giugno 2019
renovated bocce courts in play
With the exception of the lights still to be installed, the revamped bocce courts on Stiles Street in Little Italy are operational and were "in play" during the June 1-2 Italian Festival. Summer leagues will begin after the lights are installed since some games go into the evening. As well, shade canopies will be added above the benches. Bravo , the new courts look fantastico !
First Place winners at the
Feast of St. Anthony Italian Festival's Saturday tournament
Second Place winners at the Feast of St. Anthony Italian Festival's Saturday tournament
around the neighborhood
Celebrate Flag Day June 14
at the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Little Italy, birthplace of the flag which inspired our National Anthem!

10 AM
Flag House open for tours
11 AM 
Star-Spangled Banner Flag Talk
(Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine)
12 PM
Scholar Award Ceremony
1 PM
Flag House open for tours

volunteer Anthony Aversa
ST. LEO'S TWO SUMMER ITALIAN FESTIVALS were underway June 1-2 which depended on dozens of devoted volunteers. It's not too early to commit to work the August 17-18 festival! Email Volunteer Coordinator Wanda Daniels to indicate preferred day and time. High school students are welcome to earn service hours.

Choose a shift on Sat. 8/17:
  • 11 am - 8 pm
  • 11 am - 3:30 pm 
  • 3:30 - 8 pm

Choose a shift on Sun. 8/18
  • 10:30 am - 7 pm
  • 10:30 am - 2:30 pm
  • 2:30 - 7 pm

LIGHT UP LI! Replacement of antique-like light fixtures on High, Eastern and Fawn Streets is an implementation part of the initiative pursued two years ago by the Little Italy Community Organization (LICO) and the City of Baltimore to enhance our historical neighborhood, facilitate pedestrian traffic, and provide an even quainter streetscape.
Little Italy in the news

  • Little Italy will be soon getting a salumeria. Benvenuto to the neighborhood, G. Varipapa e nipote/The Italian Gourmet, a new spot opening soon (right) at 219 S. High Street. What is a salumeria? A shop specializing in cooked and cured meats, cheeses, and other prepared foods (a delicatessen). Just think salami!

  • Rosalia Scalia, a neighborhood resident, is organizing a 2020 tour of Sorrento, Sicily & Rome. "The true question on a tour of Italy is 'Where not to go?' The country is bursting with personality and beauty, making the possibilities for cultural discovery virtually endless. On this sweeping Italian tour, you’ll see the best of the country, exploring legendary cities like Palermo, Syracuse, and Rome and smaller-yet-iconic locales like Taormina and Pompeii." View trip itinerary & pricing >>>>

Little Italy events
INTERESTED IN HOSTING A FESTIVAL BOOTH? Businesses and individuals offering cash-n-carry products (Italian-related preferred, but others accepted upon approval) are invited to participate as a vendor. Booth size is 10x10 for a $300 donation to Saint Leo Church. Click button for an application. FESTIVAL SPONSORSHIPS also available; email Rob Daniels at Saint Leo's .
Little Italy Madonnari Arts Festival will welcome 50 local and international artists from Italy, South America, Japan, and around the U.S. as they literally paint the streets with exquisite traditional and 3D art masterpieces! Besides art, expect:

  • Continuous live music onstage
  • Rooftop Beatles concert
  • Street performers
  • Children’s Chalk Center
  • Art Market
  • Al fresco dining at most Little Italy restaurants

Last fall, 30,000 people attended! Sponsorship opportunities are available, including painting your corporate logo
in a key intersection.
Contact Cyd Wolf, 410.967.5441, or
9:30am Mass, St. Leo's
11am Wreath-laying Ceremony at Columbus Piazza
12:30pm Italian Heritage Fest
along Stiles & part of S. Exeter Streets

John Pica , Event Chairman
& Italian Heritage Fest
Sunday, October 6, 2019
A new format this year will eliminate the traditional parade and include a smaller procession between the Columbus Piazza and the festival. This event coincides with Italian Heritage Month and will include a street festival, vendors, bocce tournament, 5K race, Maryland Craft Beer, and European wines!

Learn the fascinating history of Little Italy and its Italian immigrants in Baltimore's Little Italy: Heritage and History of The Neighborhood. Book proceeds benefit the nonprofit Promotion Center for Little Italy, Baltimore .
"The first time I read Baltimore's Little Italy , I knew nothing about the neighborhood. A few months ago, I re-read it, having made two extended stays there. Your descriptions of restaurants, stores and homes, the history of the church and festivals, and most of all, those strong, loving, hard-working people who care for their own, really held meaning for me. I am proud I have their blood and I nurture their spirit and call it up when I need to. My four grandparents came over from Italy in the early 1900s; my mother's parents from Aquapendente. I was profoundly moved when I attended Mass at Saint Leo's Church where my mother was baptized on her 101st birthday and had a stature of Mother Mary blessed by Father Bernie."

~ Lawrence Gatti, Haddonfield NJ
blast from the past
"This photograph is of my grandfather, Joseph Leo Butta, (standing in front of open door) and his store on Eastern Ave in Little Italy (circa 1915-1920). My grandparents lived across the street from the store; which is now Gia’s Cafe."   ~ posted on Facebook by  Patricia Greaver Eberhardt
paid sponsors
from our email box
"My great-grandfather was the founder and owner of Marinelli & Son’s Bakery. I was wondering if anyone has pictures of his bakery and possibly any of his family pictures? My grandmother, Mary Marinelli , raised me from 5-years-old and told me many stories about the bakery. Thank you in advance."
~ God bless you, Billy
(click to email Billy)

"Thank you for the newsletter. My great-grandparents,  Salvatore and Rosa Di Paula , whose first business (1897) was located at 423 E. Lexington Street across from City Hall Plaza were parishioners at Saint Leo's for years. Their company, S. Di Paula & Sons, fed the firefighters during the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 - that was 115 years ago. Today we are still a family-owned and operated business in Rosedale, Maryland. We are very proud to say we are Baltimore's oldest seafood dealer and crab house. Thanks for the great memories."
~ Tom Schisler, 4th generation

"For years we came to the Film Festival in Little Italy. The films were projected from one of John Pente's upstairs windows. He was such a sweet person and so thoughtful to give such a wonderful gift to the community. Such a treasure to us all! Last year there was an announcement that someone was trying to organize the film festival for 2019. Is anyone thinking about hosting a movie / film festival in the Little Italy neighborhood? I really miss that."
~ Many thanks, Karla Balch-Reno

"Karla, Grazie for reaching out about the former Film Fest. I am delighted
you hold fond memories of this long-running event established in 1999
and on hiatus after the 2017 season. Although some in various community
organizations have broached the topic of resurrecting the Little Italy Film
Fest, as of this issue, I have not received information it will return.
Everything has a season, and the Film Fest 'season' was a great one.
It was a large and expensive undertaking to manage. Should I hear
differently, you would read about it first right here in Neighborhood News

~ Suzanna Molino
Editor, Neighborhood News;
Director, Promotion Center for Little Italy
Share a photo of YOUR TRIP to Italy!
Jacque & Tom Iacoboni (above, 2018) in Calatafimi, Italy, in the province of Trapani, Sicily; and (below, right) with Mike & Jean Gallo and Bill & Carol Martin , eating mule steaks and meatballs in Catania. The three couples are very involved in Baltimore's Italian community.

Promotion Center for Little Italy

Director & Founder

Ray Alcaraz
Co-Founder & President

 Promotion Center for Little Italy, Baltimore is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
organization established in 2010 with a mission to promote Little Italy's events, community organizations, history and Italian heritage.