New owners of most opulent
house in neighborhood keep
Guerriero family legacy intact
You've seen it. We've all seen it. No one can miss the enormous brick house to the right of Saint Leo's Church on South Exeter Street in Baltimore's Little Italy - it has been a fixture in the community since 1991. Thousands of neighborhood visitors, residents, and festival goers have ogled and photographed it for 31 years, wondering what's behind the impressive blond brick facade taking up the space of four typical Little Italy rowhomes.

Earlier this year, residents of Little Italy since 2017 - Ilana & Scott Mittman (pictured inset) - had purchased the late Angie & John Guerriero's (pictured below) house to prevent it from falling into the hands of a developer, they said. "With a 68- x 95-foot lot and zoning to build to a height of 60-feet, it could have been redeveloped into a 22-unit apartment building," said Scott. "Can you imagine an ugly block of an apartment building three doors down from the church? We wanted to keep it intact. We want people to enjoy its grandeur."

So, what is inside the mansion? Well, enormous rooms for starters (yet surprisingly, only three bedrooms and three bathrooms), heated indoor pool, 13 skylights, surround sound system, full-sized gym, hand-painted dome in the foyer (blue sky and trumpeting cherubs) surrounding an Italian chandelier, and two porches. The exterior boasts lovely front steps under flowering archways of an upstairs terrace. A secret exit can sneak people out through a brick-floored, six-car garage (such as the time when Cardinal William Keeler visited the Guerrieros and a crowd had gathered out front to catch a glimpse.)

People can certainly find the house from the outside - you can't miss it - yet once inside, "the place is so large that people get lost just finding the front door," cited a 2002 Baltimore Sun story.

"It’s our palazzo, really," says Ilana.

The Guerrieros had the 6,441-square-foot home built in 1991 by a local contractor once in Kingsville, Md., the late Sam Towle. Before that, the property was a construction equipment storage lot sprawling across four addresses - 231 to 237. John's wife Angie (nee Fedeli) was born on the same street. She died this month at age 90; John in 2018. The son of the owners of the former grocery store, P. Guerriero, John helped turn his parents' store into Continental Foods Inc., a $100 million restaurant supply company.

After purchasing the property for $974,100, "We have now completed renovation and refurbishment," said Scott, now offering the property for overnight and small-event rental through a new business, Row Palace. They have already received bookings from brides to be married at Saint Leo's. The house has long been a source of myth in the neighborhood and the city. "We are pleased to open it for use by the neighborhood, the greater Saint Leo's community, and all those who want to explore and experience this corner of Baltimore," he said.

The Mittmans love Little Italy's small-neighborhood feel and hearing Saint Leo's church bells chime. Although not of Italian descent, they said they love Italy and have traveled there on various trips. Ilana was born and raised in the Mediterranean and immigrated to the United States in 1980 as Scott’s bride. "I love this close-knit community," she says. "It reminds me of the warm relationships I shared with neighbors, growing up in my homeland of Israel."

Sadly, the Guerrieros are gone, yet not their legacy of this magnificent home. The Mittmans are purposefully preserving many features to keep alive the couple's existence. They've kept the "Guerriero" name plaque at the front door, and a photo of the smiling Guerrieros hangs in the hallway to welcome guests. Most of John and Angie's decor has remained, sort of like a 1991 time capsule: the wallpaper, chandeliers, mirrored atrium, and the likenesses of Guerriero grandchildren etched into the bathroom's glass walls.

Since purchasing the museum-like home, some minor remodeling has been done. "So much planning went into it originally," said Scott, "and John and Angie's family enjoyed it for decades. Having it demolished would have been a travesty for this lovely historic community. Angie and John were pillars of our community and will never be forgotten."
Interesting facts about former home
of John & Angie Guerriero (pictured):

  • Was on the Little Italy tour bus route
  • Was featured in at least one TV series, Homicide: Life on the Street
  • Was featured in Washington Post and Baltimore Sun
  • Was illustrated by the late Tony DeSales, Little Italy’s famous street artist
"Angie and John were pillars of our community
and will never be forgotten."
Click video below to take a tour ...
Little Italy Lodge
welcomes "social members"
of non-Italian descent
By unanimous vote at the November 8th Sons of Italy / Little Italy Lodge meeting, members approved the expansion of eligibility for membership in the Little Italy Lodge to include social members. That means the requirement of having Italian ancestry has been removed. A common feature at many Order Sons/Daughters of Italy in America/OSDIA lodges, the measure had been previously passed by the Little Italy Lodge Council at its November 1st meeting. It is anticipated that the expansion to include social members will bring many new members, new ideas and resources into the Lodge.

"It’s a great change," said Albert Marra, Lodge President, "a very positive development to allow social members. It was a long time coming - and overdue I think."

Social members can enjoy all of the benefits of membership, with the exception of serving as Lodge president. Questions about this new topic can be directed to Albert.

  • To apply for membership, submit an application and fee of $70 ($20 application + $50 dues). Applications are available by emailing Teresa Lenzenweger or picking up one at the Lodge.

As well, the Lodge announced a 2023 dues increase to $50 annually, up from $40. This was voted on two years ago by Lodge Council, but suspended during the pandemic. Next year's dues are now payable and due by February 25, 2023 for members to remain in good standing.


