Meet Me On The Hill

photo by Justin Barr

By Trish Muyco-Tobin

Ciao! There is no other place in St. Louis that’s more Italian than The Hill. From the emblematic red, white and green fire hydrants to the most concentrated cluster of honest-to-goodness Italian eateries, bakeries and grocers within its 620 acres, the neighborhood is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

photo by Justin Barr

The neighborhood’s beginnings can be traced back to the early 1900s, when St. Louis’ expanding Italian immigrant population outgrew an area downtown known as Little Italy, and set their sights—quite literally—on higher ground just southwest of the city center. By mid-century, most Italians had moved to The Hill, making it the center of Italian-American culture in St. Louis.

Today, The Hill’s distinct character is reflected throughout the rows of tidy shotgun-style homes and colorful storefronts, and anchored by an imposing Romanesque church, St. Ambrose, that serves the neighborhood’s predominantly Catholic Italian residents.

October is National Italian American Heritage Month, and festivities on The Hill kick off with Ciao St. Louis’ Festa Italiana and Columbus Day Parade on Oct. 1, with 2017 marking the 150th anniversary of the parade in St. Louis. Following the parade, the celebration continues at Berra Park.

If you’ve been to the Columbus Day parade before, you’ll notice a few changes—all positive. For starters, there’ll be food trucks and live music along the parade route, including a performance by popular local crooner Tony Viviano. In addition, eateries like Gioia’s Deli and Amighetti’s that usually close on Sundays will be open for business on parade day, according to Rio Vitale, president of Ciao St. Louis, organizers of this year’s event.


Festa Italiana & Columbus Day Parade 150th Anniversary

Sunday, Oct. 1

12:30 p.m.

Parade begins in front of Shaw Elementary School (Columbia Avenue and Edwards Street)

Parade ends at Berra Park (from Marconi Avenue to Daggett Avenue)

1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Festa Italiana at Berra Park

Food and dessert vendors, live and DJ entertainment, games




Gioia’s Deli

Sure, it’s been singled out by the James Beard Foundation as an “American Classic,” making Gioia’s one of only five restaurants in the country to receive the coveted award this year. But for generations, St. Louisans have been waxing poetic about the glorious Hot Salami, made just like Charlie Gioia did when he opened the deli almost a century ago. We won’t judge if you consider Gioia’s Hot Salami sandwich a top answer to the ever-present “If you were stranded on a deserted island..?” question. Chances are, it would probably top our list, as well.

DiGregorio’s Market

Foodies and home cooks alike will find whatever their hearts desire for an Italian feast at this family-owned and -operated grocer. Browse the aisles for all sizes and shapes of pasta, hard-to-find authentic Italian Marzano tomatoes for marinara, and an impressive selection of wine to pair with anything and everything. Stop at the meat counter for DiGregorio’s made-from-scratch sausages (more than 30 different kinds!), as well as the deli for a dizzying array of Italian meats and cheeses. Have you ever been giddy about the frozen food aisle? You will be here, as you get a load of the selection: More than a dozen kinds of ravioli (veal and sage or lobster, anyone?) and other stuffed pasta, meatballs, pizza—even pizza dough—and sauces. Looking for olive oil in bulk? Look for the big drum behind the counter!

Steve’s Hotdogs

This is definitely not your ordinary hotdog stand. From the colorful menu board to the tongue-in-cheek hotdog and mac & cheese selections (like the Macho Nacho dog topped with Doritos and the MacGyver layered pasta bowl), this eatery is quickly becoming just as famous as its namesake. Steve Ewing, the front man for The Urge, began the concept with a food cart, selling hot dogs to ravenous fans after his shows. Now, his original storefront on The Hill is one of three Steve’s Hotdogs locations in the city.


