ISTRIA , peninsula in the N. Adriatic. The first Jewish settlement dates to the Middle Ages. In 1380 Jews opened a bank at Capodistria. Later Jews settled at Isola, Pirano, Rovigno, Pola, and Veglia. A number of Jews from Germany settled in Istria in the 1480s, mainly in the cities of Muggia, Pirano, and Parenzo. Under the protection of the republic of Venice, they were permitted to engage in trade and moneylending. The most important bank was probably established in Pirano in 1484. In 1502 the pseudo-messiah Asher *Lemlin appeared in Istria. Jews were expelled from Muggia in 1532. Jewish banks in Istria continued to function with interruptions until the middle of the 17th century, when they were replaced by the *monti di pietà (church loan banks). By then most of the Jews had left the area, mainly for Trieste and other neighboring communities in Italy.
Milano, Italia, index; Milano, Bibliotheca, index; Roth, Italy, index; Ive, in: rej, 2 (1881), 175–98; I. Zoller, Ricordi di vita ebraica nell'Istria (1913); idem, in: Corriere Israelitico, 51 (1912), 197–9. A. Ive, Dei Banchi Feneratizi degli Ebrei di Pirano (1881).
[Daniel Carpi /
Samuele Rocca (2nd ed.)]