Bostons Historical North End

“One if by land, and two if by sea;” Longfellow’s poem of Paul Revere’s ride into history that bespoke of the signal that Robert Newman, a church sexton would raise from the tower of the Old North Church. Officially “Christ Church” built in 1723, the signal would let Revere know from where the British were advancing so that he and others could spread the word. The British came by sea to attack, starting the American Revolution. This church is only one of many historic places to visit in Boston’s North End.

Once a ghetto, Boston’s oldest neighborhood, immigrants from many different countries have settled here, today the Italians are the ones people think of when they speak of the North End, some call it “Little Italy.” Upwards of a hundred restaurants, bakeries and specialty shops are here. The first Italian Cafe in Boston is the Caffe Vittoria-1929, Carmen is also one of the best for Italian Cuisine and the best sandwiches can be located at Dinos. Bova’s Bakery On Salem Street is family owned and is an all-hours spot for freshly baked Italian breads and pastries.

The Freedom Trail works its way through the streets and highlights Paul Revere’s House, St. Stephen’s Church that has a bell cast by Paul Revere. Hidden tunnels once used to smuggle contraband ashore can be toured. Another historical spot is Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, second oldest cemetery in Boston named for William Copp who owned the land at one time. There are thousands of free African Americans buried from an area called the New Guinea Community. The British occupied Copp’s Hill due to its strategic height and view, using it to train their cannons on Charlestown during the Battle of Bunker Hill. (

Hanover Street is the North End’s shopping spot. With many clothing stores, tailors, florists and art galleries, you can shop until dropping.

Although not technically a part of Boston’s North End, Faneuil Hall and the Faneuil Hall Marketplace are among the more notable spots for tourists and locals alike, they are closely associated with the North End. Faneuil Hall served as a market place on the first floor and the second was used for town meetings. This is where Samuel Adams and fellow revolutionaries gathered and protested being taxed without being represented. The many meetings held by American patriots between 1764 and 1774 gave Faneuil Hall the nickname of ‘Cradle of Liberty’. ( Faneuil Hall Marketplace has a vast combination of eating places, clothing stores and stalls. The original beer hall used by the television show “cheers” is located here.

Sure, you can come to the North End for Italian food, you really should stay for the vast historical content; after all, this is where our great America began its quest for freedom. Once you have come and enjoyed it, take a tour of Boston Harbor on a duck (amphibious truck) it’s a great way to see the sights too.