Herbaria soap, which began as a kitchen experiment, now has a loyal following across all 50 states and around the world. The handcrafted, skin-friendly soaps come in 60-plus varieties, and are all-natural. Our favorite scents include: Pink Grapefruit, Triple Mint Oatmeal, Patchouli Orange, French Lavender and Evergreen. Ask for a free tour for an intoxicating behind-the-scenes experience.

Anthonino’s Taverna

We realize everyone has their favorite Italian place on The Hill—and this happens to be ours—but what makes Anthonino’s unique is the added bonus of Greek menu items, courtesy of the Scarato brothers’ Greek-Italian heritage. You’ll savor every bite of their Toasted Ravioli (Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives-approved), fresh pasta and ravioli made in-house, and Greek comfort foods like Dolmathes, Spanakopita and Saganaki (we order this one every time). But, wait! Did we tell you about the pizza? We can honestly say it’s the best—there, we just said it. Try the Ricotta or Margherita…you’re welcome!  Plus, the cherry on top: bona fide great service.


Please follow and like us:

Winter Opera Schedule

Date/Time Event Venue/Location
Fri 11/10/2017
at 7:30 PM
The Student Prince – Sponsored by Mary Pillsbury The Skip Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade
Saint LouisMO
Fri 11/10/2017
at 7:30 PM
Winter Opera St. Louis – 2017-18 Season Subscription – FRIDAY The Skip Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade
Saint LouisMO
Sun 11/12/2017
at 3:00 PM
The Student Prince – Sponsored by Mary Pillsbury The Skip Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade
Saint LouisMO
Sun 11/12/2017
at 3:00 PM
Winter Opera St. Louis – 2017-18 Season Subscription – SUNDAY The Skip Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade
Saint LouisMO
Tue 12/5/2017
at 7:00 PM
Holidays On The Hill Dominic’s on The Hill
Saint LouisMO
Wed 12/6/2017
at 7:00 PM
Holidays On The Hill Dominic’s on The Hill
Saint LouisMO
Fri 1/26/2018
at 7:30 PM
Les pecheurs de perles The Skip Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade
Saint LouisMO
Sun 1/28/2018
at 3:00 PM
Les pecheurs de perles The Skip Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade
Saint LouisMO
Sat 2/17/2018
at 11:00 AM
Royal Tea at the Ritz Ritz – Carlton St. Louis
St. Louis,
Fri 3/9/2018
at 7:30 PM
L’elisir d’amore – Sponsored by Nancy Pillsbu


Click Here to Purchase Tickets

Join the Impresario Club!

Donate $2,500 and get 4 Section I tickets for free!
The Impresario Club is an exclusive club for donors of $2,500 or more. An Impresario is a patron who understands the importance of the arts and is a major financier and supporter. We could not maintain our season without you!

Impresario – $2,500 – $4,999 Patrons receive 2 free tickets to the Fall Gala & 4 Section I opera tickets

Spinto – $5,000 – $9,999 Patrons receive 2 free tickets to the Fall Gala & 6 Section I opera tickets

Maestro – $10,000 + Patrons receive 4 free tickets to the Fall Gala & 6 Section I opera tickets

Call the Box Office at 314-865-0038 to make your donation and order your tickets!

Season Subscription at Winter Opera Saint Louis

Discounted Ticket Prices – Purchase Season Tickets and save! When you purchase a Season Subscription, you receive your tickets at a discounted price!
Advanced Renewals – As a season subscription holder you have the best access to your favorite seats at the best price. Season Tickets go on sale one month before tickets go on sale to the general public, and your previous season seats stay reserved for you for a month and a half.

Ticketing & Policies
All ticket sales are final. No refunds or cancellations.
Ticket Donations – We understand that plans sometimes change and you may not be able to use your tickets. You can donate any unused opera tickets before the performance time of your ticket and Winter Opera will send you a tax-deductible donation letter for the price of the ticket(s). Tickets must be returned to Winter Opera to receive contribution acknowledgment.
Exchanges – Exchanges may be made for any performance of any opera, based on availability. If exchanges are made for tickets of a lower price, no refund will be issued.
Lost Tickets – Call the Box Office at 314-865-0038. We will reprint your tickets and have them at Will-Call on the date of the performance(s).
Processing Fees – There will be a $3.00 processing fee for tickets purchased through our website or over the phone. Fee will be waived for in-person ticket purchases.

