Do you know where little Italy in London is?
Little Italy in London is a very important area for all those Italians who arrived in this city in different periods: also known as Italian Hill or Italian Quarter, its boundaries are Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell Road and Rosebery Avenue.
Firstly Italians migrated to London during the Middle Ages, mostly rich merchants and great craftsmen, whilst after the Napoleonic Wars a lot of unqualified people from Italy reached London even by foot, escaping the terrible poverty of their country. They started doing different jobs and improve the area, which was quite rough at that time.
In 1863 , thanks to don Vincenzo Pallotti, an Italian priest, an Italian church was consecrated as St Peter’s Church (chiesa di San Pietro), becoming the core of the Italian community.
In 1885, according to a report published by the Italian consulate, 12.000 Italians lived in London. Apparently, people from the South of Italy used to settle down in Little Italy, while those from the North in Soho, where they established another important Italian base.
How is Little Italy today?
The census in 2011 revealed that around 5% of residents in the area is still Italian (not including British born Italian descendants). St Peter’s Church is still a place where Italians from all over London gather for the most important religious celebrations and for the Sunday mass. Also, the procession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, (Processione della Madonna del Carmine) on the 16th July, is a big event in the Italian community.
The area is very lively and you can find some important gathering points such as Terroni of Clerkenwell, a very famous Italian deli, and Casa Italiana San Vincenzo Pallotti, popular social club and many lovely Italian restaurants to taste amazing food.
Have you ever been there? What did you like the most?
If you want to read more about Italian history, follow this link!