What Residents Want People to Know About Revitalized Little Italy
After a gruesome act of violence took place in Little Italy on Sunday, residents want people to know that that is not the Little Italy they know.Photo: Video by kmtv.com
Omaha's Little Italy area has long been known for its close knit nature. A community of family and friends are now at a loss after the matriarch of a prominent South Omaha family dies.
On Sunday night police say 93-year-old Louise was beaten and raped. The suspect, 19-year-old Sergio Perez is now behind bars.
The phrase “Bella Vita” can be seen throughout the Little Italy neighborhood. It means the “good life” in Italian and after Sunday’s gruesome events, residents want people to know that that is not the South Omaha they know. It really is the good life to live in Little Italy.
“Everyone is a pretty tight knit family over here. Everyone watches over everyone,” said Cascio’s Steakhouse Owner, Alfie Cascio.
In the early 1900's immigrants came from Italy to Omaha because they believed the streets were lined with gold, there was endless opportunity here. Families such as Louise's and the Cascio family saw the potential in Little Italy. Even new businesses see its allure.
“There have been a lot of people here. My family, we lived across the street next to a gas station that we tore down. There,is the Vendeti family that has been here for years, businesses such as Orsi’s, we even have some new comers coming in,” said Cascio.
After such a gruesome crime as the one that took place on Sunday, Alfie Cascio wants people to know that that’s not the South Omaha he and its residents know.
“You know we don't have any crime around this area. People say you know go to South Omaha and they get a little nervous. We have no problems here at all,” said Cascio.
Alfie believes that the Little Italy neighborhood can get back to the community people such as his grandfather and long time residents such as Louise once knew.
“Eventually I really do think this place will turn for the best,” said Cascio.