ABSTRACT. Ethnic neighborhoods have long been used to facilitate urban revitalization in older, inner-city neighborhoods in American cities, but this strategy is much less common in European cities. This is especially surprising because immigrants make up a significant percentage of the population in a large number of those cities. This article explores the role that a largely invented Little Italy has played in revitalizing a section of downtown San Diego in contrast to the difficulty of creating such districts in European cities. The question posed here is, Will this contrast in approaches and outcomes remain indefinitely, or will the use of ethnically themed revitalization strategies become more alike as globalization and the expansion of the European Union serve to lessen historic ethnic tensions and increase the number of distinctive immigrant districts in Europe?