Staunchly blue-collar South Philadelphia, centre of Philadelphia’s black community since the Civil War, is also home to many of the city’s Italians; opera singer Mario Lanza and pop stars Fabian and Chubby Checker grew up here. It’s also where to come for an authentic – and very messy – Philly cheesesteak, and to rummage through the wonderful Italian Market (another Rocky location), which runs along 9th Street south from Christian Street. One of the last surviving urban markets in the USA, it features wooden market stalls packed to overflowing with bric-a-brac and various produce – most famously, mozzarella. South Street, the original boundary of the city, is now one of Philadelphia’s main nightlife districts, with dozens of cafés, bars, restaurants and nightclubs lined up along the few blocks west from Front Street; there are also many good book, record and clothing shops for browsing by day or evening.

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