The north end got a real start for Italian influence around late 1800's when immigrants came to the town to help construct the new State House. They were masons, skilled in mosaic tile floor laying and making and placing stained glass. That took some 2-3 years, and they located in the north end to live in the interim. Before that the area was known as a peninsula that had not real value and the lower socioeconomic people lived there. Then came the Irish in early 1800's and they settled. Later the Italians also integrated to the area. What a history. Read the script attached
The North End is a lovely part of Boston to stroll around. Get a good friend or loved one (loved one is better, as the North End is very romantic) and some comfy shoes and walk all around the North End. It is largely an Italian neighborhood, and the buildings are beautiful old brick.
You'll find pastry shops that can not be beat anywhere (Mike's Pastry comes to mind) and they have great cappucinos, and for dinner your choices are amazing, and I have to say that Ive never heard of anyone having a bad dinner at any restaurant in the North End.
You will also find the Old North Church where Paul Revere saw the lamps alerting the Bostonians that the British armies were coming. And there are beautiful churches to explore and lovely tucked away gardens to discover (try the one directly in front of the Old North Church behind the Paul Revere statue)
Everything you could need to know is in the website below!
Christopher Columbus Park is a nice spot in the Sotuth edge of the North End of Boston. It's a nice place to people watch, check out the water views and relax. In the summer and warmer months the park is fullof activity and people enjoying the nice weather by the fountain or in the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Garden.
The North End Parks are hardly what anyone would call a site of intense historical or aesthetic interest, but they are likely a place that you will visit if you are doing the Freedom Trail on foot. The North End Parks are a series of green areas that divide the north end from the historic centre of Boston and Beacon Hill. They have been recently redeveloped, which is why you will find a variety of modern design installations throughout the parks. The North End Parks are meant to beautiful the city (and hide the “Big Dig”, the traffic tunnel that runs under them), but in truth I don’t know how you can really enjoy the parks when traffic is speeding or, more likely, jammed all around you.
Paul Revere Mall is, like many other parts of Boston, named after Paul Revere, the American patriot whose famous words Midnight Ride marked the beginning of the end for British Rule in the 13 Colonies. The Walk really doesn’t have much historical significance, although it does connect Waterloo Street and to the back end of Old North Church, from which Revere used a lantern to warn rebels of the movements of the British Army. There is a large statue of Revere erected at the start of the Mall, and it dates from 1940. There is a community centre on one side of the walk, which means that the area is frequently inundated with children.
Boston’s North End is great fun. This is probably the first part of Boston where I clearly heard the typical Boston accent, and the people here exhibit some of the stereotypical Boston character that makes the city such a favourite location for television shows and films. Of course, North End is in fact Little Italy (not an Irish area), which makes it a bit odd, as people have the accent associated with the Boston Irish, but the stores advertise gelato and pasta, and all the restaurants have Italian names. This is the part of Boston to go for great desserts (although there is allegedly a great Italian pastry shop on Charles Street, on Beacon Hill) and great Italian food. In warm weather, some of the cafes have tables on the sidewalks, and it is really quite difficult to make it down the street without stopping in for something to eat. I went for cannoli and cappuccino at Mike’s Pastry Shop, which is quite famous in Boston (although the cannoli are filled with cream and not ricotta, as they should be).
The North End is an old Italian neighborhood full of restaurants, history and festivals. The main street is Hanover Street and is wonderful to walk along on a fine day, with it's many fantastic restaurants and cafe's. There is a good bit of exploring to be done on the narrow streets and alleys that run off of and parallel to Hanover. Some of the best restaurants are pretty well hidden! I love the old neighborhood architecture, with it's many nooks and crannies.
During the summer there are festivals almost every weekend. The largest of which are St. Anthony's Feast and the Fisherman's Feast.
Paul Revere is famous for his midnight ride to the countryside to warn the militias that the British were coming in April 1775 before the start of the American Revolution. He was really made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, which was not published until 1860 more than 40 years after his death. If you only know the poem, and not the real history you are missing a lot of the story!
Many people do not realize there were actually three riders that night: Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Dr Samuel Prescott. Even less known is that Revere and Dawes made it to Lexington to alert John Hancock and others, then Revere was captured by the British, ending his midnight ride! The British also met Prescott in Lexington, and luckily, he escaped capture to ride to his hometown of Concord and raise the alarm there. During the war Revere made rank to Lieutenant Colonel then was court martialed (and acquitted) for failing to obey orders during the Penobscot, Maine, expedition of June 1779.
