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A prime example of the cultural diversity found in New York City is the quaint neighborhood Little Italy. It is one of the most visited migrant communities in Manhattan where people can experience what it feels like to be in Italy.

Little Italy is located in Lower Manhattan bordered by Canal Street, Houston Street, Lafayette and the Bowery. It has long played refuge for Italian immigrants who went to the United States in search of a better life who came through Ellis Island. By the end of the 19th century, more than 40,000 Italians lived in Little Italy and were forced to make do with tenement houses. Currently, only a few Italian stayed in the community and much of the neighborhood have been taken over by the ever-expanding Chinatown.

Even though the Italian population here has declined, Little Italy is a place still worth visiting. Architecture enthusiasts will enjoy the antiquated buildings that plank the streets most of which hail from the 18th and 19th century. Even the ?simplest? tenement houses are overelaborated in details. There are also more upscale structures that have crowned with beautifully embellished cornices. There are also glass storefronts, a trademark of Italian residential and commercial establishments. Some of these still exist up to today selling mostly clothing. A few gargoyles, masterfully crafted stone and iron pieces and elaborate fire escapes can be found in the Italian neighborhood.

Perhaps the best reason to go to Little Italy today is to savor authentic Italian cuisine. It holds an unparalleled selection of Italian food with more than 36 restaurants found in just one area. Bakeries selling pastries and other delicacies can be found here.

Another attraction in Little Italy is the Feast of San Gennaro held annually every mid-September. Many people crowd the streets to witness a procession to pay tribute to San Gennaro, the Patron Saint of Naples. The celebration originated in 1926 when new immigrants from Naples arrived. Today, it?s a jovial celebration of Italian culture that lasts for 11 days.
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