To no surprise, Little Italy is rich in European flavour. Sidewalks are regularly jammed with locals and visitors—Italian and Portuguese families, and hip 20- to 30-somethings, respectively—who flood the strip for the authentic espresso bars, chic lounges and sensational Italian cuisine. Of course, residents find refuge in two flanking neighbourhoods, Palmerston (north) and Trinity–Bellwoods (south), each bringing peaceful, tree-lined surroundings, with small, charming houses, myriad schools and ample green space. Overall, it’s a relaxed vibe. But, it can turn festive on a dime. Don’t plan to sleep during the World Cup.