Backyard Italy

“New York, San Diego and Cleveland are just three of the top ten cities that have the most beautiful Little Italys in the world, attracting people who love and share our passion for the Italian culture and traditions.” — Francesco Salvatore Cagnazzo, La Gazetta Italiana


I am thrilled to have a top-ranked Little Italy close to home. It’s a lovely spot for a passeggiata, especially on those days where actual Italy feels so far away.

With 120 acres spanning 48 square blocks in Downtown San Diego, it is the largest in the U.S., according to the local Little Italy Association.

It comes complete with shops, delicious restaurants, a couple of Italian markets and even groups of older men gathered at tables chatting in italiano — molto autentico!

But the highlight for me is Our Lady of the Rosary Church, which was blessed on Christmas Eve, 1923.

Image result for our lady of the rosary san diego

File:Our Lady of the Rosary Church SD-1.jpg

On the first Sunday of the month, mass is celebrated in Italian (noon), and on the second Sundays Latin Mass with Gregorian Chant is celebrated at 4:00 pm.

IMG_20180104_140241.jpgAppropriately housed on the church grounds is the Italian Cultural Center of San Diego, a fantastic resource for those in pursuit of la bella lingua!


Image Credits: Historic Church Exterior, Modern Exterior. All others my own.

Prayers and Pia (1)




9 Comments Add yours

  1. Kimberlee Carlson says:

    Thank you… I going to take my mom there one Sunday!! Xo

  2. gailpollard2015 says:

    Beautiful church; fun area!!

  3. I never knew there was such a large Italian population in San Diego. Although, I’m not surprised. What a beautiful part of the country!

  4. I’ve only been to San Diego once, but I had no idea! Love the church!

    1. Interestingly enough I noticed a bit of similarity between Bari (ancestral hometown) and San Diego.

  5. bonniegm says:

    You are incredibly lucky and blessed!! ❤

  6. Brad Nixon says:

    Yeow. In 30 years of, first, traveling to the SD area for business, and now visiting family outside the city for 25, I’ve never been to Little Italy. I did not know about the church. Ooh, maybe the former Catholic in the house would even be interested in the Italian mass? I’ve attended a couple of Gregorian services, but decades ago. Interesting idea. Thank you.

    1. Although it’s been around since the 1920s, it’s just been revitalized in past 5-10 years. A great spot for foodies! I have been wanting to get to the mass in Italian myself! Un giorno, spero…

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