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Big Inspiration from Little Italy: The San Gennaro Festival

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The Allied Invasion of Italy happened to occur during the San Gennaro Festival in 1943. Here, a crowd cheers a bar owner on in celebrating both events.
Image courtesy of the NY Daily News.

Manhattan is a big city that has small town charm, if you know where to look for it. Only in September in NYC can you slide from the hubbub of Fashion Week into the food-frenzy of the San Gennaro Festival.

A Little Italy landmark since 1926, the San Gennaro Festival celebrates the patron saint of Naples. Every year, the statue of San Gennaro is removed from a local church and paraded around Mulberry Street, the heart of the Little Italy neighborhood.

While the roots of this celebration may be religious, it is the delicious traditional street food that has made this a notorious New York City tradition. The two week festival is all about the art of mangiare, eating. There is even a cannoli eating contest!

Started as a way for Italian immigrants to retain a sense of tradition in their new homes in America, The San Gennaro Festival is the perfect example of small-town Manhattan.

With visions of Neapolitan pizzas and Campari cocktails in our heads, we’ve put together our favorite Italian food and liquor posters below:

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