Little Italy is one of the most visited Downtown communities offering many amenities to its visitors and residents. Once predominantly an Italian fishing community is now a neighborhood that offers the largest concentration of Italian restaurants in San Diego. Buyers will find high-rises, mid-rises with condos and lofts, rowhomes, and single family residences in a location embracing the modern urban living with the early century Italian charm.
Little Italy is enclosed by the I-5 freeway to the east and the Amtrak train tracks running parallel to the Embarcadero to the west. The Columbia district borders to the south and the San Diego International Airport to the north.
Little Italy was founded in the earlier 1900s by Italian Immigrants. Thousands of families at once settled in the neighborhood creating a tuna fishing village. Fishing turned out to be a thriving industry, and Little Italy became known as the fishing capital of the southwest. With the construction of the I-5 freeway in the 1960s, little Italy was divided in half displacing many families from the area. For the next few decades the tuna industry became less prominent. Once more, families flew the area resulting in a community in decay that continued for several decades.
The modern Little Italy blossomed in the 1990s. Residents and visitors can enjoy venues like ArtWalk, a springtime yearly family event that congregates artists, music, and food. The Little Italy Festa is another yearly venue that happens to be the most sizable and important outside of New York. These two events gather more than 220,000 visitors per year.
The Saturday farmers market or Mercato, as called by locals, is the place to find a great selection of local farmers, fresh flowers, meats, and other food. Accentuating the charm of the Mercato, live music, local artisans, and the sound of the church bells creates a unique Saturday morning experience of Little Italy.
India St. is the most important merchant street in Little Italy. Here you can pick up a pizza at Filippis, get homemade pasta at Assenti’s, or find Italian product at Mona Lisa. In addition, the more than 50 great restaurants Italian and non-Italian provide ample selections to dinners. When not dining, Piazza Basilone is the ideal spot sip an espresso drink sitting by the circular water fountain.
Amici Park, with its grassy open field, its amphitheater, and the Bocce Ball courts, once more, accentuates the quintessential traditional Italian Village feel.
Buyers should know:
Little Italy offers high-rise building, Acqua Vista and La Vita, rising up to 24 stories providing unobstructed views across the bay to Point Loma and the Pacific Ocean. Mid-rises such Doma and Aperture offer lofts units with open floor plans, exposed concrete surfaces, and oversize balconies. Row homes such Lusso Lofts and Kettner Row Homes provide Little Italy residents with street access, floor to ceiling windows, and a suburb feel.
Complexes in Little Italy, Downtown San Diego
350 West Ash
Kettner Row Homes
Victorian House Condos