Alessandria is the third largest city in the Piedmont region and has its own unique Jewish history which dates back to the 15th century. The ghetto here, which was once located in the area of Via Milano, Via Migliara, Via dei Martiri and Via Vochieri, is still visible in the buildings which remain complete with galleries, balconies, and internal passageways.
The 1871 post-Emancipation synagogue is located at No. 7, Via Milano, and its neo-baroque façade is to be admired as well as its exquisite interior!
In 1490 the first Jewish person allowed to settle and run a loan bank in Alessandria, which was under the Duchy of Milan, was Abramo Vitale de Sacerdoti. Soon this became a large and important family in the city and by 1684, 170 of the 230 Jews here had the last name of Vitale. At one point the family was so powerful that they were able to pick and choose which Jewish families they would allow to settle in the city. In the 16th century they were able to avoid the ghetto and the expulsion decree of 1597. This would have forced all Jews in the duchy of Milan to leave. This area at the time was under Spanish rule.
In the 18th century, rule of the city passed to the Savoys who then created a ghetto in 1724 and required Jews to wear a badge. In 1761 the census ordered by the Savoys revealed 420 were living in the ghetto. After Emancipation (decreed by Albert of Savoy in 1848), the Jewish community was extremely integrated with the rest of the city.