Nestled just Southeast of Center City, Bella Vista is the first neighborhood in the city populated mostly by Italian immigrants. Translated to English as “beautiful sight,” Bella Vista marks the home of Philadelphia’s Italian Market. the S. 9th Street corridor where residents and visitors alike can taste fresh food and drink from a variety of cultures and ethnicities. Choose between DiBruno Brothers and Claudio’s for your cheeses and olive oil. Or head over to South Philly Barbacoa, located at 9th and Ellsworth Streets, it is one of the most popular Mexican food destinations in Philadelphia, and is nationally recognized for their slow-roasted meats and in-house cultivated corn tortillas. Ralph’s Italian Restaurant, a long-time staple for Bella Vista and South Philadelphia residents, is the oldest Italian Restaurant in the United States. Ralph’s is famous for their red-sauce dishes and wholesome pasta entrées. John’s Water Ice has been operating in Bella Vista since 1945, with their Italian ices having been featured on the Travel Channel. It quickly became obvious why President Barack Obama visited John’s Water Ice during his Presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012. His go-to favorite is the lemon flavor water ice! My weekly visit to the freshest and oldest butcher shop in the city is none other than Esposito’s Meats. An anchor in the neighborhood since the early 1900’s. I’m always greeted with a smile from my buddy Charles or Monica Esposito, the newest member of the family-owned business. As you move just a few short blocks north towards to 6th st, you will end up in the historical Queen Village area. Actually, named by the real estate agents in the 1960’s who sold the new and restored homes there in honor of the Swedes and their queen, Christina, to acknowledge the neighborhood’s earliest inhabitants. Today, Queen Village is also popular for young families due to the coveted public school, Meredith Elementary. It is recognized in Philadelphia to have a strong student achievement. For this reason alone, there is a premium on the real estate on the homes that fall within the catchment. Buyers recognize that their investment is not only in the oldest neighborhood of Philadelphia, but also in their child’s education.