After taking a hiatus last year, Italiano’s Water Ice at 12th and Shunk is reopening

Italiano’s Water Ice, a South Philly staple that’s was around decades before some people started calling its neighborhood “LoMo,” is set to reopen this summer after taking last summer off.

Pictures came from that helpful neighbor
Pictures came from that helpful neighbor

A longtime neighbor of the shop, at 2551 S. 12th St. (at Shunk), said that owner Nancy Italiano was shocked to hear of how the news has been spreading on social media. “This place has been a South Philadelphia tradition and always ranked among the best, such as John’s or Pop’s,” the neighbor said.

The place certainly has legions of passionate fans, including one on Yelp who imagined that in the year 2021 developed countries will drop 5 million tons of Italiano’s water ice on warring countries to inspire peace.

They also claim to have originated the combination of water ice and ice cream as a “gelati” in 1975. Wonder who they might be referring to?

Italiano's Water Ice (2)

They’re not online or on social media, so to see what all they hype is about, keep your eyes peeled for their imminent reopening, which should be any day now.

21 thoughts on “After taking a hiatus last year, Italiano’s Water Ice at 12th and Shunk is reopening

  • May 20, 2014 at 9:20 am

    YES. This is the best news in a while.

    • May 20, 2014 at 9:53 am

      I will try to speak with Nancy today if I see her and get the newest update.
      Since these pictures were taken they have done some additional painting and fixing up of the property. A neighbor up my street said they were aiming for the weekend but I want to go right to the source.

      • May 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm


        • May 21, 2014 at 8:31 am

          Ah, I’ve been caught lol!
          It’s amazing how many people comment that they are bringing some home to the burbs when the lines are long. Lots of Phillies fans there too after day games.

          • May 21, 2014 at 4:50 pm

            Whatever you do, don’t open up a place in the burbs. Shame on them for bailing out with the rest of the “white flight” crowd. They shouldn’t be rewarded with an Italiano’s like they’ve been rewarded with Primo’s and Termini’s in other places.

            • May 22, 2014 at 3:31 pm

              Who do you think you are, dictating where people should live?

              • May 23, 2014 at 8:53 am

                I guess the poster is a bit upset that time honored Philadelphia traditions aren’t just based in Philadelphia anymore. Why visit the city when you can go to Cacia’s on the Black Horse Pike.

                With that said I don’t agree with the commenter at all. You go to where the money/market is. Everyone knows where they originated so there is no need to feel slighted.

                • May 23, 2014 at 4:22 pm

                  Sure. I grew up in South Philly, and something that’s always annoyed me is this attitude that there’s something wrong with people who don’t want to stay there, as if people aren’t entitled to their personal preferences.

                  That being said, in past decades, a lot more people were leaving than coming in, so I can understand why it would be a knee-jerk cause-for-alarm for some people.

                  • May 27, 2014 at 7:00 pm

                    You’re right. I get it… “Why waste time and effort addressing the challenges of sustaining a great neighborhood when you can move to some exclusive suburban utopia and just cherry pick the remaining good things you miss from the place you just ditched?”

                    • May 28, 2014 at 2:03 pm

                      The point you’re not getting is that what constitutes a “great neighborhood” is a matter of opinion. What’s “great” for you may be insufferable for someone else, and vice-versa.

                      Your use of the word “ditched” implies that people who are from South Philly have some obligation to stay there, and aren’t entitled to their own lifestyle preferences. It’s an obnoxious and all-too-common point of view among South Philly natives.

    • May 21, 2014 at 10:28 am

      miss you, Nancy

  • May 20, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Best water ice in SP when they were open before. This news is more than welcome. So happy to hear they’re back!

  • May 20, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Best water ice EVER…..Rumor has it they are opening this weekend for Memorial Day.

    • May 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      Not a rumor. Live right near there and talk to them regularly as they have been out preparing the place for a few weeks. Opening this weekend.

  • May 20, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    YES!!! Living a block of way from ITALIANO’S, we can’t wait for my FAV, GELATO !!!

  • May 20, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    This is the BEST news of the century

    • May 22, 2014 at 3:01 pm


  • May 21, 2014 at 6:18 am

    I remember when John opened on Oregon Ave. His first wife died and he went to Italy and got married to his second wife. She always had heels on when she walked down Juniper St. Pop (John) always had crates of Lemons to make the lemonade. It was in a garage. They were the good old days. If I remember right he had a son Domenic and a daughter…..That was back in the 50’s.

  • May 27, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    And of course it’s true, they did create the Gelati. No where had it but Italiano’s for years and years when I was a child, and I know this because it was my favorite. So I always looked at other water ice places for it. I also asked other water ice places to make it and charge me whatever just to have Gelati. So it is definitely true. Italiano’s is the absolute best water ice ever made anywhere.

  • May 29, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    They opened Tuesday. The line was long but worth the wait. So glad they’re back.

    • June 3, 2014 at 10:35 am

      !!!THE BEST!!!

Comments are closed.