Please follow and like us:

Buona Musica

Music is an important part of any culture. Music is used to entertain, express feelings, tell stories and so much more. One of my favorite things on this adventure to learn any and everything about Italy is discovering the music. Not only does listening to Italian music actually help with learning the language, as the cool kids say, it freaking slaps. Non-cool kid translation: The music is really good.

I may not always know what the lyrics mean, but a nice beat and good vocals are something that you can always appreciate no matter what. Thanks to Spotify playlists, I have found some really good Italian music over the last year or so, so what I will do next is list my three favorite Italian songs at the moment. I wish I could list more, especially since my three favorites change every day, but to keep it simple and save you time, I’ll force myself to cap it at three. Again, I’m no expert on the Italian language, so this is mainly a list of songs that I think sound good in terms of the beat or the voice of the artist singing, not lyrics. As far as lyrics go, I’ve tried to find the best translations to get a better understanding of the song, and I use that to give a quick description of the song. With that said, let’s get started.

3)  Fedez feat. Noemi – L’amore Eternit

This song is speaking about a toxic love. Eternit is a roofing material that exposed people to asbestos, so basically, the song is saying that a toxic relationship harms you like you were exposed to a carcinogen.

My favorite part of the song is definitely Noemi’s verse towards the end of the song. You don’t even have to fully understand the words to feel the energy coming from her. We can all relate to a song like this

2) Rocco Hunt – Sto bene così

Sto bene cosi means, I’m fine this way. The song is upbeat and gets you feeling good when you hear it. It’s basically a song about being carefree and enjoying the positives of life no matter what else is going on around you. I first heard this song on the FIFA 17 soundtrack, so whenever I was playing FIFA instead of doing my Italian homework, I would just play this song and tell myself I was just learning Italian in a different and more fun way.

smart thinking

1) J-AX, Fedez, T-Pain – Senza Pagare

Senza Pagare means without paying. This song is about once being broke, but now being rich and famous and not even needing money because their popularity gets them anything they want without paying. This is another song that gets you up on your feet and feeling good. When this comes on, I feel like I’m the one with money to blow and not a broke college student… then that low balance notification pops up after the weekend and I remember who I am. The song also has T-Pain in it, so Italy and America are coming together to make a banger. This blog is all about Italy and America so it’s definitely number one on my list.

Me when Senza Pagare comes on:


I hope you enjoy the songs you heard tonight, and maybe even start listening to Italian music yourself.  Ciao! A Presto!

Please follow and like us:

Street Guide to the Columbus Day Parade – October 1, 2017

The parade begins at 12:30 pm at the corner of Macklind and Botanical followed by the Festa at Berra Park.
Your guide to the Columbus Day Parade Route Map .   Entertainment, Food, Soft Drinks and Adult Beverages
available along the route from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

1.   New York Tom’s Food Truck

2.   Half Baked Food Truck

3.   J. Smugs GastroPit

4.   Mama’s on the Hill

5.   Harry Berra’s Inspection Station

       NOW 96.3, KNOU
        Luigi and Raffaele Boccardi’s Italian Express 

6.  Italia America Bocce Club

7.  St. Ambrose Church –
Knights of Columbus Selling Gus’s Pretzels
Gelato Di Riso

8.  Amighettis – coffee, pasteries

9.  DiGregorio’s Market
That’s Amore DJ and Franco Bongiovianni
Que in the Lou BBQ Food Truck

10.   Gioia’s Deli

11.   Tony Viviano and band

Please follow and like us:

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Sodality Save the Date for a Spooktacular Event!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 St. Ambrose Church Basement Doors open 6:15 PM until 9:00 PM Serving Ham Sandwiches, Snacks & Refreshments (Don’t wine, it will be there too!) $5.00 enters your name in Large Raffle for many chances to win all evening long! Prize for the Best Costume will be awarded. Grand Prize for person bringing the most friends who join our Sodality.

