Venice's Ghetto, which is in the Cannaregio area, was originally a foundry - "G(h)etto" means "foundry" in Venetian . In 1516, the Jews of Venice were confined in this area by the Council of Ten. They gave the New Foundry island to the Jews with the agreement that they would be confined their during the night.
Initially this was for the protection of the Jews, but it gradually became a prison, with huge gates and guards. The peak of the ghetto's population was about 5,000. By World War II, the population had fallen to about 1.000.