Cleveland's Little Italy
Developed in the late 19th century, Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood, on the city's east side, was peopled with Italian artisans and craftsmen, many of whom were drawn to jobs carving monuments for the nearby Lake View Cemetery. The compact area relied on the local parish, Holy Rosary; charitable institutions, such as Alta House; and the cohesiveness of the neighborhood to sustain itself. It also produced a number of interesting favorite sons, including Angelo Vitantonio, the inventor of the pasta machine; championship boxer Tony Brush; and Anthony Celebrezze, Cleveland mayor, federal judge, and secretary of health, education, and welfare under Pres. John F. Kennedy and Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson. The area continued to grow until after World War II, when residents graduated from the old neighborhood to Cleveland's eastern suburbs. During the last 20 years, however, Little Italy has experienced a rebirth, and today the area combines Old World charm with a vibrant art scene, new housing, and a host of popular restaurants.