Canton Synagogue - windows, shutters and terrazzo floor

About the project

The oldest Ghetto in the world became home to Jewish communities from all over Europe and the Mediterranean from the early 16C. Its five synagogues and museum share this rich history which is the subject of a major project planned by the Comunità Ebraica Venezia to revive the heart of the Ghetto.

In Spring 2019 Venice in Peril contributed with a small project repairing windows and shutters to enable access around the Canton Synagogue ahead of Edmund de Waal’s exhibition psalm which was installed here during the Biennale in 2019. The Women’s Gallery is shown here at top left.

A second project to repair the traditional terrazzo floor of the Sukkah, where the Feast of the Tabernacles is celebrated, was completed in Autumn 2019 – see picture top right.

The method and materials used for terrazzo or cocciopesto floors give them the necessary pliability to accommodate the movement in Venetian buildings. 

The project involves cutting out old repairs and cracks before laying and integrating a base layer with an upper layer, matching the old terrazzo with a traditional mix of Istrian stone, brick chips and dust bound with lime mortar. Once tamped down a blend of cooked linseed oil, plaster dust and terracotta powder is applied before the floor is sanded and polished with beeswax.

How to find it

In brief

  • For more information on the Ghetto project and visiting the Ghetto see

  • For more about Edmund de Waal and the psalm exhibit see

  • The illustrations above show (left) the Women’s Gallery of the Canton Synagogue after restoration of the windows and (right) the Sukkah before restoration of the terrazzo floor.

More images