The Hill, which is situated close to the highest point in the city, is a St. Louis neighborhood known for its Italian heritage. A good chunk of the neighborhood's residents are still Italian. The fire hydrants are painted red, white, and green, the colors of the Italian flag. You can tell by looking at the well-kept houses and yards that the residents take a lot of pride in the area.
We used the tour as a starting point, since I've already been to many of the suggested stops:
- J. Viviano and Sons Italian Grocery is a great place to buy olive oil, pasta, and spices.
- Tony enjoys Shaw's Coffee, which is located right next to Viviano's.
- The Missouri Baking Company has got the best Italian cookies, although their pastries are pretty good too!
- Although you can get Volpi salami in most grocery stores, it's always a treat to get it from the original store.
- I've passed St. Ambrose Catholic Church and the Italian Immigrants Statue many times, although I've never been inside the church.
- Girasole Italian Gifts and Imports was described as a good place for Italian products or a Hill souvenir.
- Although I've had ravioli from Mama Toscano's Homemade Ravioli, I've never been in the store.
- There are dozens of restaurants in the area, but I didn't know Eovaldi's Deli and Catering.
- I was extremely surprised to read about the Baseball Hall of Fame Place (an honorary block of Elizabeth Avenue where Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola grew up, and broadcaster Jack Buck bought the first home for his family) and the Soccer Hall of Fame Place (where five of the 1950 US World Cup soccer team that upset England lived).
Taking our cue from the walking tour, we ate lunch at Eovaldi's Deli. There were only a couple of tables to sit at, but it didn't matter. The service was friendly, our sandwiches were excellent, and the homemade beef-barley soup was wonderful! We passed on dessert, but couldn't leave the Hill area without something sweet. Before we picked up the newly-sharpened knives, we stopped in Vitale's Bakery for some cannoli to take home.
You can be sure my calendar is updated to remind me of knife-sharpening time next year!