Aug 24, 2021 A Day Trip to Providence, Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island Day Trip
Most people know Rhode Island as the smallest state in the United States, however this little state has a lot to offer with so much to be explored including city life and seaside towns. Sam and I decided to take a day to tour the historic state capital followed by a trip to Federal Hill for an Italian meal.
The Rhode Island State House
The Rhode Island State House was built between 1895-1904 and is constructed of Georgian marble which makes it one of the largest self supported marble domes in the world. As the capital of Rhode Island, Providence is the location of the Rhode Island State House.
Things to Know Before You Go:
Admission: Rhode Island State House free, open daily to the public Monday-Friday from 8:30-4:30pm.
Parking: Metered parking is available on Smith, Francis and Gaspee streets, but I noticed most metered parking spots were taken during the time we went. Providence Place Mall, which is walking distance of the State House, has free parking for the first two hours, then $2 for 2-5 hours. If you think your tour will take longer than 5 hours, the parking rates for the Providence Place Mall can be found here.
Points of Interest:
First Floor: Upon entering the building on the left is the Gettysburg gun which was damaged during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. Embedded in the floor is a bronze replica of the state seal containing an anchor and the word hope, which is the state motto.
The Senate Chamber: Serves as the meeting place to the 38 members of the Rhode Island's Senate. The architectural design of the room was influenced by the Pantheon in Rome.
The State Reception Room: Serves as a formal reception area for many official functions. The room includes a stunning piece of work created by a native Rhode Islander, Gilbert Stuart, in 1802 a portrait of George Washington.
The State House Library: Intricate in detail, the library is a three tiered room with books on each level. The library houses official documents and records of the United States. The library is also part of the Secretary of State’s office.
Dome: More than 100 feet above the first floor is the center piece of the State House, the dome. From the third floor, you can visualize the intricate detail in closer inspection. The four corners of the dome’s support structures, depict female figures illustrating education, justice, literature, and commerce.
Providence’s Federal Hill neighborhood encompasses Atwells Avenue and the surrounding streets and was the place where Italian immigrants settled in the 1900’s. The neighborhood is ever-changing, however the Italian culture has made its mark on the area. Thus, Federal Hill is also known as Rhode Island’s “Little Italy”. Federal Hill features more than twenty dining restaurants, numerous locally owned boutique/shops, and some of the best locally owned grocery markets. Some of my favorite places to eat in Rhode Island are on the strip because of the original Italian recipes passed down generation to generation. You cannot go wrong with a tasty Italian dish. Buon appetito!
DePasquale Square: Follow the red, green, and white stripes that run through the street of Atwell Avenue. In the center you, will find DePasquale Square, featuring a gorgeous fountain. On summer nights, there is often classical Italian music playing by a local artist. Many of the restaurants have outdoor seating which makes for a great night out.
Places to Dine:
Trattoria Zooma: This Littly Italy restaurant's menu includes housemade pasta made daily, wood fired pizza, and an extensive wine list. How can you go wrong with this spot? I ordered Triangoli Di Bufala which is spinach & buffalo mozzarella filled housemade raviolis with house “sciue sciue” sauce. Sam ordered Frutti Di Mare Fra Diavolo which combines mussels, baby clams, shrimp, scallop & fresh fish, spiced pomodoro, and imported De Cecco spaghetti into a wonderful dish. I highly recommend the pasta selection at this place. Both dishes were incredible. I would save this restaurant for a more upscale night or celebration out since it was white linen tablecloth and intimate setting. We went on a Tuesday and apparently their only special is on a Tuesday and it is for alcoholic beverages. The special is to either choose a wine flight (three 2 oz. pours) or enjoy a bottle of wine half off. Sam ended up picking both. I also have to include this may have been the best service I have had at a restaurant. The waiter was extremely knowledgeable about the menu, and he was also entertaining.
Costantino's Ristorante: With the restaurant being centrally located around DePasquale Square, many people opt to sit outdoors in late spring through early fall in the square with fresh blooms taking over and live Italian music. You feel transported to Italy with the atmosphere. However, with the hustle and bustle of location service can be slow at times. This place has the most extensive wine list in the area. I have ordered their pizza, but recommend drinks and appetizers here!
Pastiche: A very cozy coffee and pastry shop. Currently, no dine in options are available for this cafe due to Covid-19. I ordered my favorite coffee, a dirty vanilla chai latte. A chai latte is traditional masala chai a spiced tea from India, frothy steamed milk, and the “dirty” part is a shot of expresso. I got the small cup of this coffee and then laughed to myself since it was so tiny. It looked like a sample size, but man this coffee packs a mean punch. I was wired all evening even though I am an avid coffee drinker so I definitely recommend a small. I also work nights (nightshift RN here, where are my graveyard shift workers at) so this did not bother me at all. I also got a slice of the All American Chocolate Cake. Not my favorite since I thought this cake was very dry. Recommend this cafe for coffee/tea.
Venda Ravioli: This grocery is a must visit in Federal Hill. It specializes in imported and domestic Italian goods and serves freshly made bread. A WIDE variety of cheeses from around the globe can be found here. Can I say you will make the best charcuterie board for a wine night! There is also a deli section with dried, cured, and fresh meats. Venda Ravioli also carries a large selection of already prepared meals. One of the best secrets about this grocery is their freshly made ravioli. I swear by their ravioli and there are different sauces you can chose. Definitely, one of my favorite dinner nights when I bring some of their raviolis home. The staff was very friendly and can tell you what sauce/raviolis pairs best with different wines/cheeses.
Will keep a running list of places I have eaten on Federal Hill!
Outfit Deets: A red linen top with tassel trim detail for a spicy look. Paired with white chino shorts and a straw bag. A complete summer ensemble. Shop my look links below!