Like the other great Italian commercial centres, Venice held the Jews at arm's length for a long time, and the fiscal and moral advantages that Jewish banking offered did not overcome its leaders' mistrust and fear of competition until the Republic reached the summit of its power. When Mestre was acquired in 1336, local Jewish lenders were allowed to live there; in 1366, a condotta was granted to banchieri of German origin which allowed them to operate in Venice itself, but on condition that they continued to live at Mestre, on the mainland. It can thus be seen that their insular position enabled the Jews to be set apart in accordance with canonic doctrine right from the start. Venetian originality was expressed in other ways in the organisation of lending banks; in particular, the Serenissima would never allow any interference whatever in these matters by the Holy See, so that the system of papal licences was not introduced there.