Gatto’s most recent work, Los Angeles’s Little Italy presents a history of the city’s vibrant Italian enclave during the 100-year period following the arrival of the city’s first Italian pioneer in 1827. While Los Angeles possesses the nation’s fifth-largest Italian population today, little is known about its Italian history, which has been examined by only a handful of historians over the past 70 years.
Richly illustrated with over 200 photographs, many of which have never before been published, Gatto captures the essence of the city’s long-forgotten Italian Quarter, where families traded recipes over garden fences and neighbors called to one another in their native tongues.
Much of historic Little Italy has been erased from the map or has been masked by subsequent ethnic settlements. However, the community’s memory lives on. From pioneer agriculturalists and winemakers to philanthropists and eccentric personalities, Italian Americans left a lasting impression on the city’s social, economic and cultural fabric and contributed to Los Angeles’s development as one of the world’s greatest metropolises.
Gatto’s expanded history of Italians in Southern California is expected in early 2014.
Praise for Los Angeles’s Little Italy
“To know more of the story of our city’s Italian immigrants, author Marianna Gatto looks back — way back, to the 1800s — and details a fascinating slice of our city’s history.” — NBC