Providence’s historic Federal Hill neighborhood spans iconic Atwells Avenue and the surrounding streets. Largely settled by Italian-American immigrants in the early 1900s, Federal Hill effuses a sense of warmth and community that embraces visitors and locals alike. While the neighborhood has evolved, the influence of the Italian people and culture is ever present. When shopping or dining, take the time to talk to a shop owner or interact with a food purveyor, as they will likely share a story about the history of the store or neighborhood.
There’s shopping aplenty on Federal Hill. Visit Carrara’s Shoes for the latest in fashionable footwear. Nearby Garbolino is a contemporary designer boutique featuring women’s trend clothing and laid-back designs. Stop into Gasbarro’s Wine and peruse the selection. Established in 1898, Gasbarro’s is one of the top retailers of Italian wine in the country and the knowledgable staff is happy to chat and recommend a particular varietal.
Every Italian has their favorite deli/butcher shop and there are some exceptional stores to choose from. Roma has a marketplace with sandwiches, dried pastas, cheeses and more. Their banquet hall offers live shows and entertainment including Italian musicians. Known for their selection of imported olive oils, Italian cold cuts, gourmet dried pastas, candies and confections, Tony’s Colonial Food has been around since the 1950s. Venda Ravioli is a full-service food emporium. Stop by the café for lunch or a cappuccino. Dine in or take home some of their braciole and fresh homemade ravioli and sauce for dinner. Look for the giant statue of a rooster (perfect for a photo op) and stop by Antonelli Poultry for the freshest selection of fowl.
It must be said that there are countless Italian restaurants on Atwells Avenue representative of the flavors of Federal Hill. These are just a few favorites.
Caserta Pizzeria has been serving up traditional Italian pizza since the 1950s, but locals go there for the “Wimpy Skippy,” a spinach pie stuffed with gooey mozzarella cheese, spicy pepperoni and black olives.
Comfortable, affordable and delicious, Angelo’s Civita Farnese is a Federal Hill institution, that has been serving up Southern Italian family meals since 1924. Be sure to order the meatballs and french fries!
Enjoy seasonal, modern Italian cuisine at Il Massimo, featuring signature dishes like Spaghettoni alla Carbonara or Point Judith Calamari en Padella. Stop in for weeknight Happy Hour or try their Italian-style Sunday brunch, which includes crab cake eggs benedict.
While Italian food and culture are constants on the Hill, the restaurants have evolved to represent worldly flavors and cultures. Restaurants and cuisines also include Japanese, Indian, Lebanese, Chinese, Mexican, German, Thai and American. Thailand Modern Eatery offers authentic Thai street food, with accompanying dry spice mixtures and sauces presented tableside, so diners can adjust the heat to their liking. NAMI is a local favorite for contemporary Japanese cuisine and sushi. Providence Oyster Bar offers a selection of fresh Rhode Island seafood, with a raw bar that includes littlenecks and cherrystones (both are native clam varieties found in Narragansett Bay).
After dinner, stop by European-style café Pastiche for a cup of chai and choose a slice of one of their decadent cakes or tarts.
Visit DePasquale Square at the center of Federal Hill, an Italian style piazza and gathering space for music and dancing, tossing coins in the fountain and congregating with old friends. On warm summer nights, there are often concerts.
Take a glass blowing lesson at Gather Glass and make your own ornament, drinking glass or vase. Or visit the gallery and pick up one of their stunning hand-blown glass creations.
There’s a wide humidor selection and great drinks and pub food at Tammany Hall Pub and Parlor, a cigar bar with a laid back feel. Nara is the perfect place to relax, order a drink and take in a hookah. If the weather is nice, there is also outdoor seating available.
Easily walkable, Federal Hill has on-street metered parking, some surface parking lots, and is served by RIPTA.
Beyond Interstate 95 lies Providence’s West Side. A bridge arching over the interstate takes you into the city of immigrants and strivers, of industrialists in Broadway mansions and mill workers in cramped triple-deckers. The Colonial town, built on shipping and the slave trade, huddled along...Learn More