Little Italy Neighborhood Guide

Researching Little Italy neighborhood in Cleveland Ohio? Here is a complete guide with the most up to date information about Little Italy neighborhood!

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Kristina Morales


ABOUT Little Italy

Little Italy is one of the neighborhoods that make up Cleveland’s East Side.

This historic neighborhood was shaped by the artistry of Italian immigrants who contributed their granite and marble works that define the Mayfield and Murray Hill roads.

Today, Little Italy is home to a diverse population and artists of all ethnicities. Residents get their fill of the rich cultural village as the neighborhood showcases the finest Italian restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and art galleries.

Strolling the streets of the neighborhood lets one explore the brick roads with grand Victorian houses, beautiful gardens, and courtyards. Little Italy also has a number of apartment complexes and older houses converted into apartment buildings.

The Holy Rosary Church is one of the majestic churches that serve as the neighborhood’s spiritual centers.

The neighborhood is also located near the University Circle – a world-class center that showcases the best of Cleveland’s museums, hospitals, botanical gardens, and beautiful parks.

Little Italy is a small cultural district that is home to more than a thousand residents. The neighborhood has a high population of young professionals and young families with a median age of 27.

About 80% of the neighborhood’s employees work in white-collar jobs.

The most common types of jobs held by residents include sales and office occupations, service occupations, education, training, and library occupations, and arts and design occupations.

About 35% of the adults in Little Italy have a graduate degree and 22% have a bachelor’s degree.

White residents make up about 56% of the neighborhood’s total population. This is followed by Asian residents accounting for 21.5%, and Latino residents accounting for about 9.3%.


Rich history
Art and entertainment
Great dining options
Good shopping
Diverse population
Beautiful parks
Highly-rated schools
Family-friendly festivities

Natural Disasters

Little Italy has had its share of damage from severe storms, strong winds, and heavy rains.

But generally, the risks of damage in the area from storms, tornadoes, and earthquakes are relatively lower compared to other communities in Ohio.

In the past, storms flooded major intersections and roads in and around the area.

Little Italy has also been experiencing the effects of climate change through increasing precipitation levels and snow.

The neighborhood is working on improving its stormwater systems by converting vacant land into functional green spaces and adding more trees and rain gardens.


The average one-way commute in Little Italy takes about 15 to 19 minutes. This is shorter than the U.S. average commute time of 26 minutes.

About 47.3% of employees in the neighborhood walk to get to their work stations. 33.9% drive their cars to get to their offices, 12.3% carpool, and 7.7% work from home.

The majority of households in Litte Italy have two cars.

Driving from Little Italy to Downtown Cleveland takes about 14 minutes. Bus rides for the same route take about 38 to 41 minutes.

Crime Rate

Crime rates in Little Italy, Cleveland are among the lowest in the metro area, but the figures are still significantly higher than the Ohio and the national averages.

Crime rate in Little Italy is about 5,400 per 1,000 residents. This crime rate is about 13% less than the Cleveland rate. It is, however, about 110% higher than or twice the national average. Little Italy is safer than about 49% of communities in Ohio.

Violent crime rate in the area is about 1,200 per 100,000 residents. This rate is about 230% higher than the national average.

Property crime rate, meanwhile, is about 4,000 per 100,000 residents or 82% higher than the national average.


SCHOOLS IN Little Italy

Many of the schools serving Little Italy are Montessori schools and institutions that are under the University Circle.

Schools here are well-known for their innovative programs that cater to students from diverse economic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. They are committed to helping students mature physically, mentally, and spiritually.

The schools are known for rigorous academic curriculums that emphasize the importance of education beyond the classrooms.

Since Little Italy is conveniently located near renowned museums, medical institutions, and botanical gardens, students get amazing opportunities for real-life learning and involvement with community organizations and groups.

By enhancing their social and learning skills, the schools encourage students to cultivate their curiosities and seek advice from mentors in the science, design, math, and social studies fields.

The schools also offer professional and personal development programs to help students prepare for success in college and in the pursuit of careers.


Cleveland Montessori: The Cleveland Montessori is the neighborhood school that serves students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The school adheres to the principles set by Dr. Maria Montessori and focuses on methods that teach the students how to balance freedom and responsibility while learning. Students here get to plan their going-out trips so they can gain experiences that guide their creative and social independence. The Intergenerational School: The Intergenerational School serves students in kindergarten through 8th grade and belongs to the top tier of public elementary schools in Cleveland. The school takes pride in its innovative approach to peer-to-peer learning --- students here get interactive experiences with mentors of different ages and skills. It also fosters an environment where students get inspired by individual, personalized positive reinforcement.
Citizens Leadership Academy: The Citizens Leadership Academy serves students in grades 6 to 8 and is Cleveland’s first expeditionary learning middle school. The school emphasizes the importance of hands-on learning in preparing students to be successful in high school and college. Students here get a balance of academic, athletic and extracurricular classes that include lego robotics, chess clubs, math hoops, and boys and girls basketball. Heritage Middle School: The Heritage Middle School serves more than 280 students in grades 7 to 8 with a student-teacher ratio of 13:1. The school focuses on students’ individual learning styles and offers career and technical programs that engage students in real-world work experiences so they can make informed career choices.
Cleveland School of the Arts: Cleveland School of the Arts serves students in grades 9 to 12. The school is well-known for incorporating all aspects of the arts into its teaching programs. Students here get to practice different art forms through their classes and extracurricular activities. They get to perform and exhibit their work by joining competitions at world-renowned museums and ensemble groups. John Hay High School: John Hay High School is a public school that serves about 287 students in grades 9 to 12. The school is known for a wide array of extracurricular activities that include varsity basketball teams, environmental clubs, and Latin and poetry clubs.
Benedictine High School: Benedictine High School is an all-male, private Catholic school that serves more than 400 students in grades 9 to 12. The school focuses on helping students develop their talents while integrating faith and knowledge into their daily tasks. The school prepares students for success in higher education by emphasizing the importance of having high expectations and standards. Hawken School: The Hawken School is a private, co-educational school serving students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. The school helps students build their confidence and determination by challenging them to think critically and creatively and develop ownership for their learning.

