Little Italy Cleveland

Little Italy is a neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio located at the base of Murray Hill, between Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood and the suburb of Cleveland Heights. It houses many of Cleveland's well-liked Italian restaurants and serves as the center of Italian culture in the Greater Cleveland Area. Guarino's was the first Italian restaurant in Cleveland (founded in 1918 during prohibition as a "Speakeasy"), and the first Italian restaurant in the state of Ohio. It is located just past Murray Hill on Mayfield Road and still going strong. Chef Boyardee (Ettore Boiardi) opened his first restaurant, called Il Giardino d'Italia (which translates from Italian as "The Garden of Italy"), on East 9th Street and Woodland Avenue in Cleveland, in 1924. It never was in Little Italy in the 1940s or otherwise. The first pasta machine was invented in Little Italy by an Italian immigrant named Angelo Vitantonio, who received a United States patent for the product in 1906.

Often described as one of Ohio's most cultural and progressive neighborhoods, the area is also home to many private art galleries and two private schools, and is within walking distance from Case Western Reserve University. Each August on the Roman Catholic Feast of the Assumption, Little Italy stages an Italian cultural festival, the Feast of the Assumption Festival.

For much of its history, Little Italy was home to the largest Mafia organization between New York and Chicago.The organization was the seat of power for families that operated in Pittsburgh, Youngstown-Warren, Toledo, Detroit, and Akron.

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