Nothing says classic New York City quite like Little Italy, with its red checkered tablecloth pizzerias, sidewalk eateries, colorful store signs, and independently-owned boutiques and galleries. This busy neighborhood is brimming with life and activity, so if you want to live in the thick of the action, Little Italy might just be for you.
Bordered by Nolita to the north, Bowery to the east, Chinatown the south, and SoHo to the west, this Lower Manhattan enclave is located within walking distance of fantastic neighborhoods, making it an attractive option for professionals, students, and families who love exploring NYC.
Its historic boundaries are widely disputed, but it is estimated that Little Italy once spanned 30 to 50 square blocks on the Lower East Side. Today, the neighborhood is much more compact, comprising roughly three blocks on Mulberry Street between Broome and Canal streets.
Many of the Italian restaurants and food shops for which the neighborhood is known are sequestered on the main drag. The other blocks give way to quieter residential streets lined with stunning brick apartment buildings that date back to the 19th and 20th centuries, historic churches, and the Old Police Headquarters, a stunning Beaux Arts-style building that once housed the New York City Police Department and which has since been converted to luxury condos.
Highlights include the Italian American Museum of New York, Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Feast of San Gennaro Parade & Festival, which traditionally takes place in September of each year.
The neighborhood traces its history back to the 1840s. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as Chinatown and Little Italy Historic District in February 2010, sharing the honor with the adjoining neighborhood.
If you do decide to live in Little Italy, prepare to be engulfed by the different sights, sounds, and smells of this neighborhood, just steps away from restaurants with wine cellars and European grocery stores.
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