Livonia – Seven Mile
Located primarily along Seven Mile Road, though spread out across the city, Livonia is one of the largest Italian-American centers in the state of Michigan. There are innumerous Italian-American businesses, clubs, and more in the area, including Cantoro’s Italian Market, known as “The Italian Disneyland”, the Italian American Club of Livonia, Perani’s Hockey World, and countless others. Livonia is a true example of a modern suburban enclave, and also has a strong historical connection with Italian-Americans and hockey. The first recorded Italian in Livonia was John Verro, born around 1818, who was a peddler who lived in the then township of Livonia in 1870 – since then the area has grown exponentially.
There are many other notable Italian-Americans from Livonia, some of which are as follows: Al Iafrate, a 12 year veteran of the NHL and former owner of the world record for the fastest hockey shot at 105.2 miles per hour, Mike Vellucci, an assistant coach for the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins is from neighboring Farmington. Bernardo “Bernie” Carbo was an MLB player for over 10 years and is a member of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame. Sheila Taormina is a four time Olympian, an Olympic gold medalist, a member of the Michigan Sports and USA Triathlon Hall of Fame member, and was the first woman to ever qualify for the Olympics in three different sports. Mike “Superman” Modano, first overall pick in the 1988 NHL draft, a member of the NHL Hall of Fame, and one of the 100 greatest NHL players of all time.