Bella Vista is a neighborhood nestled in the heart of Philadelphia, bounded by Central City to the north, Queen Village to the east, Passyunk Square to the south, and Hawthorne to the west. Compact and perfectly walkable, Bella Vista is famous for being the historic heart of Philadelphia’s Italian community and the site of the South 9th Street Italian Market. The neighborhood originally began as the independent township of Moyamensing in the 1840s. As the city of Philadelphia grew around it in the decades that followed, Bella Vista became an integral part of Philly.
Center City is less than 6 minutes by car, 10 minutes by public transportation, 10 minutes by bike, and 20 minutes on foot.
Bella Vista: A neighborhood with something for everyone
The best thing about living in Bella Vista is how much variety is contained within this compact collection of city blocks. From quiet residential streets to the bustle of the Italian Market and restaurants drawing from diverse international influences, Bella Vista has it all.
The Neighbors: Young professionals and families
Bella Vista is a neighborhood with a lot going for it, and it appeals to different groups for different reasons. Niche’s ranking of Philadelphia neighborhoods places Bella Vista at #1 for young professionals and #2 for families, while also ranking it the second-best neighborhood in the entire city for overall livability.
What To Expect: More than just Italian food at the 9th Street Italian Market
The Italian Market is the main reason to visit Bella Vista. The oldest open-air market in the United States, the neighborhood’s Italian heritage is on full display with groceries, spices, and home-cooked meals. The neighborhood’s vibrant modern diversity is also showcased, with foodstuffs from Mexico, Vietnam, and more. The Italian Market’s annual festival in May attracts 70,000 visitors seeking to sample delectable Italian delicacies and specialty food from around the world.
The Lifestyle: Authentic pho and varied international options
Bella Vista has a varied mix of international restaurants. In addition to the Italian market, you can dine on creative French dishes at Bibou or grab a casual bowl of pho from one of the many authentic Vietnamese restaurants.
Unexpected Appeal: Free art classes and a gallery in a historic setting
Housed within elegant historic buildings that once served as a church and Catholic boys’ school, the Fleisher Art Memorial is a unique Bella Vista institution that dates back to the 19th century. In 1898, Samuel S. Fleisher began giving free art lessons to local adults and children--a tradition which continues today. The four buildings that comprise the memorial also house an art gallery with works that span a variety of styles and time periods.
The Market: Historic homes and modern condominiums
Bella Vista’s real estate is mostly characterized by elegant red-brick row houses and townhomes, along with some lofts and condominiums. With a central location and great mix of attractions, Bella Vista is consistently in high demand.
You’ll Fall In Love With: Fantastic local schools
Students in Bella Vista attend William M. Meredith School, a public K-8 that is seen as one of the best in Philadelphia.
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