Traveling out of the country to Italy can be a costly and inconvenient adventure, especially during la alta stagione or the high season for tourists. If you live on the east coast of the U.S. and want an Italian getaway, look no further than New York City! Lower Manhattan is home to Little Italy, a quaint section off Canal Street bursting with Italian heritage and history. My best friend and I recently visited Little Italy and it was a magnificent experience.
When you approach the streets of Little Italy, you are greeted with a sign above a traffic light that says “Welcome to Little Italy” in green and white lettering. Immediately, Italian culture engulfs you with Italian flags and music from local stores. Tourists who exit Chinatown and step into Little Italy view similar building architecture, but they experience a whole new cultural atmosphere as if they quickly traveled between the two countries.
Food is an essential element within Little Italy. Whether you’re hungry for a three-course meal or just a quick dessert, there are many nice restaurants and vendors for you to choose from. Countless little restaurants with names such as “La Nonna” line the streets and each features Italian men calling out to tourists to enter their establishment. “Come eat here,” a man yelled to my friend and I, “we have the best food in town!” I joked with my friend that whatever their job title was, I wanted to be in that role. Since we had already enjoyed a nice meal in Chinatown, we were not looking for savory food. However, we had a craving for something sweet. In the distance I noticed a small gelato stand, so we ventured over to see what the vendor had to offer. Needless to say, we were very impressed with the strawberry gelato!
There were more sites to see in Little Italy, but a sudden pouring rain forced us to hail a cab. Sono triste che non posso vedere tutto in Italia Piccola, ma si sono goduto il mio tempo. We will have to return soon to experience more of this wonderful part of the city.