St. Louis's Hill Area Reaches New Heights

Top Quote Local author narrates a proud Italian neighborhood through vintage pictures. End Quote
  • St. Louis, MO-IL (1888PressRelease) September 06, 2014 - Arcadia Publishing's newest pictorial history text, Images of America series is St. Louis's The Hill by author Rio Vitale, takes you through the early Italian immigrate settlements in downtown St. Louis in the early 1890's and on through to a meatball-eating contest at Berra Park as a part of the Columbus Day festivities in 2013. The book boasts more than 200 vintage and modern images chronicling the growth and change of this St. Louis community.

    The Hill, located just south of Forest Park in south-central St. Lois, was once a refuge for Italians to find work (which included mining, construction and shipping). By the start of the 20th century, business's started to sprout and roots were permanently planted.

    There are generations of families still living in the same houses as grandparents or even great grandparents in 100 plus year old shot gun homes which line the Hill streets today. Within 'The Hill', Mr. Vitale explores the ups and downs through the century-plus span in which the neighborhood blossomed into one of the largest Italian American communities in the United States.

    Highlights of the Book Include:
    Images of baseball great Yogi Berra, who grew up in the Hill
    The difference between two main Italian immigration groups from Italy: Those who came from northern Italy and those from the southern portion of the country.
    The industrial surge within the Hill that impacted St. Louis and beyond.

    Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or online.

    Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America's people and places. Have we done a book on your town? Visit

    Author of St. Louis's The Hill
    Rio Vitale 55, is a native of St. Louis MO. He was baptized at St. Ambrose Church by his cousin Rev. Salvatore Polizzi and while did not spend his youth on the Hill, he had always had a special affinity for area. In 2010, he bought a home on the Hill across from St. Ambrose School and restored it.

    He received a BS in Computer Science from Webster University in St. Louis, MO and an MBA of Business Administration from Fontbonne University in St. Louis. He was delighted by the opportunity to compile and edit this photographic history of the Hill.

    Rio is an active volunteer for the Italian American Community. He serves as vice president of the Italian American Heritage Corporation, is former president of the Italia America Bocce Club where he now serves as a director.

    He hopes that this work will bring back fond memories and inspire the telling of more colorful stories. Rio regards the book as a present to the City of St. Louis on the occasion of its 250th birthday.

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