agosto (August) 2021
Today, Italian immigrants continue
to emigrate into Baltimore
We are aware that an enormous influx of Italian immigrants arrived in America between the mid-1800s and early 1900s, however, did you know also that "new Italians are always coming to Baltimore," says Dr. Nicolino Applauso, an Italian language educator and historian born in Miami, Florida and raised in Riolo Terme, Italy.
"They do not have a physical location to gather, as it was in the past in Little Italy," says Applauso, "so they meet in different places and use virtual space to coordinate meetings." Applauso, an Italian language professor, is deeply involved in Baltimore's Italian community, including several of its Italian American organizations.

These new Italians are not nearly large in numbers as our immigrant ancestors were, yet still, they are a significant number. Although dispersed around Baltimore City, the Italians of the 2020 generation are settling in Baltimore to seek opportunity.

"All contribute to shape our city," says Applauso. "All want to reconnect with their Italian heritage. Some of their American spouses take Italian language classes, either to gain Italian citizenship or for their Italian-born children who do not speak English and struggle in public schools."

Many do not settle in Maryland's counties, instead live in the city. Some are scientists who work in the medical field at Johns Hopkins Hospitals; some are entrepreneurs who created unique venues such as restaurants, pizza shops, and bagel stores; and some work with private companies in the transportation business. A substantial number of Italians who landed in 2017 in Baltimore was due to the Italian company, Hitachi Rail Italy*, which is reshaping Baltimore's light rail system.

In addition, there is a good number of Americans moving from Baltimore to Italy, like the military family of six which Applauso is teaching this summer at his Applauso Learning Center.

The facebook page, Italiani a Baltimora, with close to 600 members, is described as Italiani che per un motivo o per un altro vivono o verranno a Baltimora. Translation: Italians who for one reason or another, live or will come to Baltimore.

"The dynamics are very interesting," says Applauso. "There is the new and the old. Both must connect with each other if we want to move forward. We must go beyond nostalgia and create a solid working plan for the future to save our beloved Little Italy."

It is inevitable that more families will come to the neighborhood, thanks to the nearby Perkins Housing Project. Applauso thinks there is a need to develop the neighborhood to accommodate these families.

"Although many of us are involved with various Italian organizations, and proud of our individual history in each," says Applauso, "at the end of the day, we are all brothers and sisters of the same family. We have a common mother ... l'Italia!"

Ce la possiamo fare tutti insieme ...
We can do it together.

*Hitachi Rail Italy has been awarded a $400.5 million dollar contract from Maryland Transit Administration - MTA - to provide a new metro fleet of railcars ... learn more here.

Mural to be painted on Lloyd Street
Little Italy Madonnari Arts Festival, Inc. is sponsoring a permanent mural inspired by the Trevi Fountain to be painted on the east wall of the Hospital Support Services building on Lloyd Street in Little Italy facing Stratford University. Internationally acclaimed muralist, CarlosAlberto Garcia-Hernandez, will paint the mural during the week of September 17.

"We are very fortunate Carlos is available and willing to tackle this ambitious project," said Cyd Wolf, Executive Producer of Madonnari Arts Festival. "His art is dynamic and exciting." The painting will be a full color 3D representation of the Trevi Fountain, one of the most recognizable landmarks in Italy. The mural is intended to serve as an appealing entrance into Little Italy.

"Our intention is to bring positive attention to Little Italy and our Italian heritage," said Lou Mazzulli, President/owner of Hospital Support Services. "When Central Avenue is completed of its current construction, thousands of cars daily will have a clear view of this magnificent painting a half block long and three stories high."

Sunday, September 26
2 pm
Join friends and residents of Little Italy and city/state dignitaries to celebrate the installation of the mural

2-5 pm
Stratford University parking lot
  • The Stone Hill All-Stars
  • Pop-up jazz jam session led by The Worthy Brothers
If interested in sponsorship,

  • Little Italy Madonnari Arts Festival, Inc.
  • Jonathan G. Willen / Vintage Affairs
  • Baltimore Jazz Alliance
  • Associated Italian American Charities (AIAC)
  • Hospital Support Services, Inc.
  • Tru by Hilton
  • Some Little Italy restaurants
This event will follow pandemic protocols set by CDC and Baltimore City.
Guests are encouraged to social distance and wear masks.

Meet the Artist ...