Please follow and like us:

The Neighborhood Center is hoppin’ these days!

 Remember that Ms. M is available to assist in your genealogy research. Her skills are awesome! While she won’t do your research for you, she certainly can point you in the right direction, give you resources, and help if you get stuck! She is at the Center on Fridays and can be reached by phone through the Center at 314.260.9162.

We will be taking down the wedding display, and the photos complimenting Mrs. Eleanor Marfisi’s poems. In their place we will display the Clubs of the Hill. There were approximately 18 Clubs including the ever-popular Crusaders, Wildcats, Fawns, and Pelicans. If you have photos or memorabilia you want to keep we’re asking to borrow them only for the duration of the display.

The second display focuses on restaurants of the Hill – old and new. Though we have quite a few photos and memorabilia, we could use some more to round out the businesses.

Finally, I am still in need of someone who is a good decorator for a few hours to help create attractive, informative displays. 314.260.9162

Thank you in advance,
LynnMarie Alexander Hill Neighborhood Center




Contest Win a $20.00 gift certificate to the fine Bartolino family of restaurants.

Until November 11, 2017 we are having a contest. The contest is, “Where inside the Hill Neighborhood Center is the picture of Monsignor Bommarito before he became a Priest?”

When you find Monsignor’s picture you will be given a chance for a drawing to win a $20.00 gift certificate to one of the excellent Bartolino family restaurants.

The Hill Neighborhood Center is located at 1935 Marconi. We are open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 AM to 3 PM. You must be 18 years or older to enter the contest.

Why not stop by and see if you can find the picture of Monsignor Bommarito and browse the other photographs and displays at the Center.

Please follow and like us:

Gioia’s Deli Open For Columbus Day Parade – October 1, 2017

Say “Sunday Funday”  at the register and receive $1 off your sandwich.
Expires 10.4.17
For One Day Only!

Gioia’s Deli will be open this SUNDAY (10/1) from 10am – 4pm for the Ciao St. Louis Columbus Day Event! Enjoy a Gioia’s Sandwich and watch the parade! 

Order Your Gioia’s Sandwiches Online!

We are now offering online ordering at BOTH Gioia’s Deli locations. Instead of calling in orders or waiting in line – place your orders online!
Word of the Week Discount applies online. 

Catering Corner

Catering doesn’t just mean trays! Box Lunches are the perfect solution for picky groups. Everyone can get exactly what they like! Have your group get what they want delivered straight to you! 

Place your orders today over the phone, online or via email! 

Catering Available at

Food Truck Schedule 

The Hot Salami Truck is out of service.

See you soon,
Alex Donley
Gioia’s Deli
1934 Macklind Ave “on the hill”

1934 Macklind Ave “on the hill”
St. Louis, MO 63110
Copyright (C) 2010 Gioia’s Deli All rights reserved.
Please follow and like us:

Statue of Christopher Columbus in Historic Tower Grove Park Has Drawn Ire in the Past

by The Allman ReportWednesday, September 27th 2017
The historic Tower Grove Park in St. Louis is known for its landmark status, beautifully preserved Victorian pagodas and scenic avenues for strolling. It also houses a statue of Christopher Columbus, placed there, along with two others during the park’s early founding to provide a symbol of welcome for immigrants. With the crimes committed by Columbus during his exploration and exploitation of the Americas becoming more well known some statues dedicated to him have been vandalized during the past few years, including the one at Tower Grove Park.

WATCH THE CLIP ONLY on The Allman Report – ABC 30 St. Louis.

Please follow and like us: