We stumbled upon an inviting garden at this church located in the North End of Boston in Little Italy. The inside of the church was beautiful are surprisingly large. They have regular services - times posted on their website. I also saw posted on their website they were hosting a Catholic Cruise to Alaska! I have never heard of a church sponsoring a trip before but maybe I just never noticed. Sounds like fun. The garden was very pretty and spiritual. Worth checking out if your walking around in Little Italy! Check out more photos of the church and garden on my travelogue!
On our last day in Boston 2015, we visited this section of town. It was fantastic! It reminded me, literally, of being in Italy. The stores, restaurants and people are reminiscent of the old country. Sadly, the churches can't compare. The churches in Italy are spectacular! However, over all this was probably one of the best little Italy towns I have seen here in the US. There is one in San Diego and it is just a street or two. We walked around to see as much as we could. We stopped to have coffee at Caffe Vittoria. Make sure to check out all the memorabilia in this cafe. It is crazy! I wanted to buy some cannoli's at Mike's Pastry but thought I should wait until we were ready to leave. Wow, that was impossible - they were jammed packed busy! We had lunch at Florentine Cafe which was very satisfying. There was a farmer's market on Saturday when we were there. Great prices on produce! Went into a couple of small markets are I was quite impressed with the food items that were available. Definitely, should see this section of town! Make sure to check out my Little Italy travelogue for more pictures!
North End is one of the smallest but oldest neighborhoods of boston, it only has a size of 0.36 square mile (0.93 square kilometers) and this small area is home to more than 100 commercial establishments, tourist attractions (like the Old North End Church and Paul Revere House) and a number of good italian-american restaurants (Mike's Pastry) and shops as this is the italian-american enclave of the city. This part of the city is easily accesible via a short walk from Fannheuil Hall and Quincy Market across the Rose Kennedy Greenway or via the Hop On Hop Off Bus Stops and walking is the best option in going around the area as the streets are narrow.
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 Improv Asylum fits in well with dinner in the North End. The talented actors start off with some loosely defined sketches but rely on audience participation to guide them, as there is no script to speak of. If you have never seen improv comedy before, or already appreciate this spontaneous art form, then it's a good thing to check out. I've been twice and have laughed hard both times.
As a historical note, the venue was once a landmark of a restaurant called 'The European' where my family would often go for the great pizza they made.