1 Food & History Tour $ 50.00 PP

Join Master Chef and Historian, Walter Potenza, in the discovery of great foods and history of Federal Hill in Providence. Our Premiere Food Tour will take you to different locations where you will be sampling Cheeses, Charcuterie, and Antipasti, while receiving a presentation on ingredients present in the repertoire of Italian Cookery. You will also learn food terminology, products information, how to shop, how to store foods and anything that may be of interest in expanding your culinary horizon. Throughout the walking event you will meet the people who make it possible for Federal Hill to be recognized as a food and historical destination in the USA. Your walking tour will end at Chef Walters Cooking School where Chef Walter will present an "Olive Oil & Balsamic Tasting", and a taste of the "Wine of the Day!  After the tasting you will visit the Federal Hill Heritage Center Photo Exhibit of the first and only early Italian Immigration collection in Rhode Island located at 286 Atwells Avenue.

Since 1886 Federal Hill in Providence has been the center for the Italian Immigration settlers. Our walking tours provided you with the most real-life experience and in-depth discovery of the life, customs and social fabric of the area. Chef Walter Potenza is the foremost expert and historian on Federal Hill. Immerse yourself into the everyday living of one the most respected "Little Italy" in North America. You will be pleasantly rewarded by the knowledge and the people you meet. Ciao

Brief History of Federal Hill

The turn of the Century became a time of transition for food and traditions. Specialties such as lentils, polenta, calamari and baccala' were peasant foods with which Italians were familiar and accustomed to eating, but were also foods which estranged them from other nationalities. These foods were not available in local grocery stores or listed on restaurant menus. As Italian communities gathered together and developed in section of cities, food was only one, yet a primary factor in bringing immigrants together The very name "Federal Hill" developed through the years, and although unclear historically, some believe that it was so called because the Federal Troops, camped on what is today the area around the State House. Others have different versions, yet it is certain that Federal Hill started on Spruce Street. Spruce Street runs parallel to today's Atwells Avenue, but at the beginning of the century it was the cradle of the Rhode Island Italian Colony or "Little Italy" as it is commonly called. Very few street are entitled to such recognition; to Rhode Islanders it is the equivalent to what Mulberry Street means to New York City, or the North End to Boston. It was on this very street one hundred and twenty five years ago that many noted man and woman began their way into the New World and created a future for their families based on solid ethical traditions. The first group of Italian immigrants settled on Federal Hill in 1870 and continued until 1910. In the early days of settlement, not only in Rhode Island but throughout the United States, the church was the focal point. Due to the severe handicap and to obstacle created by the lack of knowledge of the English language , most immigrants relied on the pastor for the translation of letters, documents, birth certificates and referral of doctors and undertakers, and for the most important factor, that of a job placement.

Federal Hill Food & History Walking Tours 286 Atwells Avenue Providence RI 02903 / 401.273.2652/ info@federalhilltours.com


  Federal Hill Culinary & History Walking Tours • Summer - Fall
  • Walking Tour with Chef's Tasting Table and Educational Presentations
  • Team Building Tour for Corporate, Private Groups and more
  • Walking Tour with Cooking Class, full participation (call for details)
  • Federal Hill Tours in conjunction with Chef Walters Cooking School      

              Federal Hill Culture & History Tours for schools

federal hill providence


The Noble History of the Italians in Rhode Island

BOOK YOUR FOOD & HISTORY TOUR    401.273.2652  $50 PP


All our Tours include a visit to our Federal Hill Heritage Center Exhibit Museum

2 Walking Food Tour with Cooking Class

Historical Tour of Federal Hill plus a  Hands-On Cooking Class (topic of your choice, or you leave it to us), ) followed by lunch or dinner and 1 glass of our suggested wine to complement the event.

Lunch Class with 5 recipes $ 95.00 PP

Dinner Class with 7-8 recipes $ 110.00 PP

Minimum 4 participants required

Our best offering and highly requested

Call 401.273.2652 for addition details