Heinz History Center

October 5
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Little Italy Days may have come and gone, but the celebration of Italian heritage continues this weekend in the Burgh. On Sunday, October 5th, help kick off National Italian Heritage Month at the Senator John Heinz History Center in the Strip.

Hosting its inaugural Italian Heritage Day festivities, the Heinz History Center invites visitors of all ages to enjoy a day filled with interactive and multi-sensory cultural activities. All children ages 17 and under will receive free admission to the special family-friendly event.

Ready to say ciao? Explore Italian American history and culture as you learn basic Italian vocabulary with La Scuola d’Italia Galileo Galilei and then record your own family memories and oral history with Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh.

What would an Italian celebration be without the food, right? Taste delish Italian cuisine from Pittsburgh vendors, including Mercurio’s, Mancini’s, The Common Plea, The Olive Tap, MixStirs Café and more. Step into the Center’s Weisbrod Kitchen Classroom to sample fresh ingredients from traditional Italian American fare during demos led by Slow Food Pittsburgh. Next, discover traditional farming techniques used in Old World Italy, such as sorting bean seeds and making gnocchi, along with the local Italian Garden Project.

Ready to get active? Test your skills on the bocce court with tips from Major League Bocce members, and sway to the sweet sounds of roaming musician Edwardo the Accordionist.

Tu e la tua famiglia are also invited to delve into your personal family heritage and lineage, as you build your own family tree and learn the meaning of your Italian family name in the History Center’s Detre Library & Archives.

Head up to the 5th floor of the Mueller Center to visit an Italian American bazaar filled with vendors and outreach tables. Explore the offerings of local Italian heritage groups, including Roots in the Boot, University of Pittsburgh’s Italian Nationality Room, Lucchesi Nel Mondo, Mondo Italiano, Societa Dante Alighieri, Ciao Pittsburgh, Mosites Motorsports and Animal Friends of Pittsburgh.

Brady Smith with the Senator John Heinz History Center says that  Italian Heritage Day is expected to become an annual event. Sponsored by Mascaro Construction, the event is presented by the History Center’s Italian American collection, which is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Italian Americans in Western Pennsylvania. One of the largest in the country, the collection—which was founded in 1990—houses artifacts, archival materials and oral histories that document the pivotal role Italian Americans have played in shaping the region.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...