Once an Italian fishing village, Little Italy has clung to its heritage. Visitors will find authentic Italian retail shops; restaurants, cafés, and pizzerias; and a popular Saturday morning Sicilian farmers’ market. The 48-block neighborhood is a model for urban redevelopment without sacrificing old world charm. It has evolved into one of the city’s most significant art districts, characterized by its art galleries and home design stores. Little Italy is an ideal San Diego vacation destination for proximity to the airport, maritime history, lively Italian ambiance, and a significant art scene. It is one of San Diego’s notable cultural jewels.
The Little Italy Hotels
Compared to other Downtown districts, Little Italy hotels offer affordability with an assortment of best value and neighborhood boutique hotels. La Pensione is an iconic Italian boutique hotel with a charming Italian-style courtyard, modern fitness facility, two Italian restaurants, and underground parking. Hotel Vyvant is a 23-room independent hotel in a 1910 historical building. Urban Boutique is a Euro-style inn on the outer edges of the neighborhood. All three hotels are kind to your wallet.
DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego is a great choice for families looking for family-friendly accommodations. It’s also an alternative to pricier historic and boutique hotels in the Core-Columbia District for business travelers. The hotel’s location on the edge of Little Italy and Core-Columbia offers value and convenience. The Days Inn/Harbor is a contemporary best-value hotel in an enviable location a block from San Diego Bay. The family-friendly hotel has an outdoor pool, uncommonly spacious rooms, and two suites.
Who Should Stay in Little Italy
Little Italy is perfectly situated for maritime history buffs and ocean lovers. Visitors can easily access Hornblower and Flagship Cruises, the USS Midway and Maritime Museums, and Coronado Ferry on foot. There are bay cruises by yacht, sailboat, jet boat, swift boat, and historic tall ship. The B Street cruise ship terminal is blocks away. Amazing harbor views, affordable accommodations, and fantastic Italian and seafood restaurants make Little Italy the right choice.
Artists and art lovers will adore Little Italy. Neighborhood streets and plazas are filled with public art, and galleries and studios abound. The classic Italian Piazza Basilone features a gorgeous fountain containing a gleaming world globe. The Italian architecture, hand-painted murals, and stain glass windows of Our Lady of Rosary Church are a must-see. During spring, 120,000 visitors converge on the neighborhood for the annual Mission Federal Artwalk that takes over 17 blocks of the neighborhood.
No neighborhood in San Diego’s Downtown puts a higher premium on family than Little Italy. Every Italian event, and there are lots of them, is a family event. Little Italy Carnevale is in March. The Taste of Italy happens semi-annually. May’s Sicilian Festival celebrates Italian contributions to San Diego, and the Italian Lamborghini car show is in October. The highlight, however, is Little Italy Festa, the largest Italian festival in the country outside New York. Families will absolutely feel at home in this welcoming neighborhood.