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Bozzolo, Italy

BOZZOLO, town in Lombardy, northern Italy. Jewish settlement in Bozzolo began in 1522 with the arrival of Jewish loan bankers, who had close connections with the Jews in the nearby duchy of *Mantua . During the 17th and the first half of the 18th century, a small but prosperous community existed in Bozzolo, mainly occupied in banking, commerce, and farming of the customs dues. By the first half of the 17th century, the influential Finzi family was able to build a rich network of commercial, economic, and cultural activity, such as the production, manufacture, and trade of silk. They founded a company that set up all the mulberry plantations in Bozzolo, Sabbioneta, and Rivarolo. At the end of 18th century, under Austrian rule, the economic and commercial importance of Bozzolo progressively diminished and the Jews began to leave and move to Mantua or Milan. In the 1820s 135 Jews lived in Bozzolo and a new cemetery was opened, at the edge of the town, with a stone plaque of the burial society transferred there from the old graveyard and affixed to the lodge at the entrance, reading: "Ḥevrat Gemilut Ḥasadim, in the month of Menahem, in the year 5532." There is also evidence of a Jewish cemetery with three tombstones from the 18th century which had been converted into a private vegetable garden. There were no Jews left in Bozzolo by the beginning of the 20th century.


S. Simonsohn, Toledot ha-Yehudim be-Dukkasut Mantovah, 2 (1965), index; Milano, Italia, index; Archivio Storico di Milano, Culto, Parte moderna, b. 2912, fasc. "Mantova," Regia delegazione provinciale, 15 May 1819; P. Bernardini, Sfida dell'uguaglianza. Gli ebrei a Mantova nell'età della rivoluzione francese (1997), 312–15.

[Federica Francesconi (2nd ed.)]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.