Taking a ‘Little Italy’ Trip That Refreshes the Entire Family
by Joyce Wilson
Many of our favorite delights come from Italy — pizza, pasta, espresso, wine, and gelato to name a few. And if your family is looking to take a refreshing trip that helps you strengthen your bonds and make new memories, then injecting Italian culture into your travel experience will do the trick!
While nothing compares to experiencing the motherland firsthand, one practical way to enjoy a bit of Italy on your self-care trip is to go to a U.S. city with a thriving “Little Italy” area. Below, Go Italianissimo discusses a few of the best cities to consider!
San Diego, CA
By the 1920s, a large influx of Italian immigrants had arrived in San Diego because of the opportunities that came with the tuna-fishing industry. Thus, the Little Italy area was created. In recent years, San Diego’s Little Italy section has experienced a reemergence, and some of the country’s best Italian restaurants remain after many decades.
One of the best features of this Little Italy is the Italian farmer’s market “Mercado,” which you can enjoy throughout the year. When planning your trip, consider the Sicilian Festival in May, the Precious Festa in October, and the Venetian-style Carnivale in February.
If you visit San Diego (or any other city on this list) and decide that you like it enough to return, consider purchasing a vacation home. You will likely need to pay at least 20% down when purchasing a second home, and if that is not feasible with your current financial position, look into getting a second mortgage on your primary residence, or taking out a home equity loan.
It’s no secret that South Philadelphia has a sizable Italian-American population, and its thriving Little Italy neighborhood is one result. If visiting Philadelphia, don’t miss the Italian Market District, which is the heart of the Little Italy section.
Residents claim that this outdoor market is the largest and oldest, and it offers various restaurants, bakeries, butcher shops, and grocery stores inspired by those of Italy. As an extra perk, the famous Philly Cheesesteak originates from the market, which is a must-do when visiting South Philly!
New York, NY
As one of the world’s most famous cities, New York City also has the most famous Little Italy in the United States. Covering four city blocks, NY’s Little Italy is the place to find fine Italian ceramics, food products, cafes, and restaurants. It's also worth visiting Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral.
If a large event is your family’s idea of practicing self-care, you might book a trip during the Feast of San Gennaro, which pays tribute to the Patron Saint of Naples during the last two weeks of September. Parades, music, cannoli-eating contests, and a range of Italian vendors provide plenty of family-friendly fun.
The Little Italy section of Boston stretches across two square miles in the city’s North End. This area is considered to be the center of both Italian culture and cuisine and the American Revolution.
More than 80 cafes, bakeries, and restaurants occupy Boston’s Little Italy, but that doesn’t keep the area from providing plenty of old-world charm. Your family can enjoy cobblestone streets, Italian-speaking residents and visitors, and lots of tantalizing smells circulating the air!
Taking a trip is one of the best ways for families to reconnect, strengthen bonds, and create lifelong memories. If your family needs a refreshing experience together, consider visiting one of the Little Italy areas above. That way, you can get a dose of old-world Italy until you’re ready for an international adventure. And don’t hesitate to reach out to Go Italianissimo for any of your travel planning needs!
Joyce Wilson is a retired teacher and enjoys sharing lesson plans, resources, and teaching tips on Teacher Spark. Her website is a compilation of practical resources that will inspire student engagement and instill a love for learning. By tapping into a student’s natural creativity and curiosity, Joyce believes that they can take their education to a new level.