Wicked Good Guides / Boston for Visitors / What to see

North End

The most European neighborhood in the most European of American cities. Narrow streets, old men talking in Italian on benches, restaurants representing every type of Italian cooking and, during the summer, weekend festivals. The North End is also steeped in Revolutionary history (think Paul Revere and "one if by land, two if by sea"). A couple of blocks away from the Haymarket stop on the Green and Orange lines - just ask anybody to point you toward the North End.

Two dining tips: If you don't have a specific restaurant in mind, just stroll down Hanover Street and its side streets looking at menus until you find one you like. Pizzeria Regina on Hanover has some of the best pizza in the city. Don't get dessert, though - stroll over to Mike's or the Modern on Hanover for fresh cannoli and other tasty treats.

If you come on a Friday or Saturday, be sure to check out Haymarket itself - an open-air market where vendors hawk fruits, vegetables and fish at amazing prices. Even if you don't want to buy anything, it's great street theater. It's open dawn to dusk on Fridays and Saturdays around the year.

In the summer, walk down Commercial Street ntil you get to Puopolo Park, where you can watch locals play bocce (photos) - and get some nice views of inner Boston Harbor. At the entrance to the park, look for the small plaque commemorating the Great Molasses Flood of 1919 - in which 21 people drowned in molasses when a giant tank of the gooey stuff exploded (the tank sat roughly on the location of the park's baseball field).

Across Commercial Street is a good place to start exploring the North End's Revolutionary history - climb up the ramparts to the Copps Hill Burying Ground, where a number of prominent colonials are buried (and see if you can spot the tombstone that still sports holes left by Redcoats practicing their musket shooting). Nearby is Old North Church, famous as the place from which Paul Revere got his signal on which way the Redcoats were coming (but before you head over there, check out Boston's skinniest house at 44 Hull St. across from the cemetery - it's only ten feet wide.

A few blocks from the church is the Paul Revere House, which is the oldest house in Boston and, yes, where Paul Revere lived.


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