Little Italy Landmark Sign


If you find yourself lost in Little Italy, San Diego, all you have to do is look up! The Little Italy Landmark Sign will let you know you’re right at home. Lit for the first time in October 2000 at the 7th Annual Little Italy FESTA!, the sign commemorates the historical neighborhood that was the hub of the world’s tuna fishing and canning industry up until the 1960s.

The sign is nautically themed to represent the immigrant community who came before us with portholes at the top of the pillars, blue neon lettering and cables that hold the sign up. The mosaic tile work on each side of the street tells the story of how this historical community is tied to the bay, the church and the Italian homeland. This sign is a testament to the preservation of Little Italy’s cultural heritage and the ongoing innovation of this dynamic urban ethnic neighborhood in Downtown San Diego.

This sign was designed and created by The Little Italy Design Committee, The Little Italy Association Board, New City America, Inc., Deform, Mielke Design and UltraSign. It was funded by the Centre City Development Corporation & Councilman Byron Wear–City of San Diego.

Events Under the Sign

Some of the most memorable events in Little Italy have happened under the Little Italy sign; such as the XX Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony Celebration in 2006 and 2006 FIFA World Cup Celebration. The stories of these events and the Little Italy Landmark Sign are permanently etched in granite and mounted to the Little Italy sign’s pillars. Come and relive the experience and read the stories of these amazing events.