Our Mission:

The Bella Vista Neighbors Association (BVNA) improves Bella Vista’s quality of life and strengthens community bonds. BVNA encourages civic involvement, provides a neutral and public discussion forum, preserves and augments our institutions and character, supports the delivery of government services, and promotes dialogue with elected officials.  We are an independent and nonprofit organization.

Welcome to Bella Vista

We are a neighborhood of approximately 7,000, roughly bounded by South Street and Washington Avenue, 6th Street and 11th Street. Although we are primarily a residential neighborhood, we are fortunate that a number of art galleries, coffee shops, and boutiques have set up shop here. And, two of Philadelphia’s liveliest commercial strips, South Street and the Italian Market, pass through our boundaries.

It’s been that way for decades. The old-timers who still dot the neighborhood – many of whom have long lived on one block; in one house – love sharing reminiscences of newsstands, barber shops, and corner delis long gone. They remember when bambinos played stickball in the streets, and nanas in house dresses swept their sidewalks every day.

That’s because the neighborhood is located at the northern-most edge of South Philadelphia, the city’s enclave for Italian immigrants. You can still feel a touch of sunny Italia in the air in the heady aromas of garlic and red gravy, of piping hot espresso and just-baked bread.

One of the area’s landmarks is closely tied to that immigrant history. It’s the Fleisher Art Memorial, which takes as its motif a sprawling Romanesque structure and as its maxim, a mission to help the “world come and learn art.” The nation’s oldest tuition-free art school, it was founded by the son of German Jewish immigrants to provide art classes to the new immigrants who worked in his factory. Read more