Bella Vista

Bella VistaWhile long-time, Philadelphia residents would argue that the Bella Vista neighborhood is a part of South Philadelphia, its proximity to the main attractions of Center City, its recent development and the recent influx of new residents gives it as much of a Center City feel as any other neighborhood. Bella Vista, translated from Italian as “beautiful view,” is bounded approximately by South Street, Washington Avenue, 6th and 11th Streets. It was the first neighborhood that newly immigrated Italians settled upon their arrival in the late 19th century. It continues to display an Italian influence with the presence of the Italian Market and many delectable Italian restaurants.

In former years Bella Vista was the place to go to hear singers like Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Durante perform at Palumbos in the heart of the Italian Market at 9th and Christian Streets. While the Italian Market itself has diminished in size from its heyday, it is still the destination for fresh produce, meats and cheeses. Additionally, new businesses have arrived to augment the traditional stalwarts like DiBrunoBrothers and Giordano’s Produce. These new arrivals have done much to maintain the Italian Market as a destination for fine food.

Recently, this has become particularly true on weekend mornings as a few resetraunts have developed strong brunch businesses that attract people from far and wide. The housing stock in Bella Vista, like it is in many Philadelphia neighborhoods, is a seamless mixture of more traditional two- and three-story row homes with more contemporary dwellings built in the last ten to fifteen years. Bella Vista also sports older buildings that have been transformed into condominiums. With so much to offer, a hankering for gnoochi is far from the the only pre-requisite for residing in or visiting this sought after neighborhood.

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