Rebuilding “Little Italy” in San Jose – La Piccola L’Italia

Little Italy San JoseLittle Italy is looking fantastic! I’ve been there a few times and while there is still some work to be done, it’s definitely a very inviting place, with businesses worth patronizing and a beautiful, fun atmosphere.

The old houses, which are being converted to shops and restaurants, are looking good.  The brick courtyard is very inviting and leads between a couple of these businesses to the Guadalupe Park, where recently there was the annual Italian Family Festa San Jose (click on link to see a few photos of this fun event).

 

Little Italy Bel Bacio Restaurant

 

Dec 10, 2013: Update from my original post of Nov 2011:

Little Italy Mission StatementRecently I heard from Joshua DeVincenzi Melander, the Director of Membership for the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, regarding work on Little Italy.  He wrote:

“I know a few years ago you wrote a piece about Little Italy on your site.  I thought I would reconnect with you and fill you in on our progess.  We purchased several homes that are being renovated as we speak and some for our Italian Cultural center/Museum, opened a new Italian Coffee shop, and have our 31 foot “Little Italy” arch close to starting construction.”

Sounds good!  Let’s go support it!

Nov 23, 2011   ORIGINAL ARTICLE

The Little Italy San Jose Foundation is in the process of rebuilding the original Italian settlement neighborhood in San Jose, which dated back to about the 1870s, with a cultural center, authentic Italian shops and restaurants, and restored buildings.  The cultural center offers Italian language classes for adults and children both. Eventually there will be an Italian-American Historical Museum too.

Where is Little Italy San Jose?

I had mistakenly thought that Little Italy San Jose would be in Willow Glen, but that’s not the case. This little neighborhood is close to the San Jose arena in downtown and includes Henry’s Hi-Life, which was the former Torino Hotel.  You can see a map of the exact area on the LittleItalySJ site. (In the video mentioned below, we learn that originally there were 3 Italian settlements, but this one was the first. The others are Willow Glen and Goosetown.) (more…)