In every city where Italians have settled, you'll find a Little Italy. These are usually neighborhoods where the immigrants originally lived, providing a safe haven in a foreign land. Here, neighbors were often people from the same village, or at least from the same region.
At a time before government programs were available to assist immigrants, support was drawn from the community, in the form of shared food, companionship, help with the new language, and assistance in finding employment. Often the children from neighboring families intermarried, cementing alliances and helping preserve the culture for another generation.
Mulberry Street (Little Italy, NYC) 1900
As the Italians prospered, most moved out of the Little Italy neighborhoods and into more affluent suburbs. But the businesses remained, including the restaurants that lure both locals and tourists with authentic Italian dishes. Over the coming months we'll be looking at Little Italy locations around the world. but we'll start with some neighborhoods that may be familiar to you through American films.
Below is a short list we've compiled of the Little Italys in the USA. Some cities have more than one, with Philadelphia leading the list with seven. Brooklyn is close behind with five.
If we've missed an area in your city we apologize.
Atlantic City, NJ
Boston, MA (2)
Bronx, NY (3)
Brooklyn, NY (5)
Chicago, IL (2)
Los Angeles, CA
Manhattan, NY (2)
New Haven, CT
Philadelphia, PA (7)
Queens, NY (2)
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Pedro, CA
St. Louis, MO
If you know of another Little Italy in the US that we've missed, please let us know through the Contact Us page.