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Jewish Cemetery

The Jewish cemetery was reconstructed in the second half of the XX century.

Address and contacts

Viale della Repubblica - 42015 Correggio
Phone 0039 0522 631770 - Tourist Office
Phone 0039 0522 691806 - Il Correggio Museum
Website Jewish Cemetery of Correggio - Museo il Correggio
Website Ester - Jewish Cemetery of Correggio

Opening times

The tour of the cemetery is possible upon previous phone arrangement at least 48 hours before.
It is closed Saturdays and on the occasion of the Jewish holidays.

How to get there

Correggio

By car
Driving along the A22 Modena-Brennero motorway, exiting at the Carpi tollbooth and following the directions for Correggio (then following the SS468 towards the south);
using the A1 Milan - Bologna motorway, exiting at the Reggio Emilia tollbooth and following the signs for Carpi-Correggio (taking the SS468 in a northerly direction).

By train
The closer railway station to Correggio are Reggio Emilia (about 20 km) and Carpi (about 7 Km)

By bus
From Piazzale Europa - Reggio Emilia, buses n° 43 or 82

Historical notes

Just under eighty tombstones recount several decades of the town’s history between the second half of the XIX century and the early XX century. In an arid numerical summary, this could be the description of the “new” Jewish cemetery of Correggio, where a complex restoration project has been completed which the local authority wanted to conclude in a short time - two years, from the definition of the project till the completion of the works - and which involved the companies Dina Tacconi of Modena and C.R.C. of Bologna, in two distinct consecutive stages.
Beyond the cold numerical and chronological data, the recovery of the cemetery area represented a moment of prime importance in the development of a historical project expressed in the “global museum” project to which the local authority is dedicating significant resources and energies, starting from the reopening of the Civic Museum (June 1999).
The Jewish cemetery as seen today was constructed in the second half of the 19th century because the first and older burial site was no longer usable due to the lack of further space and in particular to its location within the sixteenth-century city walls, just beyond the Rocchetta, in sharp contrast with the health-hygiene regulations.
Forced to abandon the ancient cemetery and leave the remains of the buried there (except in extremely rare case, exhumation is not permitted), the leaders of Correggio’s Jewish community obtained permission to build a new one near the eighteenth-century Christian cemetery of the Madonna della Rosa. The functional connotation of the area was conserved up to the last four decades of the 20th century, when the Christian cemetery was dismantled, while the Jewish one had no longer been used for some time. Remaining there, however, were the dozens of tombstones inscribed with the typical surnames of the Jewish families in the community: Finzi, Sinigaglia, Resignani, Ravà, Forti, Padovani, etc.).
The recovery operation marked the beginning of a complex and challenging historical-cultural project: in agreement with the Jewish community of Modena, in fact, in the mortuary a small permanent exhibit was set up on the history of the Jewish community of Correggio and its principal places (synagogue, cemetery, ghetto), with a particular documentary apparatus and two models reproducing the nineteenth-century synagogue and the “modern” cemetery.

Fragments of jewish codices of the 12th to 15th centuries from the municipal historical archive and the jewish community of Correggio
Recovered in the years 1997-98 with a complex operation of detachment and restoration, these fragments had been used as covers or reinforcements of the covers of some dozens of registries of the Civil and Criminal Judicial Archive that can be dated between the end of the 16th century and the end of the 17th century. This particular re-use of parchment fragments is situated in a particular and dramatic historical period; that is, the period in which, from the second half of the 16th century, by order of the ecclesiastic authorities, the ancient religious and literary manuscripts of the numerous Jewish communities in Italy, and in the Emilia-Romagna region in particular, were destroyed. The parchment sheets thus recovered were sold to bookbinders, stationers, and typographers of the territory who, as mentioned, used them to cover registries, which were then furnished to notary publics or municipalities, and also as backing for printed volumes. Starting in the 1980s, a systematic survey was carried out at the Italian and European level to identify archives in which these precious testimonies might still be conserved.
Thanks to the work of Professor Mauro Perani, national coordinator of the research, Correggio revealed itself to be particularly rich in these fragments, with just under 150 pieces, including true rarities, some entirely exceptional. For example, fragments were found of the book of Psalms in a fourteenth-century Sephardic manuscript (i.e. originally from Spain), of the Comment on the Torah by Levi Ben Gershorn (14th century), of a splendid Sephardic monumental manuscript of the 12th century, and of a proto-rabbinical Bible with the comments of Nachmanide and Rashi (14th-15th centuries).
Further findings included fragments of cabalistic works by Menachem Recanati (14th century), of an unpublished comment of Isaiah by Trani to a rabbinical treatise (14th-15th centuries), and of the first edition of the Torah printed in Hebrew characters in Bologna in 1482.
This wealth of findings is of exceptional interest as regards the history of religious tradition and of Italian Jewish culture between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.