This collection also tells the story of the millions of everyday Italians who settled throughout Louisiana and the American Southeast. In the 1920s, iconic New Orleans neighborhoods such as the French Quarter and the Marigny were predominantly Italian. Italian-Americans owned and operated local many of the business establishments, a number of which survive today. The popular muffaletta sandwich featured at Central Grocery and the mouth-watering confections and desserts of such local, century-old institutions as Angelo Brocato’s and Gambino’s are vestiges of this area. Famous restaurants like Carmelo’s and Tony Moran’s still serve Italian specialties made from recipes handed down through generations. These contributions are also recognized and highlighted throughout the museum.
As an added bonus, the museum opens up to the Piazza d’Italia (Italian Plaza). The piazza is a pleasant location amid the bustle of downtown New Orleans to relax and enjoy the soothing sounds and sights of water cascading over reproductions of classic Roman arches and aqueducts.