Nestled between the ever-crowded Chinatown and SoHo Distract, Little Italy offers a quieter — yet far from dull— break from fast-paced New York City life. Now located primarily on Mulberry Street, the Italian community once spanned much of the surrounding area down to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, though in recent years it has conceded some of its territory. Whatever Little Italy lacks in area however, is more than compensated in the spirit of the few thousand Italian-Americans who still proudly call Little Italy home. Welcoming restaurants present native cuisine and music straight from the homeland served alongside that characteristic Italian charm. If you're planning a trip around mid-September, be sure to visit during the annual Feast of San Gennaro. Festivities include a beautifully traditional mass and candlelight ceremony as well as parades, music, and of course food in celebration of this patron saint of Naples. Among these edible offerings is Little Italy's response to an American staple: a cannoli eating contest. So, tie on a a green, white and red bib and prepare to devour an abundance of one of Italy's most famous desserts. Or, for the less brave of heart, sip a cappuccino from one of the many old-world cafes and cheer the others on in a passionate Italian style.