The Jewish community of Syracuse was one of the most populous in Sicily after that of Palermo. The Jewish Quarter of La Giudecca, in Syracusa sland called "A Iureca", is one of the oldest of the historical center of Ortigia.
Until the year of their expulsion by the Spanish monarchs in 1492, Jews were a very important component of Syracusan population. In some periods, Jews came to be one third of the population of Syracuse, several thousand people. Recent decades have seen a continuous renovation of the area: many monuments and palaces have been restored, and this has encouraged the opening of numerous restaurants and meeting places in many of these characteristic buildings. In the district there are many Christian holy buildings that have arisen on the ruins of synagogues. Many buildings show and architectural style characterized by a mixture of the Sicilian Baroque and the Hebrew Israelite Style with elements that go back to medieval architectural styles and Renaissance, all located in these narrow charming alleys.
Many of these buildings also have underground cellars where the ritual bath ("Miqwah") were placed. The most important squares are Largo San Filippo,where the baroque Church of St. Philip the Apostle is located, the little square where stands the Church of St. John the Baptist, known as "San Giovannello” and Piazza San Giuseppe, where the theatre is located. The heart of the Jewish district is in Via della Giudecca e Via della Maestranza.
Nowadays La Giudecca is the most charming and bohemien part of Ortigia, where you can have a pleasant walk through the past centuries, have a coffee or a drink and meet people from all over the world.
Until the year of their expulsion by the Spanish monarchs in 1492, the community of Jews was a very important component of the Syracusan population. In recent decades in this area some renovations have been made and many eighteenth and nineteenth century monuments have been restored, which has favored the opening of many shops, bars and meeting places. La giudecca nowadays is a charming place where you can walk at any time and discover the beauty of many Christian sacred buildings which arose on the ruins of synagogues which also have underground cellars where you had placed the ritual bath ("Miqwah"), but also many buildings architectural style characterized by a mixture of the Sicilian Baroque style, and the Hebrew Israelite with elements that go back to medieval and Renaissance architectural styles crossed by narrow, winding lanes (lanes I, II, III and IV on the Giudecca) that connect to the Streets of the Giudecca and the Crucifix. The most important squares are the Largo San Felipe is located where the baroque Church of St. Philip the Apostle (whose interior contains an important Jewish underground), the square where stands the Baptist Church of St. John the Baptist, known as "San Giovannello ".