Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau

< Back To Results

Giuseppe Garibaldi Park and the Welcome Gateway

  • 99 Atwells Avenue
  • Providence, RI 02903

In the spring of 1975, women with sledgehammers marched on what was then Franklin Park to attack a dilapidated bathhouse. Built in 1911 to serve the crowded Italian immigrant community of Federal Hill, the bathhouse had become an eyesore. Providence’s first Italian-American mayor, Vincent “Buddy” Cianci, turned the public relations disaster into a coup. Federal Hill had been the epicenter of the Italian immigrant experience in Rhode Island, and Buddy made the park a memorial to that history. The gateway arch decorated with “La Pigna,” a symbol of hospitality, now welcomes people into the home of the Italian diaspora to celebrate Italian culture.