Thursday, October 20, 2011


In its 17th year, the Little Italy neighborhood (of San Diego) continues to celebrate its heritage by bringing the passion, vibrancy and flavors of Italy to southern California with its yearly treasured event, the Little Italy FESTA!

With little more than the summary paragraph above to guide our planning, we took the San Diego trolley from Santee to the Little Italy neighborhood.

We knew that the attendance at recent FESTA! celebrations had topped 120,000, and by mid-morning the organizers seemed well on their way to meeting that figure again.

Our first stop was the bocce ball court. In the upper left hand corner, you can see a plane landing at San Diego's Lindbergh Field.

The competitors covered a wide range of ability. The gentleman shown here was one of the high-skill players.

A less-skilled duo of women made the contest competitive and had the crowd behind them as the game progesssed. But they lost the close match.

More than 150 vendors, three stages of entertainment, Gesso Italiano (Italian Chalk), an Italian motorsport show, a Stickball exhibition game, and a children’s area will encompass more than 16 blocks of event activities.

And food. How could an Italian festival not include an emphasis on Italian specialties and food-related activities, including cooking demonstrations at “The Italian Table,” a pizza tossing competition, and the 2nd Annual Cannoli Eating Contest, where the winner will be dubbed as the Big Cannoli.

We chose to highlight this FESTA! program topic with an 18" pepperoni pizza from Landini's Pizzeria.

But it was the Gesso Italiano chalk painting
on--not "along," but, literally,
"on"--Date Street.

The street chalk art--something we had not seen before--extended for three blocks.

The works shown here are introduc-tions to this art.

We will continue our walk along Date Street tomorrow.

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