At the age of 13, the young Modigliani celebrated his Bar Mitzvah in the old Synagogue in Livorno, as he wrote in the diary of his mother, Eugenie Garsin. The ceremony marked the boy’s coming of age and his entry into the Livorno Jewish community, a cultural milieu that had a strong influence on his artistic path.
Livorno's old synagogue, which no longer exists, stood not far from Piazza Grande, inside the pentagonal city of Buontalenti (now Piazza Benamozegh), in the heart of the city of the “Nations”.
Thanks to the “Leggi Livornine”, the Jewish community was never confined to a ghetto, and had its own synagogue and cemeteries, living in total harmony with the other “Nations”, who lived in Livorno, and with the “Tuscans”.
It is no surprise that the Livorno synagogue, built in 1660, was considered to be the most beautiful in Europe, and the second largest, after that of Amsterdam.
Devastated by the air bombing during World War Two, the synagogue was demolished to make room for the new one, which was opened in 1962.