May 22, 2015

Revisiting Philadelphia’s Italian Market

The iconic mural of Mayor Frank Rizzo at the Italian Market 
Photos by Lucian
By Lucian
Recently my wife and I spent a few days in Philadelphia and decided to visit The Italian Market and surrounding area. The last time I was there it was a little disappointing because, like many other Italian neighborhoods, it has changed a lot due to urban renewal and a dwindling Italian population. There was even a recent attempt at changing the name of the Italian Market to reflect a more diverse population, as if our history was something to be swept away and replaced on a whim. This trip felt different, since the market stalls were still closed and I didn’t have to push through heavy crowds that obscured much of what I came to see. The character of the old neighborhood showed through clearly, and in the quieter atmosphere I felt much more comfortable meeting and speaking with the different people that lived and worked in the area. I spotted a few places that I had overlooked on my last trip, and was able to take some pictures. We attempted to eat at Ralph’s Italian Restaurant, but they unfortunately required reservations for that day of the week. Instead we ended up at Villa Di Roma Restaurant and I had some of the best gnocchi I’ve had in years; it simply melted in your mouth.  I’m certainly not a professional photographer but I would like to share some of the pictures of the area I took that day, including the Mayor Frank Rizzo memorial that was vandalized by criminals in 2012, but has been fully restored.
Welcome sign at S. 9th Street and Montrose Street
Sarcone's Bakery
Cannuli Brothers' butcher shop
Di Bruno Brothers' grocery store
St. Paul's RC Church
Memorial in Center City Philadelphia to the three firemen killed in the Meridian Plaza Fire on February 23rd, 1991