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Old 07-04-2009, 12:01 PM
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Definitely Bella Vista, even more so than center city. It's where the Italian Market is and many excellent "red gravy" Italian restaurants. It's on 9th Street, south of center city. Again, walkable from center city or you can take the 47 bus from 8th and Market to 8th and Christian and walk to 9th and Christian, where the Italian Market starts.
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Old 07-04-2009, 12:07 PM
Location: Philly
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Originally Posted by USroute1 View Post
Thanks. Beyond center city, are there any ethnically Italian enclaves of the city that may be interesting to visit? When I lived in Massachusetts, it was always fun to visit the north end of Boston. On the other hand, East Boston, which was also mostly Italian at that time, only really offered Logan Airport (not much to see).
there used to be an enormous amount of Italians everywhere from Frankford to South Philly. South Philly has really become known as the last stronghold with the Italian Market (ninth street market) where you can get fresh mozzarella produced daily, among other things. There really is no north End, per se, as things have changed dramatically..with south philly still being an active immigration center and the north end of the Italian Market having become a popular and expensive neighborhood (Bella Vista). nonetheless, the closest is probably East Passyunk Ave, the neighborhood now known as Passyunk square. There are still plenty of Italian restaurants on this strip from federal to Broad, cheese shops, and butchers. to this new places, Mexican, bars, etc have been added at a rapid clip over the past few years. It's probably worth a visit.
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:52 AM
Location: Philadelphia
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Thanks, all, for the encouraging responses. If I further wished to make a day trip out of this (I am in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington), how is the 2 mile walk from and back to the 30th Street Station to Independence Hall? Safe? Other points of interest in the neighborhood worthy of visiting? Of course, this would be capped off with the original intent of dinner at Le Castagne.
It's a long walk across the width of the city (albeit at its thinnest point), but you should be fine, especially during the day. Market street is a bit hectic, and there are a few crappy stores and cd vendors and the like along the street, but it isn't all that terrible. Lots of panhandlers, but they fade away as you get towards Old City. I've walked around the area at night, it's not bad, just watch where you step and who's behind you. Around 30th street itself isn't bad but isn't that good either. Locals are college students but sometimes you have knuckleheads from the poorer areas yelling things. Very rare though, again, just watch your surroundings. When I went to Penn State my bus let off at 30th street, it's not the best lit area and watch out for traffic, but you'll be fine.

Enjoy the city!
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:31 PM
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30th st station on up to the art museum is much improved compared to how it once was. Even when it was more dicey, I safely and boldly walked those streets at 3 am. I usually stay at my friend's house close to Fairmont Ave.
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