The Hill is a St. Louis neighborhood located south of Forest Park. During the early part of the 20th century, immigrants from Northern Italy settled in the area. Today, The Hill is home to over 30 Italian restaurants and businesses.
The neighborhood is named "The Hill" due to its proximity to the highest point in St. Louis, formerly named St. Louis Hill.
Italians, mainly from the north and especially from the northern Italian region of Lombardy, immigrated and settled in the area starting in the late 19th century, attracted by jobs in nearby plants established to exploit deposits of clay discovered by immigrants in the 1830s.
The growth of Italian immigration also influenced the growth of the Roman Catholic Church in the neighborhood. Located in The Hill neighborhood, the Parish of St. Ambrose was founded by members of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parish in 1903 to serve the recent Lombard immigrants. Through church membership, The Hill increased both their Northern and Southern Italian populations.
The Hill organizes many events for its community such as the Italian Heritage Parade and Festa, Christmas on The Hill, the annual Soap Box Derby, and an annual Wine Walk.
The Federation of Italian-American Organizations (FIAO) acts as an umbrella organization for the many Italian associations in the St Louis region. They sponsor adult Italian language classes in the Fall and Spring semesters, held at St. Ambrose.
Information sourced from Wikipedia. Cover image by TMS63112 and licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.