In the Boston area, you can still visit Paul Revere's House which is the oldest building in the city; Rachael Revere Playground just across the street from the house and named for Paul Revere's wife; Paul Revere Mall in the North End (sorry ladies, no shopping at this mall); the Paul Revere Capture Site in Lincoln at Minuteman National Historic Park; Paul Revere Park in Charlestown and others.
The City of Boston's first waterfront park, Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park opened in 1976 and reopened in 2003.
The grassy park is an excellent place for children to play in. It's also a great place to eat and relax. Bring your food from nearby food courts or restaurants and enjoy the harbor while eating here. The wisteria covered trellis is a beautiful setting to take pictures in. There are also a rose garden, a statue of Christopher Columbus, and a fountain in the park.
We stayed just a 5 minute walk from the North End and planned to go there only one time, but we ended up going back 2 more times. There is a plethora of family owned italian restaurants and dessert shops. We selected restaurants blindly and walked out satisfied everytime. The North End offers casual dining to fine dining. It is also a romantic area to stroll with that special someone after dinner.
Since 1919, Saint Anthony’s Feast and the Festival of Santa Lucia have been celebrated on the weekend of the last Sunday of August and feature colorful parades, strolling singers, the Filippo Berio Culinary Pavilion, Italian folk dancing, the Pizzeria Regina Open Air Piazza, continuous live entertainment and religious and cultural services.
Pushcarts line the decorated streets, offering sausage with peppers & onions, calamari, quahogs, pasta, cannoli, zeppole, handmade torrone and gelato, Italian gifts and novelties. Children of all ages can enjoy games of skill and small amusements.
The highlight of the weekend is the Grand Procession on Sunday. The statue of Saint Anthony is carried through the streets of the North End with marching bands, drum & bugle corps, & color guards. The procession culminates with the return of Saint Anthony as confetti, streamers and balloons cascade from the rooftops.
Whether you are out for a night on the town or with the family, this Feast is a delight for all who attend. Spend some time in the North End the most Authentic of Italian Street Festivals: The Feast of Saint Anthony and Santa Lucia. Highlights:
•Opening Ceremonies: exposition and procession of the Statue of Saint Anthony and the blessing of the crowds and streets.
•Grand Procession of Saint Anthony through the streets of the North End. (Sunday-12 Noon)
•The Filippo Berio Culinary Pavilion-featuring Boston’s best chefs.
•Peroni Beer and world famous pizza at the Pizzeria Regina Open Air Piazza
•Outdoor Celebration of the Mass, Blessing with the Relic of Saint Anthony & Distribution of Blessed Saint Anthony Bread
•Benvenuti Parade with classic Italian street bands and strolling singers
•The Mix 98.5 North End Idol Contest on the Main Stage
•Continuous entertainment and musical performances on the main stage.
•Closing Ceremonies – Saint Anthony is returned to his home and the statue of Saint Lucy is presented, all by vigil candlelight.
The North End has some of the oldest buildings still standing in Boston. Among the highlights are Paul Revere's home and the Old North Church from where the signal was sent letting the revolutionaries know that the British troops were advancing via the water. There are some charming areas with cobblestone streets and squares. The North End also became the focus of European immigrants during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The area is now best known for it's collection of Italian shops and restaurants. Be sure to get a cannoli at Modern or Mike's Pastry shops. Heck, get one at both!
The North End doesn't have any T stations but it's just across the bridge that spans I-93 from the Haymarket station. A better idea may be to get off at the Government Center station and ealk across City Hall Plaza, past City Hall and then the Holocaust Memorial. through the hustle and bustle of Haymarket and then across the Hanover Street bridge that will take you directly onto the main commercial street in the North End.
Those of us who are old enough can still remember the commercial. We can picture the kid in our minds, running up the streets like a maniac while his mother yelled "Aaaaaantho-NAY!" out a window, and all for a plate of Prince Spaghetti.
Well it all happened here: in the North End.
Our daughter wanted to see an Italian festival and the one being celebrated at our time in Boston was "Madonna Della Cava". This was a small celebration complete with a band (playing "In Heaven There Is No Beer"!?!), a banner of the Madonna and the "society" of worshippers. As the Madonna is carried through the neighborhood, with the band and followers trailing behind, people lean out of second story windows to pin money to her. There are several traditions of blessings and then she is carried to a near-by church. The rest of the festival consists of food, booths, face-painting, hair wrapping, etc. We did not stay long enough, but there was to be more music and dancing at night. Definitely worth the experience.
This is the Italian part of town. Many of its back streets and alleyways could be confused with Beacon Hill, but there's little similarity beyond appearance. Enjoy one of the many nice Italian restaurants in the area. Then walk over the hill with the old burial grounds to find the part of town that was flooded with molasses in the Great Molasses Flood of January 15, 1919, killing 21 people.