Little Italy in San Diego was once waterfront. Marsh. Then the tuna fleets and military came to town (near World War I) and about a ... more »quarter mile of marsh was cemented over. The fishing fleet downtown was mainly made up of Italian immigrants and there was a thriving Little Italy.
When the Interstate came after World War II, Little Italy was split down the middle: businesses on one side, homes on the other. This is why you will see few homes in what the brochures call Little Italy.
When I was young, we drove to church on the new interstate and passed over dozens of slabs and patios of abandoned houses. The whole feel of Little Italy is one of movement. It's had two renaissances recently and the last -- the urban loft movement -- has given the town an ultra-chic vibe.
The restaurants, shops and the crowning achievement -- a farmer's market that the Little Italy Association insists on calling The Mercato -- have also put down roots, offering the visitor a fine place to see.
View the art, eat excellent food and sip a latte all while gaining glimpses of what has become a spectacular waterfront. Welcome to Little Italy and, please, call it the Farmer's Market. Everybody else does. less «