Imagine early morning at a quaint Sicilian farmers’ market; you’re shopping for freshly caught fish, fruits and vegetables from local farms, baked goods from local bakeries, fresh local flowers, and local artwork. The cool, salty sea air wafts among the vendors, and the conversation is lively. You don’t have to travel to Europe for this experience; simply visit the Little Italy Mercato in Downtown San Diego on any Saturday. This scenic neighborhood is comprised of Italian retail shops, restaurants, art galleries, home design stores, and residential units. One of the most active areas of Downtown, and just a few blocks from the Embarcadero, you’ll find it across Laurel Street from the San Diego International Airport. Little Italy is the perfect place to stay during your vacation for convenience, proximity to attractions, and outright charm. You’ll love La Pensione boutique hotel, a neighborhood architectural icon, with its relaxing Italian-style courtyard.
Little Italy History
When the 1903 earthquake devastated San Francisco, it was a blessing in disguise for San Diego. Many of the fishermen from San Francisco were forced to move; they began searching for big tuna, which landed them in San Diego in what is now Little Italy. From then until the 1970s, Italians that relocated to this area of San Diego led the tuna fishing and canning industries. Little Italy became known as the tuna capital of the Western United States.
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