Must Visit Points Of Interest In Boston's North End
Located at Boston’s north end, with two sides surrounded by Boston Harbor, Little Italy measures just 0.36 square miles. The streets are narrow and crisscrossed by narrower alleys, some with gas lamps. These alleys are themselves a sightseeing tour; some make turns or wind through city blocks. Some are dead ends. Some are easily accessed, while others are harder to find. Some feature restaurants and shops, while others are residential.
Boston's oldest continuously occupied neighborhood lies on the Shawmut peninsula. Settled in the 1630s by merchants who built homes, warehouses, and wharves, this has been the home of patriots and artisans, rich and poor, Irish, Italian, and Eastern European Jewish immigrants fleeing famine and persecution, slave merchants and sailors, and a prominent African-American community.
NORTH END MEETING HOUSE
The 17th century saw the North End become increasingly crowded, necessitating the addition of the North Meeting House as a house of worship and a public meeting place. In 1776 the British occupiers dismantled it, along with 100 other buildings, to use for firewood.
THE BLACK SEA
The 18th century brought the American Revolution and, with it, riots and patriots’ plots. During the later 18th century, the North End saw a commercial boom followed by a massive influx of immigrants. The crowded living conditions were ripe for a cholera epidemic. Poverty was endemic by the time more wealthy Bostonians started moving to more well-to-do neighborhoods like Beacon Hill. One of America’s first red-light districts, the Black Sea, was located on Ann Street, now called North Street.
At 40+ miles, The Boston Harborwalk offers dozens of points of interest: Boston Harbor wharves, parks, public art installments, a skating rink, cafes, the New England Aquarium, and a pocket museum located on Battery Wharf.
ROSE KENNEDY GREENWAY
The Rose Kennedy Greenway: 1.5 miles of parks and fun meandering through downtown Boston. Public space with fountains, gardens, and art.
THE SKINNY HOUSE
The Skinny House, 44 Hull Street: At its broadest, this house measures 10.4 feet. Find out why it’s also called the Spite House!
North Square Stories is a sculptural gallery that tells the story of the city’s oldest public square. Unveiled on September 23, 2019, North End residents welcomed Boston’s newest permanent public artwork. A two-year undertaking realized the North End’s vision: “North Square will be a livable, walkable, multimodal, green, and sustainable square, accommodating all users of this historic space.”
Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, located at Hull, Snow Hill, and Charter Streets, is the second oldest burial ground in the city. Ten thousand colonial Boston residents lay here. See how many historic names you can recognize!
SACRED HEART CHURCH
Sacred Heart Church, 8 North Square: Founded by Italian Catholics, formerly the Seaman’s Bethel, this church became a place to celebrate Italian transplants’ religious and cultural heritage. Stunning religious art.
PAUL REVERE HOUSE
Paul Revere House, 19 North Square: Despite several renovations over the past few centuries, much of the original 17th-century architecture remains intact.
OLD NORTH CHURCH
Old North Church, 193 Salem Street: On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere received his signal by lantern: “One if by land, two if by sea.” Boston’s oldest surviving church.
ALL SAINTS WAY
All Saints Way, Battery Street: Hidden in an alley is a privately maintained art installation. For decades the son of Italian immigrants has been displaying all manner of religious items, curating the hundreds of mass cards and saints’ images displayed throughout the courtyard behind the gates. The collection’s content rotates with the seasons. If you’re lucky, the man may come out and offer you a tour.
Follow your nose to the end of skinny Board Alley, where you’ll find Bricco Place at 237 Hanover Street, featuring alley-chic authentic Italian al fresco dining. Buon appetito!