ITALYAThe Island of the Divine Dew

The synagogue of Casale Monferrato

Visit the sculpture exhibition the hebrew alphabet just behind the synagogue.

The Temple of Casale Monferrato was built in 1595. It is a monument of great artistic and historical interest, a valid proof of the important role played by the jewish community in this city, once capital of a prestigious independent marquisate, today still rich of beautiful artistic buldings.

The Aron Ha Kodesh, where the Bible scrolls are kept, is dated in the second half of the XVIII century and so are the beautiful gilded and carvedwooden grills which close the windows of the upper gallery or women's section.

In 1866 the Temple, on design of architect Archinti, was enlarged, a pulpit was built and the women's section was also enlarged.

The painted ceiling is dominated by a phrase in hebrew which means "This is the door to the Heavens".

On both sides of the Aron there are two big bas-reliefs representing Jerusalem and another unidentified city.

Numerous inscriptions in Hebrew are placed around the walls. Some of them are pieces of religious literature, others want to remind important historical facts of the Jewish community.

In the women's gallery an interesting exhibition (in italian) of Jewish art, history and tradition has been opened.

Outside the synagogue you can see the big hebrew letters made by the italian jewish sculptor Gabriele Levy. Visit his site now and look at the images ! (He is also the webmaster of this little site in cyberspace...).

A jewish art tour:

To come to Casale Monferrato you can just reach on Friday by plane a town in Italy called Torino, (in english Turin, in flights TRN), rent a car in HERTZ at the airport, then come to Hotel Bologna near the Porta Nuova Railway station, then ask for the address "Via SAN PEEO COOHENTO".

Then go to this Via San Pio V, it is six walking minutes from the Porta Nuova Railway Station and look towards the sky: you'll see 4 balls. this is the actual Turin's synagogue, open always on Shabos.

Then, ask where is the MOLE ANTONELLIANA and go to see it: it was projected as a synagogue about 140 years ago, but it costed too much or something happened and the local jewish community sold it to the Turin's Municipality.

This is the Mole Antonelliana in the night (The hebrew letters are an idea of the jewish sculptor Gabriele Levy):

The Mole Antonelliana. A Magic Tower.

Today in the Mole Antonelliana there is a "Museo del Cinema".

We call the Mole Antonelliana "Midrash Leon da Modena".

The day after, you can take your car and drive east (Autostrada direction: "PIACENZA" then after fifty minutes, "GRAVELLONA TOCE". After 15 minutes more you'll see "CASALE MONFERRATO SUD". Pay (!) and exit the autostrada  and go to the town. Then ask a person there "Where is the jewish synagogue" in english. They know, it is probably the most beautiful synagogue all over the world.

Remember, the Casale's Synagogue is open only on Sundays.

Visit the sculpture exhibition the hebrew alphabet just behind the synagogue.

Now print this page and come to Italy to see our beautiful synagogues.

We have also a virtual italian jewish meeting point: Schola Novissima Leon da Modena.

Behind the synagogue you'll se the artistic exhibition of the Jewish Sculptor Gabriele Levy: The hebrew alphabet in clay, with talmudic scripts. On the stairs, look up: a lot of big hebrew letters !