriously equipped with hammam, sauna, and hot tub for ultimate relaxation. Capri is all about la dolce vita, and you deserve the celebrity treatment at Capri Tiberio Palace!
Capri Tiberio Palace
Address: Via Croce 11 - 15
CCTV in common areas Staff follow all safety protocols as directed by local authorities Linens, towels and laundry washed in accordance with local authority guidelines Contactless check-in/check-out Solarium Fire extinguishers Delivered food is securely covered First aid kit available
Revel in the fast-paced and hip Italian city of Milan
Milan, the financial hub in Italy’s northern Lombardy region, is often referred to as the Manhattan of the country. The metropolis is also known as being the leading fashion capital in the world, with lots of internationally renowned brands such as Prada, Versace, and Armani, that were born here. Pamper yourself with sophisticated pleasures in the cosmopolitan shopping paradise.
Beyond the modern aspect of the city, Milan is also famous for its rich culture and heritage. Afterall, it is one of the most ancient cities in Europe, dating back to over 26 centuries of history! Marvel in awe at one of the world’s most impressive Gothic cathedrals–the Duomo–or catch a captivating opera performance in the world’s leading opera house: La Scala. Of course, a trip to Milan is not complete without a visit to Santa Maria Delle Grazie Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the most well-known painting in the world–Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper–sits.
An excellent kosher hotel in Milan, Hotel Aurelia exudes elegance and charm. Step inside the bright and spacious reception and enjoy a warm welcome from the staff. Popular on-site facilities include the spa, private beach, swimming pool, and bar. Guests enjoy a full continental breakfast with kosher choices. The executive double room with a sea view is a big hit, but you can also opt for a deluxe double or a classic single. Pets are allowed but additional fees may apply.
To enjoy the best of Milan’s city sights as well as stay close to restaurants and facilities, make yourself at home at Chezromyk the kosher B&B. Opened in 2016, this B&B features elegantly furnished rooms closed to the Jewish quarters in Milan, and conveniently located between Piazza Bande Nere and Piazza Gambara for easy access to major tourist sights. With a warm and friendly host who ensures the B&B stays immaculately clean and comfortable throughout your stay, you will certainly delight in the homely feeling at Chezromyk the kosher B&B while being away from home.
Travel to the Town of Canazei - one of Italy’s highest towns above sea level
If you are looking for a fun, energetic yet relaxing holiday in Italy, Canazei (in the northern province of Trento) is an ideal destination to consider. At over 1,400 metres (4,593 feet) above sea level, Canazei is one of the 30 highest towns in Italy situated in the northern Alpine region. As the winter sports capital of Val di Fassa, strategically positioned in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site–the Dolomites–this is where you can fully relish in the unspoilt nature alongside all sorts of fun-filled sports suitable for all ages.
While Canazei is reputed as a winter sports capital, it does not mean that you should only visit the surreal town during the chilly months. During the summertime, the Ladin land assumes the soothing colours of green, blue, and white, and becomes an open-air sports arena with a wide range of hiking trails that cater to varied fitness levels of travellers. Experience the thrill of flying over the majestic Fassa Valley with a tandem paraglider for a whale of a time. After a long day enjoying all the high adrenaline activities, rejuvenate in the therapeutic waters from the Terme Dolomia at Pozza di Fassa.
To truly enjoy the characteristic pristine nature of Canazei, it is best to stay in the heart of the Dolomites. Therefore, My Kosher Hotel, situated in Alba di Canazei overlooking the awe-inspiring Dolomites, makes a wonderful accommodation choice. The four-star hotel offers panoramic views of the majestic mountain range wherever you turn. Furthermore, service from the professional staff at the hotel is impeccable, making it a truly pleasant stay in the well-appointed rooms. Enjoy peace of mind dining in the first and only Italian boutique hotel, offering full Mehadrin certification with free tea- and coffee-making facilities in the hotel’s lounge. The hotel also provides an indoor pool, a Mikveh ritual bath, and an on-site synagogue for convenience and ultimate relaxation.
Discover the world’s first medieval skyscrapers through a historical tour in Venice
In 1492, following the culmination of the Reconquista, the Jews wandered to various parts of Europe in search of new homes. Given that Venice, the City of Canals, was one of the more open-minded and notable European trading centres, many of them were invited to settle on an island that was tucked in the northern corner of the city. A miniature Jewish neighbourhood was thus created in the city in semi-self-governed isolation. As the population grew, there was no choice but to build high-rises to accommodate the rise in the number of residents, and Venice then became the city for the earliest skyscrapers built during the medieval period.
While Venice is home to only about five to six hundred Jews today, the ghetto still remains the focal point of Jewish life in the City of Canals. If you’re Jewish, Italy has tours that are kosher. Partake in a fascinating walking tour of the historical walled quarters, complete with two operating synagogues, a Jewish library and school, kosher food shops, and bakeries. Check out the Museo Ebraico which is home to an extensive collection of Jewish artifacts from the 16th to 19th century. Complete the Venice experience by purchasing glass Hanukkah lamps and tiny glass rabbis as unique travel mementos.
Stay at Kosher House Giardino Dei Melograni for the best Jewish history tour in Venice. Located a 10-minute walk from Santa Lucia Train Station, Kosher House overlooks the city’s famous ghetto and canals. Featuring simple but cosy furnishings with large windows, you can look out to the beautiful views of the city from the comfort of your room. In addition, the hotel is known for its excellent quality buffet-style breakfast, complimentary coffee and tea for Shabbat, and even Mikveh baths. The hotel is also strategically located away from the touristy centre yet convenient enough to access major attractions such as St Mark’s Square and Rialto Bridge.
Kosher House Giardino Dei Melograni
Address: Campo del Ghetto Nuovo 2874 Cannaregio
Special diet menus (on request) Lift Non-smoking rooms CCTV in common areas Air conditioning First aid kit available Use of cleaning chemicals that are effective against Coronavirus Safety deposit box
Enchanting Italy the Jewish way
With a great selection of kosher hotels in Italy, along with restaurants, bakeries, and captivating sights, you can worry less and enjoy more of the Bel Paese the unique Jewish way. Have an unforgettable Italian holiday with this travel guide.
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