Italy represents a beautiful amalgamation of rich tradition, history, food, entertainment, fashion, and culture as a whole. Italy has exported so many famous people and so many household things that their history is intertwined with that of the U.S. for many reasons.
The first is that Italian immigrants represent a major portion of European-American demographics, and Italian culture and lifestyle are ingrained in North American daily life. If you are seeking to experience the spirit of Italy in the U.S., here are some of the top places to visit.
Manhattan, New York City
Any list without Manhattan, or New York City as a whole, would be incomplete. This is considered America’s Italian city because of the huge congregation of Italian population that settled here in the 19th and 20th centuries. Brimming with restaurants, people, and neighborhoods, NYC and its massive Little Italy area are as Italian as it gets outside of Europe.
Not only does it share a name with an Italian city, but it features some sneaky good Italian experiences. While Florida doesn’t conjure up images of coliseums or cobblestone streets, there are plenty of Italian restaurants and Italian-inspired architectural buildings to experience it. You could be looking for park shore condos for sale in Naples, FL, soon enough, and it is the right mix of new and old. Enjoying a fresh plate of authentic pasta and having the ocean right next door is a pretty winning combination.
Little Italy, San Francisco
California is also a state that doesn’t usually get associated with Italian culture. Los Angeles is the central cultural and economic hub, but San Francisco shines bright and features an often unappreciated and large Italian demographic. San Francisco Little Italy features some of the highest quality restaurants outside of NYC or Italy because of the high-income people who live there. This is a city that will surprise people with its authentic Italian experience.
Colorado might not be anyone’s idea of a spirit of the Italian experience. Still, Vail’s ski resorts and others will conjure up feelings of being transported to the Austrian-Italian Alps. The mountain range in Northern Italy is well known for its luxury ski resorts and breathtaking views. As celebrities flock to Vail to get the experience of snow-capped mountains, you can enjoy some thrilling skiing while feeling like you’ve just been plunked into the gorgeous mountain region of Southern Europe.
Another central hub for Italian-Americans and Italian immigrants has always been Chicago. This bustling city is well known for its take on the traditional pizza with the deep dish offering and is well known for its mobster history. With plenty of Italian charm throughout the city, Chicago is a synonymous city with a heavy Italian influence, much like New York City. It’s certainly a destination you should check out if you want to experience Italy’s charm in a modern city.
Little Italy, Philadelphia
The East Coast of the U.S. benefited from immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries because the docks were closest for newly arriving citizens. This made plenty of places like Philadelphia an original place to make a home for Italians. This historically significant American city is well known for its street markets and bustling neighborhoods of varied diversity. The Italian population is alive and well in Philadelphia as it boasts being one of the most populated metropolitan areas of America.
Napa Valley, California
Wine lovers will rejoice when they learn that California has an answer to Italy’s famous wine region of Tuscany. While some purists will say Italian wine will forever be the king, Napa Valley has made a run at the title by offering some world-class wines. This region of flowing valleys has optimal weather, much like Italy, and can provide some excellent educational opportunities on wine tasting tours to get a better appreciation of one of Italy’s most celebrated exports. If you travel to San Francisco, it is not too far of a drive to incorporate this experience into your travel itinerary.
As varied and eclectic as the U.S. is on a cultural level, there are some roots that never disappear. One such root is Italian culture’s influence on American life. Whether it is food, fashion, or the country’s demographics, the Italian spirit is alive and well, and these top places can provide some of the most authentic experiences for those seeking it at home.