In her novel People of the Book Geraldine Brooks uses the ghetto of Venice as a backdrop for one of the stories. Without actually going there it is hard to envisage exactly what the ghetto is like. Once it was an iron foundry or geti, which is the origin of the word ghetto. Originally this Jewish quarter of Venice was closed off at night and no-one was allowed out. Severe you might think, but at the same time other nationalities were treated in the same way. The Germans or Tedeschi were not allowed out of their workshop or factory, which is now the main post office, and the Greeks, Spanish etc all had their own particular area of Venice. This of course meant that they could be monitored and would not be in a position to steal Venetian trade secrets.
But back to the ghetto. Today it is a quiet campo where you can find traditional Jewish pastries and food, a Holocaust museum and memorial, and some beautiful buildings.