Real Estate

Little Italy Housing 2020

The real estate market in Little Italy continues to boom as it features a wide array of luxury and affordable housing options.

The median home value in the neighborhood is $353,576. This represents an increase of 6.17% from the median property value of $333,000 recorded in 2014. Between 2017 and 2018, the median property value in the area grew by 3.98%, from $351,000 to $365,000.

In 2019, the median sales price of homes in the area was $345,800. This represented a growth of 11.3% from the median sales price of $310,750 recorded in 2015.

The majority of homes in the area are valued between $100,000 to nearly $200,000. There are also a number of homes that are valued between $250,000 to nearly $400,000.

In 2016, the median household income in the area was $25,518.

Little Italy Homes for Sale

Little Italy is an urban neighborhood where about 75% of housing units are occupied by renters and about 10% of properties are owner-occupied.

The neighborhood enjoys a good mix of single-family homes, new construction townhomes, and several apartment complexes and older houses turned into apartment buildings.

The majority of housing units in Little Italy have colonial, traditional styles as many of them were built in 1939 or earlier. There are also a number of properties that were built between 1970 to 1999 and 2010 to 2013.

Most of the grand Victorian houses with beautiful backyards and gardens are located on the streets of Muray Hill, Mayfield, and Cornell. Modern luxury homes in the area feature exquisite architecture, rooftop terraces, and fully equipped outdoor kitchens.

The apartments for rent, meanwhile, feature expansive open layouts and easy access to swimming pools and fitness centers.

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Things to do

A beloved cultural delight, Little Italy remains a popular tourist destination because of its exciting festivals and special occasions, authentic Italian restaurants, and cozy cafes and bakeries. Those who want to know more about the neighborhood and its rich heritage can head to famous historic places that include the Holy Rosary Church, the Wade Chapel, the Lake View Cemetery, and President James A. Garfield Monument. Little Italy is the best place to be for art enthusiasts as it showcases the best art galleries and art walks that feature the contemporary works of over 100 up and coming artists. There are too many great Italian restaurants in the neighborhood for those who wish to have their fill of the finest pasta, pizza, and wine. The neighborhood is also home to a wide array of shopping boutiques with one-of-a-kind vintage items and accessories.
Beautiful parks
Little Italy is home to acres of green spaces where families can bond over delicious picnics and sports. Tony Brush Park is a crowd-favorite because it features a playground, a basketball court, a baseball diamond, and dozens of benches.
Art galleries
What better way to discover Little Italy’s heritage than to explore its famous art galleries. Galeria Quetzal and Schoolhouse Galleries are some of the must-visit places. Art lovers also would not want to miss the neighborhood’s famous Art Walk - a major event showcasing the works of more than 100 artists from all over the world.
Historic sites
The Holy Rosary Church is among the neighborhood’s top destinations and is famous for organizing the annual Feast of the Assumption. The Lake View Cemetery, meanwhile, also draws tourists because of its architecture and horticulture. The garden cemetery also features scenic views.
There are more than a dozen restaurants to explore in Little Italy for those who wish to explore outstanding takes on Italian Cuisine. Those craving for old school family-style pizza and noodles should head to the famous Mama Santa’s. La Pizzeria, meanwhile, is famous for its salads, baked wings and appetizers.
Little Italy is beloved for heavenly smells coming from its bakeries and cafes. Presti's Bakery and Cafe is for those who want to indulge in coffee and deli sandwiches. Corbo’s is also sought after for its wide selection of cakes, cookies, pastries, and bread.
Those who want to shop for special gifts and handcrafted wares should explore Venetian Merchant and Topsi Turvi. There are also many decorative art glass studios in the neighborhood that offer home decor, decorative glass vases, decorative lighting, and glass instruments.
Little Italy is the best place to celebrate as the neighborhood hosts exciting and fun-filled events that include the Taste of Little Italy, the Affresco Summer Nights, the Columbus Day Parade, and the Bocce Tournament. Residents and guests get to enjoy great music and live entertainment.
An exciting night in Little Italy will not be complete without sampling its wide array of exquisite wines. Angelo’s Nido Italia is sought after for its selection of old and new world wines. The cozy Michaelangelo’s, meanwhile, is an upscale restaurant that has a hearty wine bar.


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