Little Italy's San Gennaro Feast - How To Do It Right
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Little Italy's San Gennaro Feast - How To Do It Right

A guide to a true italian experience.

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Little Italy's San Gennaro Feast - How To Do It Right
Fine Art America

It’s that time of year again, Goombah’s! Little Italy - one of Manhattan’s commonly known neighborhoods holds it's 90th annual San Gennaro Feast.

Growing up in an Italian-American family, it was always tradition for us to make our way over to the lower-Manhattan feast to eat our favorite foods and celebrate our culture. As per tradition, I went last weekend, but after living abroad in Italy for a few months, a few things really stuck out to me this year that were a bit off.

So, I wanted to provide a list of tips on how to get the most out of the feast and really experience Italian culture to the fullest.

First, there are some things you might want to know about San Gennaro Feast:

The celebration is held on the tiny historic streets of Little Italy, where thousands of Italian immigrants once roamed to create a better life.

The sole purpose of the feast is to keep the essence and faith of Italian immigrants alive.

About a million people from all over the world attend the feast.

San Gennaro was the Patron Saint of Naples and the feast stands as a salute to him. (Make sure you check out the church. It’s small, but very beautiful inside!)

Here’s what you really need to know:

1. Giant frozen and fruity alcoholic drinks are most definitely not a thing.

Italians drink alcohol in a relaxed manner, and not to get hammered.

2. If you want to celebrate the real 'Italian' way, order white or red wine in a plastic cup to take out to the street.

Yes, a cup. In Italy, it's quite common if you're not in a sit down restaurant to use a plastic cup on the go. There are a few restaurants/bars on the street that put up tents where you can mingle with other feast-goers and enjoy your drink.

3. Do not go to the feast to sit down inside a restaurant.

The whole point of attending is to stuff your face with the delicious street food from local vendors inside crowds and crowds of people. No judgement! Italian food is like a delicacy.

4. If you do choose a restaurant setting, check out the street where there is outdoor seating.

This option is much better, so you can still enjoy the atmosphere of the feast.

5. Try the pastries.

I'm talking about the different flavored cannoli, biscotti, and the tiramasu. Not zeppoles, not fried oreos, and not chocolate covered strawberry kebabs.

6. Adjust to the crowd.

There will be moments where you feel suffocated by the amount of people filled in these tiny streets. Well, personal space is not a thing in Italy. A typical Italian will come right up in your business just to have a conversation with you. Pretend that's what it is!

7. Take as many cannolis as you can home.

They are absolutely amazing and the creme is so rich. Don't miss the opportunity.

8. Lastly, celebrate!

Hold your drink up and shout "Salute!" (Cheers)

The feast is held every September. Look out for dates when it comes closer next year. Ciao!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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