Maria Luisa’s family dates back to the 1400s in the Renaissance city of Urbino. Maria is the local caretaker of the synagogue and the Jewish cemetery outside the city. Nadia, a friend of Maria, has lived in Urbino for most of her life.
During the Renaissance and under the reign of the Montefeltro family, Jews lived throughout the community, worked in banking and other professions and shared many of the same rights as their Catholic neighbors: the right, for example, to buy, hold, and sell real estate and to employ Christian servants. By the second half of the 15th century, one-third of Urbino’s population was Jewish. [...]