Make a one-day escape to San Diego’s Little Italy Festa this Sunday, via the Big Blue Bus in Santa Monica. It’s a perfect staycation for all ages!
For the past 17 years, the Little Italy community in San Diego has opened its streets in October to celebrate Italian culture. Last year, the festival hosted over 120,000 visitors and is known as one of the largest Italian-American festivals on the West Coast, covering more than 15 city blocks.
This year has special significance because Italy is celebrating its 150th year as a united country. On offer will be more than 150 food, art and retail vendors, sports and music activities and attractions for lovers of all things Italian.
San Diego’s Little Italy was established in the 1920s as a business and residential community. The area itself spans 48 blocks—a vibrant urban center with new mixed-use developments, public art displays, piazzas, galleries, boutiques and restaurants. India Street is the main commercial corridor and is the centerpiece of the festival.
Festival events and activities include: Italian food served al fresco, reflecting a wide variety of specialties; music on three stages, cooking demonstrations and contests, chalk painting, a kids fun zone, a bocce ball tournament, an Italian motor sports exhibit, a beer and wine garden, a stickball exhibition game, a pizza-tossing contest and more.
One of the top features of the event will be “Gesso Italiano,” for which 140 artists representing 40 teams from across the nation will create colorful works of street art, using chalk. Based on similar events in Italy, this artistic spectacle will treat viewers to a re-creation of the Sistine Chapel frescoes. The artwork is available for viewing for only a short time, before the city streets are washed down at the end of the event.
The Big Blue Bus (a state-of-the-art motorcoach) will leave the Santa Monica College main campus (parking structure at 17th Street and Pico Boulevard) at 9 a.m. The return bus leaves Little Italy at 5 p.m., arriving back in Santa Monica at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $40 per adult or senior; $35 per child up to age 12. Price includes round-trip transportation. Meals not included.
For further information on this excursion, click here.