HIDDEN GEMS OF LITTLE ITALY
About Little Italy
“Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.”
Little Italy San Diego was originally a predominately Italian fishing neighborhood. It has transformed and undergone gentrification over the years and is now composed mostly of Italian restaurants, Italian retail shops, home design stores, art galleries, and residential units. After the San Francisco earthquake and fire in 1906, many families moved to San Diego’s “fishing colony” to start a new life.
Today much of the old world charm can still be found and many lovely events are held here annually. Most of the events are held on India Street, including a weekly farmers’ market.
In April, there is ArtWalk, the largest art event in the west coast with over 120,000 people coming to purchase various mediums of art – paintings, photography, jewelry, furniture and more.
In May, the Sicilian American community of San Diego celebrates the Sicilian Festival, the first Italian festival held in Little Italy, launched in 1993. It features Italian and Sicilian entertainment, a cultural pavilion highlighting the contributions of the Italians of San Diego, vendors, and Sicilian cuisine.
In May and again in November, there is the Taste of Little Italy (Spring), where attendees pay to sample food from over 20 participating restaurants and entertainment throughout the community. Proceeds from this event go to the Little Italy Association.
In October, there is the Little Italy Festa, the largest Italian festival outside of New York City, with over 150 Italian food and crafter booths, three stages of entertainment, the Gesso Italiano Street Painting Festival, a stickball exhibition game, bocce ball tournament and beer & wine gardens.
Also in October, there is the Bulls of St. Agata Charge Little Italy; this event showcases over 50 Lamborghinis from all over the United States.
In December, there is the Little Italy Christmas Village and Tree Lighting. This event has progressively gotten larger and larger, with Santa Claus riding in on Little Italy Fire Engine #3 kicking off the festivities of music, shopping and bubbly snow flakes for the kids.
Personal Experience: Being Sicilian myself, I always feel a draw and warmth when I visit this town. It truly feels like home. The energy is wonderful out here and brimming with colors, beautiful murals, delicious food, art galleries and a good sense of the Italian culture. A great day trip indeed. For the skateboarders out there, check out Washington Street Skatepark while you’re out here!
Every corner is bursting with a green thumb’s love:
The food is AMAZING out here and the décor is often eclectic and unique:
Great food and memories at Mona Lisa restaurant. We did not eat here unfortunately the day I brought my camera:
I like this: “Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick”
There are fabulous art galleries out here. Make sure to check them all out!
I really loved artist Mee Shim‘s art. 1943 India St, San Diego, CA 92101 She has her own gallery here:
One of our favorite clothing shops is Sainte Marie!
You’ll hopefully spot some of the neat murals out here too. This spot is a great place to watch the planes fly right over your head before they land!
If you’re a big art-lover you should attend one of their art walks!