Visit South Bend, Indiana for Notre Dame and Bruno’s pizza

Notre Dame

Located an hour and a half from Chicago and three hours from Detroit, sits South Bend, Indiana. Originally settled in the early 19th century by people in the fur trading industry, it was officially established as a city in 1865.

Henry Studebaker set up his first Studebaker wagon shop here, and people soon began to move to South Bend to work at the automobile plant. When it closed in 1963, the city lost many residents. It is now the fourth largest city in Indiana.

Born and raised in South Bend, my life was normal. Located so close to Notre Dame, I can remember always going there to take family pictures, watch football games, and walk our dog around campus.

While South Bend isn’t the typical “college town” despite the four different colleges that call South Bend home, people treated Notre Dame football like religion. Though my parents were never big fans of Notre Dame football, I have many friends whose families viewed it as another child. When Notre Dame lost, they lost.

The University of Notre Dame was originally founded in 1840. It was considered more of a boarding school when it first began, as they offered education to young men and boys. Students would pay tuition through labor to construct the college buildings.

It wasn’t until 1972 when Notre Dame University merged with the neighboring all women Saint Mary’s College that Notre Dame officially allowed women to be students.

After two fires broke out at the university, the “Golden Dome” was rebuilt again, and it sits along the famous “God Quad” on campus. With over 1,200 acres of land, it’s hard to not find a spot there with rich history.

South Bend, Indiana
South Bend, Indiana

As a child, my family would always go to this pizza place called Bruno’s. It was originally opened in 1975 by Bruno and Rosa Cataldo, and their pizza is amazing.

I vividly remember watching them make pizza through a window. As they were preparing it, they would throw flour at the window to get a kick out of all the children eagerly waiting. With Bruno and Rosa’s passing, their family still keeps their legacy going, and Bruno’s Pizza continues to be a staple in the community.

My house was more in the country and was surrounded by corn and cabbage fields. I remember driving with my mother after dance every day and seeing the farmers riding through the fields  checking their stock.

There was always something in the news about how the weather was affecting the local farmers, because South Bend weather is completely unpredictable. With an average of over 70 inches of snowfall a year, it gets extremely cold.

Last year, the record breaking low was a whopping -50 degrees with windchill. It looked as though the entire city was entrapped in ice sculptures. They rarely cancel school for snow, as they believe if the snow plows can get through, so can the kids.

However, I remember many times as a child when school was canceled, and I was ecstatic to be able to play in the snow and sled down my front yard with my dog.

In the summertime, it’s very normal. We get 100 degree weather, but we also get 70 degrees weather. If it weren’t for the snow and ice four months each year, the weather would be perfect.

South Bend, Indiana is a city not many people go to, but it is the place where I grew up and a place I hold near and dear as the city and community shaped me into the person I am today.

Though I always wished I grew up somewhere really interesting like New York City, or Los Angeles, I am happy I got to grow up in the small Midwest town of South Bend, Indiana and I wouldn’t want to call any other place home.


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