For walk where we will, we tread upon some story.
Cicero

Experience the story of Little Italy San Diego—a neighborhood with an Italian presence since 1871!

tour overview

Six thousand families of Genovese and Sicilian origin once called this home. The salty sea air, ready-made port, date palms, bougainvillea, geraniums, olive trees, and cactus plants reminded many Italians of their sunny fishing villages back home. They painted their tiny wooden bungalow homes the colors favored by their ancestors. They built their own boats, fished with hand-sewn nets, cultivated fruit and vegetable gardens, made fresh pasta by hand, and baked golden loaves of sesame-topped Italian bread in igloo-shaped backyard ovens.

Come discover hidden neighborhood Little Italy landmarks that chart their story through time!

Highlights of our guided history tour adventure include:

  • The Piazza Basilone fountain/war memorial, honoring the boys of Little Italy who died at war
  • Italian church built in 1925 with stunning religious art—frescoes, oil paintings, stained glass, and one-of-a-kind religious statues
  • Historic homes from the 19th century
  • Hidden neighborhood landmarks of the Italian quarter
  • Artifacts from the days when the Genovese and Sicilian fishermen dominated the seas in San Diego
  • The house of the Black Hand–the shadowy gang that reigned during Prohibition
  • A visit to an Italian grocery store built in the 1920s
  • And much more!

For a time, for the local Italians of Little Italy, paradise was theirs. We recreate the world that was and showcase the hip and stylish neighborhood Little Italy has become. You will also be indulging in a wonderful Sicilian-style breakfast or exquisite aperitivo-style buffet along with your walking tour. Let us give you the full experience of this charming neighborhood, frozen in time and rich with history.

Join us for an excursion through Little Italy!
Join us for an excursion through Little Italy!

Bel Mattino Tour: $29

Morning Tour

Bella Serata Tour: $49

Evening Tour

book your tour

Participation Waiver

Please download, print, and sign waiver and bring on your tour.

Upcoming Tours

general information

AT A GLANCE

  • Please download, print, and sign our participation waiver, and bring it on your tour date.
  • Please do not record during the tour. Picture taking is encouraged!
  • Please ensure your mobile devices are on silent during the tour.
  • Children under 10 are free. (Please note: Food is not included for children under 10 as they do not have a tour ticket.)
  • There are no refunds for your ticket, but you may transfer your ticket to another tour date.
  • Paid parking is available at Washington Elementary School in two lots: State Street entrance and Union Street entrance. Parking proceeds benefit our partner, Washington Elementary School Foundation.

BEL MATTINO TOUR

The morning tour begins at Cafe Zucchero (inside Nonna, and located at 1735 India Street), for our continental Sicilian breakfast, followed by the guided excursion through the neighborhood. Breakfast includes a cappuccino, hot tea, or Italian soda and an Iris, a traditional Sicilian, ricotta-filled pastry (more than half a pound!)

BELLA SERATA TOUR

The evening tour begins at Piazza della Famiglia. After an initial greeting, we embark on our guided excursion through the neighborhood, and we finish at Amici House for a fantastic Sicilian aperitivo including a delightful assortment of appetizers!

Join us for an amazing behind-the-scenes sightseeing experience!
Book your cultural excursion of Little Italy today!

  • This is such a great resource! I loved learning about the history of the community!

    Little Italy Visitor
  • Our guide delivered an exceptional historic presentation of Little Italy. He verbally painted a picture of how past generations established and thrived in the neighborhood. A great presentation that covered Little Italy from the early days through more recent times. His ability to describe characters from the past made them come alive like they were living today.

    Walking Tour Guest
  • My family and I attended a walking tour of Little Italy through Convivio. Having grown up in San Diego, and having ancestors from Little Italy, I didn't expect to learn a lot but figured the tour would be informative for the kids. I was surprised by just how much I learned! My kids had a great time, and I came away with a much greater knowledge and appreciation for the neighborhood's history.

    Walking Tour Guest
  • Even as a Little Italy resident I learned so much about the neighborhood! It was an interesting and entertaining tour!

    Walking Tour Guest
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