2023 Guide to the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy, New York City, USA

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The Feast of San Gennaro is a celebration of faith in honor of the Patron Saint of Naples, Italy. Little Italy in New York City celebrates the Feast of San Gennaro from September 11 to 24, 2023. During those 11 days, Little Italy is a red, white and green extravaganza with live music, special guests, a great parade and delicious Italian food!


San Gennaro was the Bishop of Benevento, Italy. He was caught up in the persecution by Emperor Diocletian. San Gennaro was tortured but refused to denounce Christ. He was thrown into a furnace and somehow came through it with no serious injuries. He was then beheaded.

San Gennaro is honored as Naple’s principal patron. Neopolitans pray to him for protection from fires, earthquakes, plagues, droughts and Mt. Vesuvius.

When Italian immigrants settled in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, the Neopolitans settled on Mulberry Street in Little Italy. In 1926, the Neopolitans had a one day block party for San Gennaro. Year after year, it continued and grew until now it lasts 11 days and more than one million people will be coming to Little Italy for the celebration.

The Celebration

Every festival needs a parade and the Grand Procession is a fantastic parade. This year’s Grand Marshall will be Kathrine Narducci, a NYC native and actress (“Sopranos”). The September 16th procession will have marching bands, entertainers, dancers, revelers, colorful floats and the most significant feature, the statue of San Gennaro.

If you’d like to go to the festival and look the part, see these colorful, unique clothes.

The festival stage is located on the corner of Grand and Mott Streets in Little Italy. The lineup of live entertainment will start at 6:30 pm each evening.

There will be a Blessing of the Stands on Thursday, September 15, 2023. A Solemn High Mass Celebrating the Patron Saint of Naples will be held at the Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood on Monday, September 17, 2023.

A Taste of Italy

For almost a century, the San Gennaro festival in Little Italy has been known for the aromas in the air of fried dough and sausages and peppers. So many people come to stroll the strip of food vendors, trying to decide zeppole or cannoli. The Feast regulars have learned how to party with food in one hand.

One thing you can expect at the Feast is professional eaters amazing everyone. This year will have the first annual Zeppole Eating Competition sponsored by Danny on the Corner. And then you can watch the Meatball Eating Competition. The most famous competition is the Cannoli Eating Contest with brave contestants attacking mountains of cannolis from Ferrara Bakery. This year’s festival will see the second annual Pizza Eating Contest.

There are so many great Italian restaurants in Little Italy, so how do you choose just one when you want an actual sit down meal? Here are the 10 Best Italian Restaurants in Little Italy as chosen by the users of TripAdvisor.

  1. Pep’s on Grand
  2. Benito One
  3. Ferrara Bakery & Cafe
  4. Gelso & Grand
  5. Il Cortile
  6. La Bella Ferrara
  7. Paesano of Mulberry St.
  8. Caffe Palermo
  9. Casa D’Angelo
  10. La Mela Ristorante

Visiting New York City

If you’d like to go to New York City for the Feast of San Gennaro, you should consider the following hotels. They are all offering discounted rates which can save you money on your stay.

  • 1 Hotel Central Park 40% Discount
  • The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel 26% Discount
  • Hotel 32 32 25% Discount
  • YOTEL New York Times Square 24% Discount
  • 45 Times Square Hotel 20% Discount
  • Hotel Beacon 20% Discount
  • The Gallivant Times Square 17% Discount
  • Arlo Midtown 15% Discount
  • The New Yorker A Wyndham Hotel 15% Discount
  • Arlo Soho 15% Discount
  • HGU New York 15% Discount
  • Arlo NoMad 15% Discount
  • The FIDI Hotel 12% Discount
  • Casa Cipriani New York 10% Discount
  • The Wallace 10% Discount
  • OYO Times Square 10% Discount
  • The Marlton Hotel 10% Discount
  • Truss Hotel Times Square 10% Discount
  • M Social Hotel Times Square New York 10% Discount
  • The Sherry Netherland 10% Discount

While you’re in New York City, you can see some of the sights and learn about what you’re seeing on a tour. The Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour NYC and NYC East Side Culture & Food Tasting Tour are good values, informative and you get food sampling.

If you’re going to be flying into New York City, book your airline ticket here and you can save money on your flight.