About Us


The Little Italy Neighborhood Association, Inc., (herein also referred to as "LINA" or "Little Italy Association"),  is a NY non-profit corporation and 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity. 


LINA  has the specific consent of the NYS Attorney General to act as a district  management corporation, and to undertake efforts to commemorate and revitalize the Little Italy Historic District, located along the Lyell Avenue Corridor, in the City of Rochester, New York.  

Donations  made to the Little Italy Neighborhood Association are tax deductible, and help fund our organization's mission and cause.  

LINA works with, and advocates on behalf of, area residents and businesses, in the areas of public safety; beautification; promotion; revitalization and economic development. 

Rochester's Little Italy has over 150 Years of History!

Please  see the "Downloads" section of this website, for a detailed Historical Narrative about  the Italian-American community's 150 year history along the Lyell  Avenue Corridor, and for a "Map" of the Little Italy Historic District. City of Rochester Historian Blake McKelvey's article: "The Italians of Rochester, an Historical Review," may also be found in the Downloads section.

Mission, Goals and Vision

Rochester has a very rich history, particularly with regard to the many contributions that Italian immigrants made to the development of the City in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Lyell area could become an inclusive "living storybook" with new businesses, public art, public piazzas, special events, and other amenities, which could become an attraction to the region as a whole.  That would be a genuine form of Economic Development  that could become a model for other historic neighborhoods in the City of Rochester.



Our mission is to commemorate the rich history of Rochester's 150 year-old "Little Italy Historic District, and to promote and facilitate its revitalization, development, preservation and restoration.  Our aim is to attract new retail, housing and business investment to the area, (both public and private sector investment), which would serve to create  new jobs, and help alleviate poverty in the Lyell Gateway Corridor; and create the Lyell area's "living storybook". 

Our mission includes facilitating the transformation of the historic district area into a safe, vibrant, and sustainable 21st-century urban neighborhood, modeled upon the very successful Little Italy San Diego “Community Benefit District” model.  Please see:  www.LittleItalySD.com for more information on their programs and district model.  

We would like to help  generate the rebirth of the Lyell Corridor, so that it becomes an attractive, and very inclusive, business and cultural epicenter, and a revived "destination  place." The area has suffered from many years of de-urbanization, urban blight, poverty and neglect. Our efforts will not only commemorate the history of the area, but also lead to changing  the negative perception of the Lyell area. We are committed to bringing  about a new economic driver for the Upstate NY region, which would benefit the entire community and people of all cultures.

The Lyell Avenue Corridor is the primary North West Gateway into the City of Rochester, and it ushers-in thousands of people each day to  Downtown  Rochester. The area is ripe for revitalization and investment, and its current state of affairs affects neighboring projects, such as the city's new "ROC the Riverway" project; the adjacent High Falls District; the Genesee Brewery; the Greentopia Eco-District, and the new "MCC Student Campus" operating right next  door, at Kodak on State  Street.  

Our mission also includes helping the  less fortunate, by raising funds to benefit other 501 (c)(3) charities, which serve the needs of children and the elderly, as well as the hungry, poor, needy, and homeless. 


Our goals include, but are not limited to, the following:  

1) Welcoming & attracting new business, housing and retail investment;  

2) Helping create jobs and promoting greater economic prosperity;  

3) Raising funds for the needy, hungry, homeless and less fortunate;  

4)  Helping alleviate poverty through economic development, job training,  and by promoting entrepreneurship and education;  

5) Promoting recreational, cultural, sport and culinary opportunities;  

6)  Fostering unity, solidarity and collaboration within the community, and: 

7) Promoting cultural exchange and information-sharing, and most importantly, promoting diversity, warmth and inclusiveness.   


Our  longer-term vision foresees some very exciting developments, such as a  new downtown "Little Italy Welcome Center"; a Little Italy  Federal Credit Union; an authentic Italian Café and Retail Market, which would feature coffee, beverages, and walkable access to fresh food for area residents and visitors; an arts theatre and conference center; a Little Italy Sunday Farmer's Market; and a new Little Italy Newsletter to be published quarterly, with news updates on the area's exciting events, programs, and store openings, as well as other interesting initiatives, which could help create greater prosperity for the area, and enrich the lives of all Rochesterians.  

The Rochester area is ranked 2nd in NY State (only to Staten Island), and 9th in the entire nation, for its number of Italian-Americans; but oddly enough, with the exception of local food establishments, the Italian-American community's cultural events and programs have been absent from Downtown Rochester for many years.  

The  Italian culture is now flourishing again in Rochester, with a number of  new arrivals expected. Many other new cultures are also migrating to the  Rochester area, and they utilize the same Lyell Avenue Corridor as a place to first settle-into when they arrive. They seek the American Dream, just as the Italian community did, for over 150 years, and as they still do, to this day.    

A  fantastic "Little Italy Festival" was held on Aug 12 & 13, 2017, for the first time in over 30 years in Downtown Rochester, demonstrating the strength of the Italian-American community.  It was ranked as a "Best Cultural Festival" of Rochester, by the readers of City Newspaper. 

The 5th Annual Little Italy Festival was held on June  16, 2018, at Marina Auto Stadium, to celebrate the official 150th Anniversary of Italian American community in the City of Rochester (1868 - 2018)!  The event succeeded in its mission to be the first major public event held in the Lyell area in over four decades, and it helped draw attention to the Lyell area's need for revitalization.

Our most sincere hope is that all those who collaborate with our association, and participate in our programs, feel the true warmth and friendship of the Italian-American people and culture.

In October 2018, our exciting Little Italy Revitalization Initiative, received national recognition, and was named "Rochester's Best New City Center Revitalization Strategy," by Revitalization: The Journal of Urban, Rural and Environmental Resilience, which is published by a leading urban planning group from the Washington, D.C. area.  

We are truly grateful and honored by this very prestigious designation! 

Read all about it by clicking on the following web-link: 


Please follow us on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages at: @LittleItalyROC for updates about our exciting programs and events.   


Thank you sincerely for your kind support!  

Grazie tante e cordiali saluti a tutti!


Please help us fund our mission. 

 Donations are tax deductible.  

 Thank you for your support!

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