Wishing you were on vacation in Italy? Maybe you can't take that Italian vacation this year, but you can still enjoy the culture of Italy and maybe even practice a little Italian.
When I'm not in Italy, I enjoy going to my favorite Italian places in San Francisco. With more than 26 million people of Italian descent in the United States, it's easy to find Italian spots. While not every city has a Little Italy, many North American cities do have places with Italian heritage. You'll also find Italian festivals and Italian film festivals in the United States and Canada.
San Francisco, CaliforniaSan Francisco's Italian neighborhood is North Beach. In North Beach, you'll find Italian cafes, restaurants, and shops. It's home to Saints. Peter and Paul Church and Saint Francis of Assisi Shrine. You'll still hear lots of Italian spoken in North Beach. There are good Italian places outside North Beach, too.
• Italy in San Francisco
• San Francisco Neighborhoods: North Beach
New York City, New YorkNew York City's Little Italy is a small area that still reflects its Italian heritage. Walk along its cobblestone streets, buy imported Italian groceries, and take a look at Old St. Patrick's Cathedral.
• Little Italy
• Mulberry Street Food
There's also a Little Italy in the Bronx. Joe Palisi says, "I grew up close to Little Italy in the Bronx, NY and would go there with my grandfather to purchase grapes for our wine press. We are talking circa 1940. Really Italian!"
St. Louis, MissouriThe Hill is the St. Louis Italian neighborhood. The Hill's Italian heritage starts from the late nineteenth century and it still has Italian shops, bakeries, and restaurants.
• The Hill Overview and History
• Walking Tour of The Hill
Cleveland, OhioCleveland's Little Italy originates from the late 19th century when Italian immigrants came to the area. It has art galleries, Italian restaurants, and the Holy Rosary Church, dating from 1892.
• Little Italy Profile
• A Walk Around Cleveland's Little Italy
• Little Italy Historic Photos
• Cleveland's Little Italy (compare prices) has more about this area
Columbus, OhioItalian Village in Columbus is the area around St. John the Baptist Italian Catholic Church. Italian Village still retains some historic buildings and improvements to the area are still being made.
Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, with its popular Italian Market, has one of the oldest Italian American communities in the United States and has many Italian restaurants.
• Top Philadelphia Italian Restaurants
Boston, MassachusettsBoston's Italian neighborhood is called the North End. It has a strong Italian flair and several Italian restaurants. The North End is also Boston's oldest neighborhood.
• North End Neighborhood Profile
Baltimore, MarylandBaltimore's Little Italy neighborhood has many Italian restaurants, mostly family-owned places, in this area of narrow streets.
• Dining in Baltimore's Little Italy
Providence, Rhode IslandFederal Hill is the Italian neighborhood of Providence with many restaurants, bakeries, cafes, art galleries, cigar shops, and markets. DePasquale Square is the center of the neighborhood. A good time to visit is during June's Federal Hill Stroll.
• Italian Restaurants and Food in Provicence
New Orleans, LouisianaWhile New Orleans doesn't have a Little Italy they do have an unusual tradition of making St. Joseph altars, started by Sicilian immigrants who came to New Orleans in the nineteenth century. There's also a parade and celebrations for St. Joseph's Feast Day.
• St. Joseph Altars in New Orleans
Montreal, CanadaMontreal's Little Italy is part of the Petite Patrie neighborhood. Joe Palisi says, "the Catholic Church, Madonna della Difesa, built in 1919 is a huge, beautiful church in this part of Montreal. This is probably the only Catholic Church anywhere with a fresco of Pius IX and Mussolini side by side. The fresco commemorates the Lateran Accord and was completed prior to WWII before Musolini's downfall."
• Italian Spots in Petite Patrie