Exploring Boston’s North End

After spending a morning walking through Boston’s urban park, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, it left us just across the street from the city’s famed North End.   There are many attractions in this area, the oldest residential neighbourhood of Boston.  It’s well known for its Italian American population (which means outstanding food and drink!) and it’s also a great area for some picturesque urban exploring:

Boston's north end

On the day we were exploring here, it was coming up on lunch time and I was woefully short on coffee in my bloodstream.  Lucky for me, Caffe Vittoria was only a couple of blocks away.  It is Boston’s first traditional Italian cafe, and now that I’ve just returned from Italy, I can vouch for how authentic this place is.  I opted for an espresso and a cannoli and a seat by the display of old manual espresso machines:

At Caffe Vittoria

Properly caffeinated, my wife and I headed back out and meandered through the neighbourhood.  After a few minutes we came upon the Paul Revere Monument, one of the more popular stops along the Freedom Trail.  I’m not a big American history buff and found myself more interested in the back story behind the monument than the history it reflects.   The sculptor of this, Cyrus Dallin, started working on it in 1883, and went through a number of failed creations before completing it just before the turn of the century.  From then, it was only formally installed in this location in 1940.

Paul Revere statue

We skipped past a lot of the Freedom Trail sites in the North End, and just wandered the quieter streets in the neighbourhood.  The North End is exceptionally picturesque, especially as you get deeper into the narrow residential streets:

Boston's north end

The North End is really tiny.  At most, you’re only ever about a 5-10 minute walk away from being back into more modern Boston.  Even at this small size, we felt like we had gotten lost in a completely different city.   The vibe here is totally different and worth a lot more time than we were able to give it on this short visit.   We should have come back here for a couple of meals and evening walks – that will be on the top of our must do list the next time we make it back to this beautiful city.

Boston's north end

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