It’s that time of year again, when thousands of people fill the streets of Little Italy for the Feast of San Gennaro. And many have one thing on their mind: the food at the festival, including sausage and peppers, pizza, pasta and cannolis.
“When you learn about the history of Italians, they're all about the pasta, they're all about the spaghetti," Washington Heights resident Randy Guzman said. "It's all about the food, it's all about the enjoyment.”
What You Need To Know
- The Feast of San Gennaro has returned to Little Italy in Manhattan. San Gennaro is the patron saint of Naples, a city in southern Italy
- The 11-day celebration began in 1926 and only spanned one block. Now, vendors sell Italian delicacies throughout 11 blocks of the neighborhood
- Besides all the food, there are plenty of performances and games. The last day of the feast is Sunday, Sept. 24
For some, the feast is tradition.
“We love to come here every year," Brooklyn resident Linda Liuzzo said.
“To see your friends, see your family, just see Italian culture and just bringing everybody together in the city, it's really nice," Brooklyn resident Michele Cannizzaro added.
This year, Liuzzo and Cannizzaro brought relatives visiting from Sicily, giving them a piece of home away from home.
“[This is] wonderful. I don't see nothing like this in Manhattan," said Angelo Liuzzo, who is visiting from Sicily.
San Gennaro is the patron saint of Naples, a city in southern Italy. It’s where many Italian immigrants arrived from when they settled in the neighborhood in the 20th century.
“This is like, the most exciting moment to actually learn about the history of Italy," Guzman said. "And I have to say that being in Little Italy after work today is actually worth it, so i'm just so glad that I actually came here today.”
The 11-day celebration began in 1926 and only spanned one block. Now, vendors sell Italian delicacies throughout 11 blocks of the neighborhood.
This year is Anthony Agostino and Giacomo Cunsolo’s first time selling freshly made mozzerella and sandwiches at the feast. Agostino and Cunsolo are the owners of Agostino's Stretch The Mozz.
“You know how many years we've been here, and we'd look at each other and be like, ‘Madone, you know what would happen if we started making fresh mozzarella at this feast?'” Agostino said.
“Its fun just being, like he said, behind the scenes, and we're the only people here making fresh mozzarella, so we kind of felt that the feast needed that, you know, Italian tradition to this Italian festival," Cunsolo added.
Those that showed up for the first night have advice for anyone stopping by: come hungry.
Besides all the food, there are plenty of performances and games. The last day of the feast is Sunday, Sept. 24.