Little Italy

Explore this New York area with an appetite and insatiable desire for home-cooked pasta, perfectly golden breadsticks, and pizza straight from a brick oven.

Stretching all the way along Mulberry Street, Little Italy is New York City’s top destination for your next carb-loading adventure. Family-owned restaurants are lined up along narrow, cobblestone streets and beckon you in with the delicious scents of freshly cooked pizzas and pastas. Sit down with your family and friends at an outdoor table decked out in a checkered cloth straight from Nonna’s kitchen.

Little Italy sprang up in the late 19th century, when immigrants from Naples and Sicily started putting down roots in their own corner of New York. Amble down the sidewalk and picture a bustling community with lots of new neighbors and plenty of “ciaos” to go around – this was Little Italy at its peak in the early 20th century. As the years went on and residents established themselves in the city, they moved out to larger homes in the surrounding areas, leaving behind a bit of history and a lot of family memories.

Today, the area takes up about three blocks and is more tourist attraction than a home-away-from-Italia, but there’s still plenty to enjoy. Spend the afternoon lazily chatting and refueling on delicious coffees at an Italian bakery or book a table for two at a romantic restaurant serving up plentiful helpings of ravioli and fusilli by candlelight. Buy a classic Italian toy in a local shop or just take in the view as Italian flags wave in the breeze.

Planning a visit for September? You’re in for a treat. Watch as colorful parade floats fill the streets and marching bands send the sounds of the drums reverberating through the restaurants. This is the Annual Feast of San Gennaro, a street festival that celebrates the determination and faith of early Italian immigrants. Oh, and there’s a cannoli-eating competition. Need we say more?

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