In October, Little Italy opened its streets to San Diego residents to celebrate the country’s largest Italian homecoming – FESTA! Visitors were treated to authentic Italian music and food, a bocce ball tournament, a colorful flag precession, and the ever-popular Gesso Italiano (Italian Chalk) competition. In honor of Balboa Park’s centennial anniversary, the Gesso Italianio 2015 asked chalk artists to portray images that paid tribute to the park. The results were more than impressive.

Chalk artists from Canyon Crest Academy (CCA)  earned first place in the high school category, earning CCA the title of Gesso Italiano Best High School, as well as a $250 cash prize. The talented team of students consisted of Isabella Spadone, Sophia Bayat, Tiana Mamaghani, and Harmonie Lau. On how it felt to come together and create their koi pond masterpiece, Isabella and Tiana shared, “Gesso was a really great experience for us. It really helped us learn about teamwork while we created something beautiful.” To learn more visit