German-Jewish designer Diane von Furstenberg recently announced she will help launch a $12 million project to restore Venice's Jewish Ghetto.
She joins real estate investor Joseph Sitt and the Venetian Heritage Council, the philanthropist group funding the restoration. Once completed in 2016, the area will also become a UNESCO World Heritage site, which coincides with the ghetto’s 500th anniversary.
History and continuity are important to the Council, as well as Furstenberg, who was born after her mother survived internment at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
The efforts will restructure the Jewish Museum and improve infrastructure of the interconnected buildings. It will also rebuild and refurbish three of the five synagogues built in the 16th century, which are some of the oldest in Italy. The ghetto, which only takes up one city block of the Cannaregio district in Venice, still functions as an important Jewish cultural center today.
Megan Soll is a member of the digital team at Travel + Leisure.