Little Italy’s Past

Little Italy, one of 5 major Italian settlements in Cleveland, is located from E. 119th to E. 126th streets on Murray Hill and Mayfield roads. Established in 1885, this physically well-protected and well-defined ethnic enclave is bordered by the forested bluff of Lake View Cemetery to the north and east and the Regional Transit Authority's Windermere-Airport Rapid Transit line and the Case Western Reserve University campus to the west.

Often referred to as "Murray Hill" because of the street by that name in the center of the neighborhood, the Italian hilltown has a reputation as a closed community whose assets are historic and original. By the late 1890s, many Italian immigrants had settled in the Mayfield-Murray Hill area and worked in the nearby marbleworks, one of which, the Lakeview Marble Works, was founded by skilled stonemason Joseph Carabelli.

In 1911 it was estimated that 96% of the inhabitants were Italian-born, and another 2% were of Italian parents. Many of these Italians were Neapolitan and were engaged in skilled lacework, garment-making, and the embroidery trades. The largest group came from the towns of Ripamolisano, Madrice, and San Giovanni in Galdo, Campobasso Province, in the Abruzzi region. 

Little Italy Today

Today Little Italy is one of the city of Cleveland neighborhoods that attract thousands of visitors each year to experience its historical charm and frequent it's many restaurants, shops and galleries.  Little Italy is a trendy, upscale center for art, dining, and gracious living in and old world neighborhood. Though many of the residents are not of Italian descent, The organizations of Little Italy actively work to promote their Italian Heritage and protect the cultural identity that so many have a connection to.  

In the community where the macaroni machine was invented in 1906, visitors will find many attractions such as the, Shops at Murray Hill School , Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Cleveland Montessori School, numerous award winning restaurants, artists' studios and shops. 

In 1993 the community dedicated Tony Brush Park, named for champion boxer and Little Italy resident Anthony Brescia, at Mayfield and Random Roads. In 2008 this city park was given a $900,000 transformation to better serve the Neighborhood.