You may have the universe if I may have Italy.
Giuseppe Verdi

Culture, camaraderie, and connection to boot.

Convivio is a literary work by Dante in which he commented on the philosophy and culture of the day. Convivio is also a state of mind. Whenever you might see a group of people breaking bread together as the Italians so famously do—enjoying the moment, the company, and the conversation—that is the essence of Convivio. When you think of Convivio, think of love of life and culture. 


What do you bring to the Convivio table?

Mission Statement

Convivio cultivates community and fellowship while advancing Italian cultural identity
through education and research, social enrichment, and innovative programming.


Convivio strives to be San Diego’s premier Italian cultural organization—promoting Italian culture through education and scholarly research—and embracing innovative approaches to cultural advancement. As a learning organization with a culture of inquiry as its foundation and an emphasis on community development and increased social awareness, Convivio has the following objectives:

  • Promote the study of Italian language, arts, and culture
  • Cultivate partnerships with academia
  • Support scholarly research in Italian Studies
  • Foster Italian community emerging leadership
  • Provide scholarships and grants across scholarly disciplines
  • Preserve Italian heritage and identity and relate the Italian immigrant experience
  • Encourage collaboration with cultural partners

Convivio sponsors events such as educational lectures, film screenings, heritage exhibitions, artisan showcases, and musical performances. Our auxiliary Web sites include, the digital repository of Italian-community historical photographs, documents, and oral histories; and, a virtual piazza for local Italian-community resources. Our newsletter, From the Italo-Files, highlights the local Italian community news.

Founded in 2003, Convivio is an IRS-designated 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization.


Convivio strives toward the perpetuation of Italianità, the Italian experience, and the Italian American narrative while emphasizing a broader purpose of fostering unity and collaboration. To that end, Convivio has two objectives:

  1. Establish the Convivio Center to serve as a community cultural hub providing programs and events. The Convivio Center will represent a unifying element for the local Italian community: By serving as a catalyst for collaboration of the numerous Italian community groups all working independently for a similar cause, the center will help these organizations to share vital resources and increase their collective impact—a space in which to find common ground and a home for the Italian community.
  2. Establish the Virtual Italian Cultural Institute (VICI), an educational resource to be founded through collaboration with academic, business, and civic partners in order to promote Italian Studies and scholarship and foster multicultural awareness and understanding. The Virtual Italian Cultural Institute will also serve to showcase new elements emerging from the culture alongside the rich Italian contributions of the past.

Convivio will achieve its goals for the educational and social benefit of the general public interested in Italian culture, as a tribute to the Italians whose immense contributions have shaped our culture, and as a legacy for the Italians of a new generation who want to preserve their historical narrative and advance their cultural traditions. Ultimately, Convivio envisions increased social capital arising from the establishment of the center and institute, thus adding an element of renewal to the whole of our collective cultural landscape.


Convivio holds as its core values—

  • Integrity
  • Community
  • Inquiry
  • Collaboration
  • Innovation
  • Compassion
  • Respect

Convivio’s aim is to cultivate a sense of communitas and caritas through its approaches while combining education and scholarly research with community engagement and enrichment to promote a new model of Italian cultural advancement—one based on a larger sense of unity and pursuit of a common purpose.


:: 2017

  • Amici House established in Little Italy
  • Capital campaign for Convivio Center launched

:: 2016

  • The Little Italy Heritage Commission launched

:: 2015

  • Convivio Communitas Award for Leadership launched
  • Convivio Scholars program launched

:: 2014

  • Phase II of Convivio Center vision begins

:: 2013

  • Opening of the Convivio Center, Little Italy San Diego

:: 2012

  • Construction and remodel for the Convivio Center
  • ItalianSanDiego and Vantaggio program launched

:: 2011

  • Space secured for the Convivio Center, Little Italy San Diego

:: 2010

  • Convivio Community Fund established

:: 2009

  • San Diego’s Fishing Industry print volume published
  • Convivio Center campaign launched

:: 2008

  • Italian School of La Jolla established
  • Films al Fresco launched

:: 2007

  • San Diego’s Little Italy print volume published
  • Italian Community Archives physical repository established at UCSD

:: 2006

  • Italian Historical Society of San Diego established
  • Italian Community Digital Archives established

:: 2005

  • Several events highlighting arts and science are co-sponsored with Honorary Italian Vice Consulate of San Diego

:: 2004

  • Convivio charter established

:: 2003

  • Convivio founded

We Did It Our Way

A little taste of some of the arts and culture through Phase I of the Convivio Center in Little Italy from 2013 to 2015. Videos courtesy of Louis Cutino.

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