by SAMANTHA EDWARDS

Get a Taste of Italy Right Here in San Diego

backyard1Nestled along the waterfront in the northwest district of downtown, between the bustling San Diego International Airport and the historic Gaslamp Quarter, is a charming city section with a European flair. San Diego’s Little Italy was founded in the 1920s by Italian immigrant families, who built the area into a prominent fishing neighborhood during the height of the tuna industry on the West Coast. Despite suffering nearly 30 years of decline by the mid-’90s, Little Italy not only still exists today – it is a growing and thriving part of the San Diego cityscape. In fact, it has been recognized as one of the top Little Italy neighborhoods in the nation. And perhaps now more than ever, Little Italy is alive with community spirit. The streets of the 48-square-block neighborhood are studded with patio cafes, public piazzas, markets, authentic restaurants, boutiques, art displays, and other attractions that pay tribute to its rich Italian heritage.

The area has been managed by the Little Italy Association of San Diego since 1996, an effort that has proven successful in preserving Little Italy as a stable ethnic business and residential community. This spring the association will complete the largest project of its kind: Piazza della Famiglia, a 10,000-square-foot European-style plaza intended to become the new heart of Little Italy. The piazza will serve as a central community gathering place to host the area’s various activities including farmers markets, concerts, cultural events, and more. So grab your family and friends, head down south, and explore all there is to do in this delightful cultural landmark.


Things To Do & Places To Go

Little Italy Mercato Farmers Market
Fresh local produce, meat, eggs,
baked goods, flowers, plants, and art
Every Saturday | 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
W. Cedar St.

Gran Fondo
Charity bicycle ride starting under the Little Italy landmark sign
April 9 | 7:15 a.m.
www.sdgranfondo.com

ArtWalk San Diego
Artwork, music and dance performances, and interactive art experiences
April 29 & 30 | 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
www.artwalksandiego.org/missionfederal

San Diego Firehouse Museum
Firefighting equipment and memorabilia dating back to the late 1800s
Thursdays & Fridays | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Saturdays & Sundays | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
1572 Columbia St.

Waterfront Park
Grassy areas, interactive fountains for kids, garden rooms, jungle gyms, and picnic areas located along the harbor
1600 Pacific Highway

Amici Park
Includes a dog park, amphitheater, and bocce ball courts
State St.


Little Italy Association of San Diego
2210 Columbia St., San Diego, CA 92101
619-233-3898 | www.littleitalysd.com