Artist CarlosAlberto Garcia-Hernandez, commissioned to paint a 3D mural in Little Italy during the week of September 17, is fascinated with street painting, using walls as his canvas. He has painted murals in France, Germany, Mexico, Florida, and other locations, and participates in street art festivals in Europe, Asia, and America.
A bright idea on Stiles Street
Last month the 1000 block of Stiles Street in Little Italy had lights installed over the sidewalks. Organized by residents Steve and Jenny Manning, the lights add both beauty and safety to the block. Since the entire side of St. Leo Church is included, some residents pitched in to pay the parish's share of the lights. Hopefully, other blocks around the neighborhood will follow this "bright idea" and consider the installation of additional lights.
TV story about Centennial Home

In our July issue, we featured the Boggio Alcaraz family as their Little Italy home on Stiles Street was christened a "Centennial Home" (1920-2021) by Baltimore Heritage, Inc., meaning it has been occupied by the same family for over 100 years. Mary Ann Boggio Alcaraz has since been interviewed by local television station, WMAR-2 News.
The heart of Little Italy
sketch of 1881 St. Leo's church
Generations of Italians have been baptized, confirmed, married and buried from our historic parish of Saint Leo the Great, the first church in Maryland - and among the first in the nation - founded and built specifically for Italian immigrants. The Archdiocese of Baltimore had decided to establish an all-Italian parish as it had earlier for Irish and German immigrants. Construction began in 1880 and the building was dedicated September 18, 1881.

Part of the role of these ethnic churches was to acclimate immigrants to American life and assist in their assimilation. Saint Leo's is significant both architecturally and for its association with 19th-century Italian immigration and the establishment of Baltimore's Italian community. Besides its Masses said in Italian, St. Leo's had sponsored a variety of social, humanitarian, and civic programs aimed at acclimating Italian immigrants to life in America.
Buon 140th anniversario, Saint Leo's!
Please consider returning the campaign form below
to help celebrate or donate online here >>>
Donations received to date: $31K of $140,000 goal
140th pledge sheet
blast from the past
Baltimore Magazine - August 1980
 Include caption, people ID, location, approximate year, and your name.
Photos must be Little Italy or Italian immigrant-related.
Italians in Baltimore
(online book shop)
200 captivating vintage photos submitted by Baltimore families

COVER PHOTO: Wedding party and friends in 1953 join bride and groom Marie Bastianelli & Jake Zito for a honeymoon send-off at the train station.
Italian immigrants flocked to America unaware of the hardships ahead, much like the harsh conditions they left behind in Italy. Despite discrimination, scarce employment, hunger, and drudgery, they courageously established trades, businesses, parishes, and solid family life in neighborhood enclaves nearly identical to their native villages. Baltimore’s thriving Italian community marvels at the grit and backbone of their families in their conquest of Americanization. Fortified by love of today’s famiglia, food, traditions, faith, and close-knit community, Baltimore Italians continue to honor their ethnicity. These cherished photos offer a fascinating insight into the rich history of some immigrant families and how they paved the way, worked, grew up, and fought in America's wars. They did not sacrifice their birthright to become American; instead, they humbly added to it and called themselves Italian Americans.

signed copies by author 
Suzanna Rosa Molino

Director, Promotion Center for Little Italy, Baltimore

$24.99 includes tax & postage

Book proceeds benefit our nonprofit org, Promotion Center for Little Italy, Baltimore
Order online or pick up a book
at these locations:
  • Vaccaro's Little Italy
  • DiPasquale's, Baltimore
  • Charlotte Elliott & the Bookstore Next Door, Baltimore
  • The Seasoned Olive, Baltimore
  • M.R. Ducks, Ocean City (3 locations)
  • Mama Ann’s Gifts & Goodies (Moneta, VA)


Order ANY 3 BOOKS from our online book shop and receive a free hardback coffee-table book, Baltimore's Own Little Italy: The Artwork of Tony DeSales.

4 titles in our online Book Shop!
Click covers for details.
from our e-mailbox
"... about my husband Rick's and my first visit to Saint Leo's Church recently ... It seems like forever since we have come up to Baltimore from our home in Bethesda. We did an overnighter, arriving Saturday afternoon and walked to Little Italy to have dinner at La Scala. Perhaps it was just the experience to finally be able to go out to dinner after Covid, but we thought it was better than ever!
On Sunday morning, we attended St. Leo's Mass. It was the first time we had ever been there. The architecture, stained glass windows and statues (everything) were breathtaking. Pastor Father Bernie was amazing as well. He made the experience even more overwhelming.
We visit churches when we travel. It is more than 'having' to go to Mass, it teaches us about the culture of a place (and a time!). Saint Leo's Church does that - and so much more. We spent time walking the interior - in awe."
~ Lisa Jordan
Bethesda, Maryland
"I just moved to Little Italy. I love the charm of the neighborhood and I’m looking to get involved ... to volunteer with cleanup, painting, event planning. I’d be happy to help in any way I can. So excited to join the family!"
~ Best, Bryce St. Clair
paid sponsors
Fred Militello
Experience the degree of difference with our mortgage services for home purchase, refinance, or renovation. We are a customer focused team devoted to securing you the best possible home loan solution that fits the goals and objectives you have set for yourself and your family.
2021 ad opps
Sponsor our 2021 newsletter! Our reach is to thousands of readers across social media and 9,000 on Little Italy's email list.
$60 for 1 issue / 1 ad
20% discount annually - 12 months!

Not yet on Neighborhood News distribution list?
Add your email address to receive this free monthly
e-newsletter about all things Little Italy.
Director & Co-founder
Editorial Advisor: