Little Italy

Location: According to Wikipedia, Little Italy is bounded on the west by Tribeca and Soho, on the south by Chinatown, on the east by the Bowery and Lower East Side, and on the north by Nolita.

When Italian immigrants moved to Little Italy New York in the late 1800s, they brought their customs, food and language. That heritage remains evident today—Little Italy’s streets are lined with restaurants serving Italian staples on red-and-white checkered tablecloths. Di Palo’s cheese shop and Ferrara Bakery & Café—known for its cannoli and espresso—are among the long-tenured businesses still operating today. One of NYC’s oldest street fairs, the annual Feast of San Gennaro, celebrates the patron saint of Naples every September with food and festivities.

Once an area that encompassed 50 square blocks of Lower Manhattan, the enclave is now almost entirely located on the three-block stretch of Mulberry Street between Broome and Canal Streets. It is bounded on the west by Tribeca and Soho, on the south by Chinatown, on the east by the Bowery and Lower East Side, and on the north by Nolita. Although smaller, the neighborhood still bears remnants of its Italian-American past—a history that visitors will find immediately recognizable in the five-story tenements painted red, white and green, and glass-fronted shops where cured salamis hang.

Besides eating, here are some other things to see and do in Little Italy NYC:

The Center for Italian Modern Art      421 Broome St.

This museum promotes modern Italian art both in the US and internationally, frequently focusing on Italian artists whose works are rarely exhibited or surveyed in the States: modern conceptualist Giulio Paolini and surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico.

Feast of San Gennaro         Annual festival that takes place in September along Mulberry Street

Celebrated every September since 1926, this festival is one of NYC’s most popular. Over 11 days Little Italy’s Mulberry Street turns into an all-out party, featuring Italian-American culture and customs. There are musical performances, parades, processions and food: cannoli, fried dough, pizza and sausage & peppers.

Italian American Museum                 155 Mulberry St.

This museum, housed in the former Banca Stabile, a financial center for Italian immigrants in the late 19th century, documents the cultural, social and political contributions of Italians to America.

Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood            109 Mulberry St. (main entrance at 113 Baxter St.)

When it’s not being led through a procession of the neighborhood during the Feast of San Gennaro, the statue of the festival’s honoree can be found at this church.

St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral                      260-264 Mulberry St.

This is New York City’s first cathedral-built between 1809 and 1815-and was once the seat of New York City’s Catholic Archdiocese. The location was a place of sanctuary during the 1800s when Italian immigrants were under attack by the Irish, as shown in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. Scorsese himself served as an altar boy at the church.

Some Little Italy New York restaurants that you may wish to check out include Angelo’s of Mulberry Street and The Original Vincent’s of Mulberry Street. Looking for Little Italy pizza? Il Piccolo Bufalo is a good choice.

Getting to Little Italy is a snap! Hop on our Downtown tour and hop off at stop #9 Soho, Little Italy is a short walk from there.

 

This page was edited by Steven Thomas