San Diego’s own
“Little Italy”

Imagine yourself in the wee hours of the morning at a tiny farmers’ market in Sicily! Picture yourself shopping for freshly caught fish, fruits and vegetables from local farms, and baked goods from local bakeries.  Not to mention fresh local flowers, and exquisite artwork created by local artisans. The discussion is vibrant among the merchants as the brisk, salty air from the ocean drifts through the space. You may get a similar experience without having to spend a lot of money or time traveling to Europe. However, going to the Little Italy Mercato in Downtown San Diego on any Saturday will save you the hassle. This picturesque neighborhood is made up of residential units, retail shops selling Italian goods, restaurants, art galleries, and stores selling home design products.

The San Diego International Airport is located directly across Laurel Street from one of the liveliest neighborhoods in Downtown. It’s also only a few short blocks away from the Embarcadero. Staying in Little Italy during your holiday is highly recommended because of its convenient location, and close proximity to a variety of attractions.  This overall charming atmosphere has a vibe thats a bit different than the Glaslamp Quarter or the nearby East Village.  Here, you’ll fall in love with La Pensione Boutique Hotel, an amazing architectural landmark in the area.  That charm comes its calming courtyard designed in the traditional Italian style.

The History of Little Italy

The earthquake that struck San Francisco in 1903 was a disaster for the city, but it turned out to be a blessing for San Diego. A significant number of the fisherman from San Francisco were compelled to relocate; they started looking for large tuna, which led them to the area of San Diego just south of Old Town that is today known as Little Italy. From that time until the 1970s, the tuna fishing and canning businesses were dominated by Italian immigrants who had settled in this region of San Diego. As a result, people began to refer to Little Italy as the home of tuna capital of the Western United States.

Unfortunately, Little Italy began a thirty year fall that was precipitated by the presence of international competitors and increasing costs, as well as the construction of Interstate 5, which ate through the top of the area. Its history tells of a lively area and home to more than 6,000 Italian families being replaced by empty stores and barren lots. The Little Italy Association establishment came to existence because of the residents’ desire to regain their footing and energy of their district. Thanks to the determination and tireless effort, the tides will forever flow in their favor. As of present day, the forty-eight blocks north of the Marina District that makes up Little Italy are a model for urban development that continues to give off an old world charm as the new art area in San Diego.

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