By Chris Gomez | Little Italy News
Back in December of 2014, the Little Italy community broke ground on its most enterprising project yet — Piazza Famiglia, a 10,000-square-foot public piazza to serve the Little Italy community.
Today, one can drive through the Little Italy neighborhood and see the construction for this new public space taking place — transforming West Date Street, between Columbia and India streets into the new “heart” of Little Italy.
The Little Italy Association, in partnership with H.G Fenton Company, is working to create this central community gathering space to host farmers markets, concerts, cultural events and more.
The project was inspired by the grand piazzas of Italy and Europe and will feature classic Italian architectural details and design. Piazza Famiglia will include attractive landscaping with a grand water feature and inviting seating and gathering areas. This space will create approximately 130 new eco-friendly living units, a large public space for visitors and residents, approximately 16,600 square feet of restaurant and commercial space and an underground parking garage.
In order for the Little Italy Association to embark on these grand projects, the community hosts a lot of fundraising events such as the Taste of Little Italy, Ferragosto (which is happening on Saturday, Aug. 15 — so mark your calendars!), FESTA! and more!
Just this past month, the Little Italy Association hosted a special fundraising event specifically for Piazza Famiglia. Thanks to Meyer Fine Art for opening up their gallery and San Diego local Italian artist, John Asaro, for agreeing to create new pieces of art and together choosing to donate 50 percent of the proceeds to Piazza Famiglia, the Little Italy Association was able to host a fundraising art exhibition, “Coming Home to Famiglia: The Works of John Asaro.”
The event has been very successful, with over 15 paintings sold and $20,000 raised towards the brand new piazza. Since the exhibition has been such a hit, the show has been extended until Friday, Aug. 14.
Little Italy wouldn’t be able to be the best Little Italy neighborhood in the nation if it wasn’t for all the community support it receives. We’d like to give a big thank you to all of you that support the neighborhood in any way — we hope to see you around at one of our upcoming events!
Details about any of Little Italy’s events can be found by visiting littleitalysd.com. To check out what other things are going on in our neighborhood, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @LittleItalySD and Facebook/San Diego Little Italy.
—Christopher Gomez has been Little Italy’s district manager since 2000. Reach him at email@example.com.