Little Italy Sign San Diego

Feel like dancing in the street to the irresistible rhythms of a master accordionist, swooning over the soaring notes of an angelic-voiced soprano—or just trying your luck at a pasta-eating contest?

Such joys are to be had right here in San Diego this spring with the 21st running of the city’s spectacular (and free) Sicilian Festival—but a pleasant stroll from the Sofia Hotel!

The Rundown

San Diego’s Sicilian Festival is the long running brainchild of native Sicilian Mario Cefalu, owner of Little Italy’s beloved Soluntos Bakery. Eager to spotlight the city’s strong Sicilian connections, Cefalu launched the first celebration of his homeland in 1993, a modest-sized affair that nonetheless came off swimmingly and planted the seed for today’s much larger event.

This year’s Sicilian Festival gets underway on Sunday, May 18: Between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., India Street in Little Italy will come alive with Old World flair. Multiple stages will play host to a wonderful variety of performers, from droves of colorfully costumed folk dancers to opera singers (such as Rosario Monetti) and boisterous ensembles (like the Duo Domino, the Judy Ciotti Band, and Franco Z and Z-Bop). The venues include the Main Stage on Date Street, the Cedar Street Stage, Basilone Piazza, and the Opera Stage on Grape Street.

Besides the impeccably evocative music and dance, you’ll relish the prodigious amounts of classic Sicilian food, from the incomparable pizza to the can’t-have-just-one cannoli. Rides and parades will appeal to the kids, while cultural and historical presentations will illumine the rich and deep history of San Diego’s Sicilian and Italian culture.

As Convenient as Can Be

At the Sofia Hotel, you’re just an easy walk or bus ride from all the Sicilian fun going down in Little Italy on the 18th. Be sure to book a room with us that weekend so you can wholeheartedly embrace the festivities, which must rank as one of San Diego’s most vibrant parties. We certainly hope you can join us in exploring another beautiful chapter of our sunny, smiling city’s diverse heritage!