Little Italy Reopens With Ciao Bella! Campaign

The Little Italy Association (LIA) is launching Ciao Bella!, its reopening campaign, including in-house restaurant dining, in-store shopping, Al Fresco street-side dining, special merchandise to support local businesses and a social media challenge giveaway.

As restaurants and retailers resume business with the proper safety guidelines in place, this campaign will safely welcome the San Diegans and visitors back to the neighborhood they know and love while helping to support Little Italy businesses.

Little Italy Reopens With Ciao Bella! Campaign

“We are thrilled to see life come back to our charming neighborhood and have the community say hello again with this inspiring campaign,” said Marco Li Mandri, chief executive administrator of the Little Italy Association of San Diego. “Ciao Bella!, which means “hello beautiful” in Italian, illustrates our fortitude and that no matter the times, our community will stay united and resilient as a neighborhood, a home, a business hub and most importantly as a famiglia.”

With the tagline “Our Little Italy, Your Famiglia,” Little Italy begins to slowly and safely reopen its more than 150 retailers and restaurants, 15 hotels and motels and public spaces to over 3,000 residents and the wider community. As a first step, restaurants will offer in-house dining and retailers will open doors for in-store shopping. For the up-to-date list of open businesses and next stages of reopening, visit here.

As part of the campaign, the LIA will be offering Al Fresco dining initially only on Saturdays on India Street from W. Ash to W. Grape and W. Beech, W. Cedar, W. Date and W. Fir Street between Kettner and Columbia Street, tentatively starting on Saturday, June 13 from 4:00PM to 10:00PM.

The streets will be closed to all vehicles so that the sidewalks and part of India Street will transform into expanded open-air dining to help restaurants mitigate the loss of indoor seating while also creating a safe 30 foot physical distancing promenade where guests can wait for their reservations. Physical distancing protocols will be followed and interested diners will be required to make reservations at their restaurant of choice in advance during the first few weeks of Al Fresco.

In tandem, the LIA is inviting San Diegans and supporters of Little Italy to participate in the “Air Kiss Challenge” starting June 2 as a salute to the Little Italy neighborhood. Using the hashtags, #CiaoBellaSD #AirKiss, the LIA is asking people to post a picture of themselves giving an air kiss on social media that tags two Little Italy businesses and nominates three others to post an air kiss and join the challenge as well. Individuals who enter have the chance to win prizes on a weekly basis. Prizes include local business and restaurant gift cards and special promotions.

Ciao Bella! t-shirts with campaign tagline, “They are. We are. I AM LITTLE ITALY.,” are available for purchase with all proceeds supporting the Little Italy business crisis fund and the business where the shirt was purchased. We ask the community and businesses to wear the t-shirt in solidarity as we enter this new stage as a famiglia.

Stay informed on Little Italy’s latest reopening plans here.

Stay healthy, San Diego!