October is Italian-American Heritage & Culture Month and boy, are we in need of something to celebrate! With over 26 million Americans of Italian descent residing in the United States, Italian-Americans are the fifth largest ethnic group in our nation, and we are excited to pay tribute to them.
Born from Italian descent, San Diego’s Little Italy has preserved its rich Italian heritage over the last 100 years from its charming European piazzas to traditional Italian flavors.
Every October, Italians and Italian-Americans, alike, around the country take time to honor their heritage, history, and culture. Good things happen when people collectively come together, and San Diego’s Little Italy’s success has a lot to do with just that.
In honor of Italian Heritage Month, stop by Little Italy to shop the boutiques, enjoy the food and learn about the history of the following local Italian landmarks, like the following:
- Little Italy Landmark Sign: Can’t miss this! Lit for the first time in October 2000 at the 7th Annual Little Italy FESTA!, the sign commemorates the historical neighborhood that was the hub of the world’s tuna fishing and canning industry up until the 1960s. Nautically themed, the sign represents the immigrant community that came before us. The portholes at the top of the pillars, blue neon lettering and cables that hold the sign up are representational of the rich nautical history. The mosaic tile work on the West represents the San Diego Bay and the industry that help build San Diego’s Little Italy and the East side pillars tell the story of our Italian roots and the history of our community through the families, the church, the elementary school and the homeland.
- Amici Park – Translating to “Park of Friends”, this multi-use space is home to the Little Italy Dog Park, the Amici Park Amphitheater and Little Italy Bocce Ball Courts. The dog park and amphitheater are currently open to the public and although gatherings aren’t encouraged at this time, we look forward to the day we can all be insieme (together) at the park as friends.
- Piazza della Famiglia : Opened in March of 2018, the Piazza della Famiglia is located in the “heart” of Little Italy and is dedicated to the past, present, and future families of Little Italy. Visitors and residents can stroll through this 10,000-square-foot European-style piazza on W. Date Street, connecting India and Columbia Streets. A beautiful tiled fountain sits at the East side of the Piazza and tables and chairs with umbrellas line the cobblestone promenade—inviting you to take in the beautiful scene and San Diego Bay views over lunch, coffee or a gathering with friends and family.
About the Little Italy Association (LIA)
A nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation for the public’s benefit, the Little Italy Association (LIA) advocates on behalf of its members’ best interests in the areas of public safety, beautification, promotion and economic development, while preserving the unique cultural resources that exist in the Little Italy neighborhood of Downtown San Diego. LIA stands as the only district management corporation of its kind for any Little Italy neighborhood in the United States and is run by a Board of Directors encompassing 28 people who represent property owners, residents, businesses and community at large. More information can be found by visiting www.littleitalysd.com or by calling (619) 233-3898.