What is Little Italy?
Little Italy is located in Manhattan, New York. Located on Mulberry Street just north of Chinatown, Little Italy is home to some Italian restaurants and cafes meant to cater to tourists. The area used to be greatly populated with Italian-Americans, but when Chinatown expanded, it swallowed up some of Little Italy. The area used to be around 30 blocks wide, but now has been reduced to just a couple of blocks. It has a population of about 27,500.
Why did Italians move?
Italians moved to Little Italy for two primary reasons. Most Italians that moved to Little Italy did so in the 1800s to capitalize on the boom of the Industrial Revolution. Droughts and diseases caused problems for the people of Italy and they fled to America in order to start a new life. Other issues became more prevalent such as high taxes, problems with agriculture, and corruption in government. Italians soon fled to America in the hopes that they would make more money to send back to their families. After the stated issues became more of a problem, Italians left Italy for good and moved to America.
When Italians left Italy and moved to Little Italy, they brought their culture with them. Italy is home to many chefs, and they all brought their recipes to Little Italy. Food stands, restaurants, pastry shops, and cafes were opened in Little Italy. Italians were very gifted in playing music, and the streets of Little Italy were often occupied by people playing music, singing, or dancing.