Fun Things to Do in Little Italy
Travelers with interest in Italian history, culture and food can experience a taste of Italy without ever leaving San Diego. Little Italy has something for everyone, including foodies, art majors, couples on honeymoons and families with kids. Here are a few places to visit and things to do in this welcoming neighborhood:
Take Home a New Recipe from Amici Park
One reason to visit Amici Park is its breathtaking arrangement of flowering plants and vintage architecture. There are also colorful tables around the park with sculptures of classic Italian dishes and recipes in bronze lettering. If you take along a few sheets of papers and a crayon, you can copy the secret recipes from the plaques.
While you’re at Amici Park, you can also try your hand at bocce, a classic Italian sport that is, not surprisingly, very relaxing. Local residents gather every day to play, so you may be able to strike up a friendly conversation and learn the rules.
Visit Piazza della Famiglia
With a gorgeous tiled fountain and picturesque cobblestone streets, this Italian piazza is the heart of Little Italy. Piazza della Familia provides a magnificent opportunity to spend time with your loved ones. It’s romantic, relaxing and gorgeous.
The piazza features numerous tables and umbrellas, along with ample outdoor space to walk and talk underneath blue skies. Colorful buildings on either side give it an enclosed, private feel. As the sun goes down, this open-air courtyard turns into a charming gathering place with beautiful string lights overhead.
Little Italy is the perfect place to take a date for a romantic meal then enjoy an espresso and gelato afterwards at a sidewalk cafe.
There are actually several spectacular piazzas in Little Italy that are worth your time, especially if you have an introspective nature. Stroll underneath a tree-filled covered path at Piazza Giannini or people-watch at Piazza Basilone.
Walk and Shop at India Street
India Street is Little Italy’s central hub, featuring countless shops, cafes, restaurants, artisans and art galleries. It’s a wonderful place to wander aimlessly and discover amazing gems. Best of all, if your stomach starts to growl, you’re always a few steps away from handmade sweets and bistro eats.
Enjoy a Private Walking Tour
One of Little Italy’s biggest draws is it’s laid-back vibe. That means it’s perfectly natural to want to take your time. Private walking tours let you visit historical places such as the Firefighters Museum or Our Lady of the Rosary Church without feeling rushed.
If you’re worried about the cost, don’t be. You can download free apps on your mobile device that provide information about all of the area’s most interesting sites. In fact, some Little Italy apps for San Diego even use augmented reality, games and videos to tell the story.
Sample the Little Italy Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the local farmer’s market comes to life with bright colors and the freshest farm-to-table produce. Buy certified-organic fruit and veggies, real honey and tasty nuts, or taste a variety of artisanal cheeses. You can also pick out a bouquet of beautiful flowers.
This vibrant market is geared around tourists and residents, so you can expect a lot of ready-to-eat dishes to sample. There’s no better souvenir than homemade jams, Italian seasonings or unique sauces. Even better, the Little Italy Mercato features live music while you stroll.
Grab a drink at Waterfront Bar, San Diego’s oldest bar
The Waterfront Bar & Grill was established in 1933 shortly after prohibition was repealed. It is “San Diego’s Oldest Tavern” and holds the city’s oldest liquor license. At the time of its establishment, The Waterfront was the closest bar/restaurant to the water, but it has since lost this designation. The bar is open from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., giving you plenty of time to stop in for a cold one and grab a bite to eat.