The next time you’re in New York City, head down to Little Italy and experience the history of this iconic neighborhood.
New York City’s Little Italy was made famous by Hollywood and The Rat Pack, mafia gangsters and its own authentic old world flavor. Over the years, Little Italy may have shrunk in size and fame, but it’s still worth a visit to catch glimpses of what it once was.
Today’s Little Italy is only takes up about four blocks, with its boundaries at Canal St, Broome St., Baxter St and Elizabeth St with on Mulberry Street being the center of it. But, these blocks are filled with restaurants, shops and the aromas and sounds of Italy.
You can often find discount coupons for restaurants in Little Italy.
Prices do tend to be higher in Little Italy, so if you’re on a budget, it’s a great place to get some gelato, a slice of pizza or an espresso and walk around rather than sit down to eat a meal.
If you enjoy historic buildings and churches, Little Italy is home to Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral New York City’s first Catholic Church, which first opened its doors in 1815. It’s located at 263 Mulberry Street.
Little Italy really comes to life during the annual San Gennaro festival every September. What began as a one day religious observance nearly 100 years ago, is now an 11 day festival celebrating San Gennaro, Italian culture, food and the Italian-American community.
The streets fill with food vendors, free live music, and the spirit of Italian immigrants. There is even a cannoli eating contest!
If you’d like to take a guided tour through Little Italy, NYC By Foot offers a free tour of NYC’s Historic district that includes Little Italy. New York City Cultural Walking Tours offers an inexpensive tour of Little Italy that includes a detailed account of its history as well as the importance of a dozen landmark buildings.