The famous italian district in Manhattan

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A corner of Italy in New York: Little Italy

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We talk about Italy and its wonders constantly here on Visit Italy; but what foreigners like a lot of our country is also its people. The Italians are probably considered the most sympathetic and warm people that can be met, and the Italian communities in the world try to maintain that spirit of their native country. Among them, Little Italy in New York is the most representative. It is a neighborhood located in the Lower Manhattan, that is the southern part of the borough, bordering the neighborhoods of Soho, Tribeca, East Village and Chinatown, and its most popular streets are Mulberry Street, Elizabeth Street, Mott Street, Broome Street and Canal Street. A bow sign with the inscription “Welcome to Little Italy” welcomes tourists walking through the streets full of souvenir shops, grocery stores, bars, pastry shops and restaurants, with their original insignia.

Once upon a time, “Lamerica”: the italian emigration in the United States

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America, and in particular the United States, has always been considered the land of opportunity, especially for those who, fleeing war, misery, disease and poverty, wanted to start their lives again, including Italians. Two were the most important Italian migratory waves towards the US: between 1880 and 1915 and after the Second World War until the 1960s. In the first the Italians, coming especially from the North, ran away towards “Lamerica” from famines and agrarian crises, to which were added many people from Sicily, without more work or land to cultivate, following the unification of Italy, when the Kingdom of Sardinia annexed that of the Two Sicilies. Thousands were the Italians who, after having faced a long voyage by ship, were subjected to the strict health, legal and administrative controls in the infamous Ellis Island

The second wave of migration occurred after the Second World War: this time many Italians decided to rebuild a life beyond the ocean, bringing a piece of Italy to that corner of Manhattan, in particular smells and flavors. Pasta, ham, cheese, coffee, cannoli and babà, everything here has a vintage flavor and still authentic as well as housing and advertising.

A neighborhood on the brink of extinction

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Little Italy today as it used to be remains little: the neighborhood is undergoing the expansion of neighboring Chinatown, and already for many years the Italians have sold their old houses to the Chinese, moving to Brooklyn and especially in the Bronx, in Arthur Avenue. Many people consider this area the new Little Italy, where it remains the authentic Italian spirit, especially in the gastronomy. However, the old Little Italy is still an unmissable tourist stop for the tourists of the Big Apple.

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