Skip to main content



URBINO, town in central Italy, formerly capital of an independent duchy. The earliest record of Jews dates from the beginning of the 14th century, when Daniel of Viterbo was authorized to trade and open a loan bank. His family long continued to head the community. Other loan bankers, ultimately eight in number, received authorization to operate later. However, in 1468 a monte di *pieta was established in Urbino in order to restrict Jewish activities. In the 15th century the dukes of the house of Montefeltro favored Jewish scholars and were interested in Jewish scholarship; Federico ii collected Hebrew manuscripts. When the duchy passed to the Della Rovere family in 1508, they enacted a more severe policy, not rigidly enforced. Hebrew books were burned in Urbino in 1553 and in 1570 the ghetto was introduced, with all the accompanying indignities. The degraded status of the Jews was confirmed when the duchy of Urbino passed under papal rule in 1631. At this time there were 369 Jews (64 families) in the town, a number that steadily decreased thereafter. In 1717 they were mostly poverty-stricken; many houses in the ghetto were empty, and the synagogue itself was partly owned by non-Jews. There was a temporary improvement with the invasion of the French revolutionary armies, but during the reaction of 1798 anti-Jewish excesses took place. Papal rule, with the accompanying degradation, was reestablished with intervals from 1814 to 1860, when Urbino was annexed to the kingdom of Italy and full emancipation automatically followed. Nevertheless the community continued to decline in number and now is virtually extinct.


Milano, Bibliotheca, index; Milano, Italia, index; C. Roth, Personalities and Events in Jewish History (1953), 275–82; Vitaletti, in: Giornale storico della letteratura italiana, 85 (1925), 98–105; G. Luzzatto, Banchieri ebrei in Urbino … (1902).

[Cecil Roth]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Urbino." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 20 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Urbino." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (February 20, 2019).

"Urbino." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved February 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.