A stroll through the North End fills your nose with the smells of Italian bread and homemade tomato sauce and your ears with the boisterous laughter of both tourists and locals as they amble along the narrow sidewalks and hidden walkways. The North End, known as Boston's Little Italy for its large Italian-American population, is most famous for its huge selection of authentic Italian restaurants. However, its friendly residents, mouth-watering bread and pastry shops, and Italian flags at every corner all contribute to the nostalgic, homey ambiance that has made the North End one of the most popular tourist destinations in Boston.
One of the city's oldest neighborhoods, the North End has been home to a variety of ethnic groups, including Jewish and Irish, since it was first settled as a small, coastal town. In the early 20th century, it became the center of the Boston's large Italian population, as it remains today. No matter where you go in the North End, you are guaranteed a hearty Italian meal, as quaint restaurants await you at every corner. Try Al Dente on Salem Street for delicious lobster ravioli, or, if you are in the mood for something more casual, Ducali Pizzeria & Bar offers a laid-back atmosphere, yummy Italian pizza, and an excellent wine and beer selection. After dinner, be sure to stop by Mike's Pastry or Modern Pastry for your choice of cannolis, cookies, cheesecake, and other scrumptious desserts. The debate concerning which is the superior pastry shop is a heated topic among locals –try both and decide which side you agree with!
Although primarily known for its food, the North End is also home to a number of historic landmarks. Copp's Hill Burying Ground is one of the oldest cemeteries in the country and a popular stop on the Freedom Trail. Across the street from Copp's Hill is the Skinny House, acknowledged by the Boston Globe as having the "uncontested distinction of being the narrowest house in Boston." Also located in the North End are the Paul Revere House and the Old North Church, known as the place where the two lanterns were held as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were coming by sea to Lexington and Concord.