LUCCA, city in N. Italy. It was probably in the ninth century that the *Kalonymus family settled in Lucca and founded a talmudic academy there. In the year 917 members of the family moved to Mainz, thereby establishing talmudic studies in the Rhineland. In 1145 Abraham *Ibn Ezra wrote some of his works in Lucca. When *Benjamin of Tudela visited the city about 20 years later, he found some 40 Jewish families. Around 1431–32 Angelo di Gaio (= Mordecai b. Isaac) of Forlì opened a loanbank at Lucca; later the poet David b. Joab of Tivoli settled there. When the opinion of Savonarola was asked, he stated that while Jews should not be invited in order to lend at interest it was no sin if they did so once they came. As a result of the anti-Jewish preaching of *Bernardino da Feltre a *Monte di Pietà was founded in 1489 and the Jewish bankers were fined heavily. Since they did not pay, they were expelled. Around the middle of the 16th century a few Jews returned but after 1572 they were not allowed to stay for more than 15 days at a time. This restriction was set aside in individual cases from 1738. Since then, however, no more than a handful of Jews have lived in Lucca.
Roth, Italy, index; Milano, Italia, index; Milano, Bibliotheca, S.V.; U. Cassuto, Ebrei a Firenze nell' età del Rinascimento (1918), index, S.V. David di Dattilo da Tivoli and Lucca; Roth, Dark Ages, index.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.