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By 1900 we had a large Italian presence in Philadelphia.  Most Italians lived in the City, especially in South Philadelphia in the area centered around 8th & Christian.  Little Italy's Boundaries were from 6th to 11th Bainbridge to Federal.   During this period there were large concentrations from the provinces of  Campobasso, Chieti, Salerno, Palermo and Catanzaro and the original group from Genoa.

In the 1920's many local tailors and haberdashers grew to fame opening their own stores on Walnut street.

During the War Years , Italians were initially considered the enemy and many were forced into Concentration Camps on Ellis Island.  However, many fought for this country.  Interestingly due to Immigration laws, some brothers fought against each other on different sides of the war.  Italy was initially an axis power

After the War and well into the 1960s Italians again came as immigrants.  Many were able to regain the citizenship of their parents who had been born here a generation before.

the 1960s

In the 1970's the Italian population soared to over 600,000.   Representing 1/3 of the city' population.  Frank Rizzo became the first Italian American mayor.


Italians in Pennsylvania

Italian American History Timeline