  • IN SEARCH OF volunteers with skills in electrical, plumbing, refrigeration, HVAC, and/or general handyman abilities. Please help! Call Albert Marra, Lodge president, 703-328-9233.

  • LODGE HALL RENTAL– Did you know the Little Italy Lodge is available to rent? Host your family gathering, Christmas event, company party, birthday or anniversary parties. Hurry, grab a date - December is filling!

  • The Lodge's Halloween party photos by Tom Scilipoti are featured below.

Great fun at the Lodge Halloween Party with amazing food and some scary costumes.
(photos by Tom Scilipoti)
"Always a fun and happy time at the lodge! The kids were dressed so cute and we had 'Father Richard' blessing us. Great food and always such a great group of very nice people and volunteers to make everyone feel like family!"
~ Joan Leyrer on facebook
Highlights from November's
Ravioli Dinner
That smile! It came from the fact that Ravioli Dinner attendee Tucker Emry was a lucky winner of this cake after he played the Cake Wheel - close to his upcoming 16th birthday! Tucker is pictured with volunteers Cynthia DiFerdinando (left) and Marlene Barbieri. Tucker often attends Saint Leo's events as the nephew of Parish Council member and parishioner, Roy Sambuchino.
Around the neighborhood

BOCCE CHAMPS! Meet the Domenic Petrucci Team - champions of the bocce tournament held during October's Italian Heritage Festival in Little Italy. Pictured is Domenic Petrucci (back), and from left: Joe Sacco, Victoria Petrucci, Sandro Marcozzi, and Randy Damico.
Fall events in Piccola Italia
Thanksgiving meals for needy & homeless
Helping Up Mission provides hope to men fighting addiction and homelessness through
Christ-centered, scientifically-sound
recovery programs and services.
November's focus is on giving thanks during the season of Ringraziamento (Thanksgiving) and when the Saint Vincent Pallotti Society / Union of Catholic Apostolate at Saint Leo’s Church asks for your assistance to help feed a wholesome hot Thanksgiving meal to the needy and homeless of Baltimore City and its surrounding community. Since the Society will not host its usual Thanksgiving meal in the church hall, it is collecting donations for Helping Up Mission. This outreach provides hope to those experiencing homelessness, poverty, and/or addiction and serves approximately 1,200 meals daily. Your donation will help to ensure some eat a hot meal for the holiday. Give online using Saint Leo's giving platform (button below) or mail check payable to Saint Leo’s Church (include memo - SVPS Thanksgiving Dinner), 227 S. Exeter Street, Little Italy/Baltimore MD 21202). Questions? Call or email Francis Blattermann, 410-207-7075.
blast from the past
Submitted by Ray Alcaraz

(top photo - circa early 1970s) - Procession ends at St. Leo’s corner of Stiles & Exeter Streets during a summer Italian festival.

(bottom photo - circa 1957) - Lifelong resident Mary Ann Boggio (married name Alcaraz, now age 84) and still a neighborhood resident, hangs out with an unidentified friend at the outskirts of Little Italy around S. Eden Street near Perkins Homes.

 Include caption, people ID, location, approximate year, and your name.
Photos must be Little Italy or Italian immigrant-related.
Gift a book!
Book proceeds benefit the nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, Promotion Center for Little Italy.
"Gift a book for a favorite Italian in your life - or anyone who enjoys reading history! It is my passion and privilege to share these splendid vintage photos and historical information about our beloved Piccola Italia - Little Italy. I write these immigrant- related books in honor of my four Italian immigrant nonni (grandparents), the Molinos from Vasto, Abruzzi and the Mossas from Luras, Sardegna." ~ author Suzanna Rosa Molino, pro bono director of Promotion Center for Little Italy, Baltimore
Andiamo! Who wants to go to Italy?
Sicily: A Cultural Journey
with Rosalia Scalia
August 23 – September 6, 2023
Follow link to view full itinerary!

Lifelong Little Italy resident, Rosalia Scalia, the daughter of two Italian immigrants, the late Joseph Scalia and Philomena Cucco Scalia, has organized a trip to Italia. "The 2021 trip to Sicily was so successful, people asked me to coordinate another."

  • Explores northern coast of the island, including Aeolian islands
  • Lunch with Contessa Giovanna whose family owns a farm passed down from mother to daughter for over two centuries
  • Opportunity to add an extension
  • Reserve one of the limited spots before November 30
  • Email Rosalia with questions
from our email box
"Another outstanding edition!!"
~ Kathy Gesswein (on LinkedIn)

"These are so nice to read. Thank you for sharing them!"
~ Alexandria Simmons (on facebook)

"Thanks for ... all you do to promote LI!!!"
~ Lisa Regnante

"I absolutely love it."
~ Jim Moriconi (vintage pin story, October)

"Suzanna, another great issue, thank you for all you do for Little Italy!"
~ Sue Spinnato Walmsley
2023 newsletter sponsorships available
Sponsor one or more ads at $60 each, or host the entire 2023 at a 20% discount. Sponsorship ads here pay for this Constant Contact email marketing platform on which you are reading, which produces Neighborhood News from Little Italy and hosts Little Italy's email list. More sponsorship details at

Mike DeSapio supported our October
Italian Heritage Festival as a vendor.
Promotion Center for
Little Italy, Baltimore


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a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established 2010

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