Back to Blog

Neighborhood Spotlight: Little Italy/University Village

Immerse yourself in the old-world charm and university buzz of the vibrant University Village/Little Italy neighborhood. Located in the heart of Chicago, this neighborhood beautifully blends tradition and innovation, embodying the spirit of our diverse city. Today we’re diving into the unique appeal that makes this area so captivating.

A Brief History

The Little Italy segment of this district traces its roots back to the late 19th century, when Italian immigrants started to call this region home, crafting a community infused with the warmth of Italian culture. Today, the area continues to showcase its proud Italian-American heritage, embodied in the establishments that fill the community. 

University Village owes its name and vibrant character to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). This part of the neighborhood, known for the thriving Maxwell Street Market, underwent a transformation in the mid-20th century as the UIC began to expand, fostering an environment brimming with youthful energy and curiosity.

Maxwell Street

What to Explore

University Village/Little Italy invites exploration with its blend of historical and cultural sites, diverse dining options, and academic ambiance. Take a stroll down Taylor Street, Little Italy’s lifeline, to enjoy the old-world charm, stop by local favorites like Mario’s Italian Lemonade or visit architectural masterpieces for a glimpse into the city’s history at The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii and the Notre Dame de Chicago.

If food is your passion, you’re in luck. The neighborhood offers an exceptional variety of eateries, from traditional Italian restaurants serving homemade pasta, like Pompei and The Rosebud, to beloved bistros like Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap and Conte Di Savoia. The UIC campus adds a modern, educational flair to the area. Walk around its contemporary structures, visit the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, and soak in the bustling student life.

The Rosebud

What to Consider as a Resident

Choosing to live in University Village/Little Italy means becoming a part of a neighborhood that is as rich in history as it is forward-thinking. It’s an area that proudly celebrates its Italian-American heritage while also embracing the dynamism brought by the students of UIC.

The neighborhood is conveniently located near downtown, making it an ideal place for those who want the vibrancy of city life combined with a community feel. With a variety of housing options, ranging from traditional homes reflecting the old Italian charm to modern condos popular among students and young professionals, there’s something to suit every lifestyle.

If you’re considering making University Village/Little Italy your new home, our team would be delighted to help you find the perfect place. Stay tuned for more neighborhood spotlights on our blog, where we continue to explore the wonders of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods.