Title: The Hill: St. Louis's Italian American Neighborhood
Author: LynnMarie Alexander, foreword by Joseph DeGregorio
Italian Americans on The Hill in St. Louis enjoy a community founded and influenced by their ancestors over four or even five generations past. Visitors muse how a fifty square block neighborhood manages to keep its ethnic identity, spiritual anchor, and protective sense of community decades after their immigrant parents and grandparents relied on those tools of survival to make a new home in America. Many Italian American immigrant communities across the United States withered as new generations became "Ameriganis" forgoing their sense of family ties and ancestral history in favor of university educations, professional careers, and suburban homes. By contrast, The Hill neighborhood uses family, spirituality, and kinship as an anchor, demonstrating loyalty to home and neighbors as honorable and enviable.
Today, third and fourth generation young professional families are choosing to raise their children in the city on The Hill, sending them to church and school at St. Ambrose. Take a walk down the streets of an iconic Italian-American neighborhood that houses twenty-seven Italian restaurants and delis, all family owned. Contemplate in our new piazza with a fountain and marble from Italy and take in the majestic St. Ambrose Catholic Church reminiscent of the Cathedral of Milan. The residential architecture offers a dizzying array of traditional shotgun homes, old shops and taverns creatively rehabbed as houses, and old businesses living a new life in the digital age.
The Hill: An Iconic Italian American Neighborhood offers insight to the immigrant experience. Enticing vignettes paired with rich history and iconic photos prepare readers for a visit to The Hill, a St. Louis attraction second only to the Arch. Each is lovingly brought to life by LynnMarie Alexander, a fourth generation Italian American living in her great grandparents' home which has been in the Puricelli family since 1907. She walks a half of a block to her job as the Director/Archivist of The Hill Neighborhood Center sponsored by Hill 2000 Neighborhood Association and The Hill Business Association.
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