Little Italy/NoLIta — CityNeighborhoods.NYC (2024)

Mobile users, you may need to rotate your device or click the + sign above to see the full list of neighborhoods.

Little Italy / NoLIta - Manhattan - NYC

The NeighBorhood

Nothing embodies the shifting boundaries of New York City neighborhoods quite like the combination of Little Italy and its new companion, NoLIta. The combined neighborhood consists of the north-south streets of Mulberry, Mott, and Elizabeth between Lafayette and Bowery. And while Chinatown encroaches on Little Italy from the south, NoLIta has added a vibrant, trendy infusion of places to visit, shop and dine.

Little Italy and NoLita are two charming neighborhoods located in lower Manhattan, known for their rich history, delicious Italian cuisine, and vibrant community. As their name suggests, Little Italy is renowned for its Italian heritage, authentic restaurants, and bakeries featuring fresh cannolis and mouth-watering pizzas. NoLita, located just north of Little Italy, is a more fashionable and upscale neighborhood, with trendy boutiques, art galleries, and coffee shops lining its picturesque streets. Together, these two neighborhoods offer a unique blend of old-world charm and modern luxury, making them a popular destination for tourists and New Yorkers alike.

The neighborhood of Little Italy / NoLita, located in Manhattan, got its name from its historic roots as an Italian American immigrant community. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the area was heavily populated by Italian immigrants who settled in the tenement buildings lining the streets. The community became known for its Italian restaurants, cafes, and specialty food shops, and thus earned the nickname "Little Italy." In more recent years, the neighborhood has undergone changes and gentrification, leading to the merging of two neighborhoods; Little Italy and NoLita, which stands for "North of Little Italy." Today, it still retains many remnants of its Italian heritage, including annual festivals such as the Feast of San Gennaro, but also features high-end boutiques, trendy cafes, and luxury real estate.

Little Italy, located in the heart of Manhattan, has a rich and vibrant history that dates back to the 19th century. Originally settled by Italian immigrants in the late 1800s, it quickly became a bustling and close-knit community. The neighborhood flourished as Italian families established homes, businesses, and churches, creating a distinct Italian culture within the fabric of New York City. Mulberry Street, the main thoroughfare, became the epicenter of the neighborhood, lined with shops, restaurants, and traditional Italian bakeries. Over the years, Little Italy has been a focal point for Italian-American heritage, hosting lively festivals, parades, and cultural events. However, as the city evolved and demographics shifted, the neighborhood faced challenges and experienced significant changes. Today, although smaller in size, Little Italy remains a cherished symbol of Italian heritage, attracting visitors with its authentic cuisine, historical charm, and remnants of its vibrant past.

NoLita, short for "North of Little Italy," is a neighborhood in Manhattan that has its own unique history and character. Originally part of the larger Little Italy neighborhood, NoLita emerged as a distinct area in the late 20th century. In the 1960s and 1970s, the neighborhood underwent a transformation as artists and bohemians began to settle in the area, attracted by the affordable rents and spacious lofts. This influx of creative individuals led to the establishment of art galleries, avant-garde boutiques, and trendy cafes, giving NoLita a reputation as a hub of artistic expression. Over time, the neighborhood experienced gentrification, with upscale shops, stylish restaurants, and chic residential buildings replacing some of the older establishments. Despite these changes, NoLita has managed to maintain its unique character, blending a mix of historic charm with contemporary flair. It continues to be a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, offering a vibrant atmosphere, fashionable boutiques, and a thriving culinary scene.

Little Italy and NoLita, two adjoining neighborhoods in Manhattan, offer a range of captivating landmarks and attractions. One of the iconic landmarks is the Church of the Most Precious Blood, an exquisite Catholic church that stands as a testament to the Italian-American heritage of the area. Mulberry Street, the heart of Little Italy, is a bustling thoroughfare lined with charming restaurants serving delectable Italian cuisine, as well as specialty shops offering authentic Italian goods. The Italian American Museum showcases the rich history and cultural contributions of Italian immigrants in the United States. On the border of NoLita, you'll find the vibrant and colorful mural known as the "Mural on Prince," a celebrated piece of street art. For shopping enthusiasts, NoLita offers a variety of trendy boutiques and designer stores, particularly along Elizabeth Street. Additionally, both neighborhoods are known for their lively festivals and events, such as the annual Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy, which draws crowds to enjoy live music, carnival games, and delicious Italian delicacies. Together, these landmarks and attractions make Little Italy and NoLita a captivating destination, offering a unique blend of cultural heritage, culinary delights, and artistic charm.

Little Italy and NoLita have been home to several notable individuals who have made their mark in various fields. One such notable figure is filmmaker Martin Scorsese, whose upbringing in Little Italy strongly influenced his work, which often explores themes of Italian-American identity and urban life. Actor Robert De Niro, known for his iconic roles in films such as "Raging Bull" and "Goodfellas," also has roots in the area and has actively supported the preservation of Little Italy's cultural heritage. Renowned fashion designer Ralph Lauren, known for his timeless and luxurious designs, grew up in the Bronx but frequented the streets of NoLita as a young aspiring artist. Additionally, writer and journalist Gay Talese, whose works include "Honor Thy Father" and "The Kingdom and the Power," was born and raised in Little Italy, drawing inspiration from the neighborhood's vibrant characters and stories. These famous individuals from Little Italy and NoLita have left an indelible mark on the worlds of film, fashion, literature, and beyond, reflecting the diverse talent and creativity that the neighborhoods have nurtured.

Click here for the full Little Italy / NoLIta photo gallery:

Explore Every New York City Neighborhood:

Little Italy/NoLIta — CityNeighborhoods.NYC (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Sen. Ignacio Ratke

Last Updated:

Views: 5482

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (56 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Sen. Ignacio Ratke

Birthday: 1999-05-27

Address: Apt. 171 8116 Bailey Via, Roberthaven, GA 58289

Phone: +2585395768220

Job: Lead Liaison

Hobby: Lockpicking, LARPing, Lego building, Lapidary, Macrame, Book restoration, Bodybuilding

Introduction: My name is Sen. Ignacio Ratke, I am a adventurous, zealous, outstanding, agreeable, precious, excited, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.