Annexed to Columbus in 1862, this residential enclave adjacent to the Short North is populated by young professionals, artists and, of course, Italians who take genuine pride in where they live.

Annexed to Columbus in 1862, this residential enclave adjacent to the Short North is populated by young professionals, artists and, of course, Italians who take genuine pride in where they live.

Drink up:

St. James Tavern

1057 N. Fourth St., Italian Village

614-294-0064

stjamestavern.com

Great neighborhoods require at least one great neighborhood bar, and Italian Villagers enjoy such a place in the St. James. Regulars pack the place on weekends to enjoy quality craft beer on tap and in bottles, several pool tables and the comfort that so often comes from a dim, wood-paneled watering hole. If you're looking to burn through some accumulated couch change, the bar also features a great jukebox and Galaga.

Eat up:

Tasi

680 N. Pearl St., Italian Village

614-222-0788

tasicafe.com

This self-proclaimed "back alley gem" is the creation of Tasi and Kent Rigsby, proprietors of Rigsby's Kitchen and two of the most respected names in Columbus cuisine. Like their more famous restaurant, this smaller spot glistens with creativity, neighborhood character and top-shelf eats. From its quaint, brick-lined interior, Tasi offers all-day breakfast, classic comfort food, artisan sandwiches and a decent selection of wine and beer.

Have fun:

Columbus Italian Festival

Oct. 8-10

columbusitalianfestival.com

As the summer festival season comes to a close each October, thousands flock to the St. John the Baptist Italian Catholic Church, 720 Hamlet St., for one last great block party. This one is smaller than most - but as good as any. You'll find Old World dancing, bocce tournaments and traditional Italian fare to enjoy on brick streets as the sun goes down over the city. There's really nothing like it.