The Ghetto of Padua – haibun – July 16, 2015

PHOTO PROMPT- © Sandra Crook

It was hot. The heat radiated off the white walls of Padua, the humidity so high that one had the feeling of walking through a steam filled sauna.

Being a tourist, isn’t all it’s cut out to be, thought Mary.

She turned the corner from the sunny plaza into the shaded walkways of the Ghetto, suddenly she felt transported into another, somehow simpler age.
Brick lined pavements in heavy shadows, where once a people lived, plying their trade. She stood before the open doors of the synagogue.

whispering voices
each footstep an echo
from Venice’s past

© G.s.k. ‘15

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The photograph by Sandra Crook is of Dijon, France but I’ve placed my travel story in Padua because it looked so much like a photo of the Ghetto (though it could have been in just about any large town in the old Venetian Republic). When one says Padua now days one doesn’t think of Venice, but in fact it is believed that the founders of the island city of Venice were Paduan ( the Venetian Republic was one of the oldest independent republics of Italy which for the most part avoided the constant invasion and colonization of their European neighbours, unlike the rest of Italy).

The “Serenissima” instituted the Ghetto in the 16th century and though the Christians and the Jews mingled during the day, the gates of the Ghetto were closed at night from 1516 onwards.   For a bit of history about the Ghetto, not only in Padua but in the Venetian Republic, click HERE and HERE.

Written for Friday Fictioneers – July 17, 2015