By Christopher Gomez
With Autumn right around the corner, get ready to “fall” in love with all Little Italy has to offer. The month of September is packed with new and returning events, from an inaugural Italian garden casino experience to the popular Little Italy State of the Neighborhood address from Chief Executive Administrator, Marco Li Mandri. Stick to the basics or try something new, but just know there is endless fun in our favorite neighborhood.
Enjoy local produce, fresh flowers, and handmade goodies crafted by local artisans every Wednesday, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the popular Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, stop by to browse fresh local treats and other merchant products while soaking up the beautiful San Diego weather. As we say in Little Italy the “pastabilities” are endless.
If you’re looking for a nighttime soirée where you can dress to impress, then the inaugural Casino di Piazza, an Italian Garden Casino Experience, is the event for you! Guests will be transported to the manicured gardens of Milan with luscious greenery lined walls and classic Italian statues for a night full of entertainment in the heart of the Piazza della Famiglia on Friday, Sept. 16 from 7 to 11 p.m. The luxurious evening will feature craft cocktails from the Little Italy Food Hall, light hors d’oeuvres and live music, as well as popular casino games, Blackjack, Craps, and Roulette. Admission, either General Admission ($65) or VIP ($125), includes $250 in casino chips, cocktail(s), and light hors d’oeuvres. Winnings can be used towards raffle tickets which will allow guests to enter various prize package raffles. Tickets to the garden casino experience can be purchased at bit.ly/3wxTqqI. We are willing to bet money that this is an event you won’t want to miss!
The following week, Little Italy is also welcoming the return of the State of the Neighborhood presentation in the Piazza della Famiglia. On Thursday, Sept. 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. all are welcome to sit in and learn about the success of the neighborhood during the pandemic and what is to come in Little Italy from Chief Executive Administrator of the Little Italy Association, Marco Li Mandri. Entry into the event is free, but there is a VIP ticket option for $50 which includes an entrée from the Little Italy Food Hall, a glass of wine, pre-selected dessert and reserved prime seating for the presentation. Tickets can be purchased at bit.ly/3PNvhTT. All other guests are welcome to pick-up food and bites from surrounding Little Italy businesses like Civico 1845, Sorrento or Zinqué and even grab a glass of craft beer or wine from the Little Italy Food Hall to enjoy during the presentation. General public seating is available on a first come, first-serve basis so come early to grab a seat close to the presentation!
The entertainment does not stop there. On Friday, September 30 from 8 to 9 p.m., celebrate The Godfather’s 50th Anniversary with An Evening You Can’t Refuse with Gianni Russo in Amici Park. Get a taste of Gianni Russo’s iconic Italian character, Carlo Rizzi, while learning enchanting tales about the famous film as well as Russo’s perspective on the importance of food, faith and family. Guests have the option to choose from a variety of ticket options including General Reserved for $65 and VIP Table for $175 per person which includes a delectable dinner by Rovino, two complimentary drinks and a framed letter signed by none other than Gianna Russo himself. For Russo’s biggest fans, a special add-on is available which will give guests the chance to meet and speak with Russo as well as receive all sorts of signed commemorative goodies from the occasion for just $75. In the words of actor Al Pacino in the film, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
Don’t forget to dive into some of the amazing Little Italy experiences and tours available this month in the neighborhood. Located all over San Diego, these amazing, curated experiences, will make you feel like you’ve taken a trip to Rome for the night. One of the tours is the Taste of Italy Food Tour, which allows you to immerse yourself in the delectable tastes and flavors of Italian cuisine with this culinary tour of Little Italy. This 3-hour walking food tour will highlight four Little Italy restaurants, each featuring dishes from a different region of Italy. Learn about the history behind each recipe from first-generation Italian restaurant owners and gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of what Little Italy is all about. This food tour runs Monday-Thursday from 4-7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and on Sundays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-7:30 p.m. It’s $64.95 per person and will take your taste buds on a culinary adventure. This tour can be reserved at bit.ly/3R4cp3Y.
There is always something new to fall in love within Little Italy. We hope to catch you in the neighborhood this September!
— For more information, please visit us at LittleItalySD.com or follow us on TikTok @LittleItaly.SD Instagram @LittleItalySD, Twitter @LittleItalySD and Facebook @LittleItalySD.