Italy in the city is a two part program of guided walks from wharf to waterfront, exploring the North Beach neighborhood and 150 years of San Francisco history and culture, through the story of Italian immigration and settlement. In October 2013, Genius Loci is offering part A, which starts in Fisherman's Wharf and continues down into Washington Square, the heart of North Beach. |
The first Italian immigrants came to San Francisco at the time of the Gold Rush, and settled near the waterfront in North Beach, one of the city's sunniest and most beautiful quarters. By the 1920s, Italian-Americans were almost 10% of the San Francisco population and had become a shaping force in the city's artistic, political, economic and gastronomic life, just as the community was also being transformed by its experience of life in California. In the years following World War II, Italian-Americans assimilated into the American mainstream and thereby became increasingly invisible as a community.
Neighborhoods like North Beach, which still contain an important number of Italian businesses, organizations and residents and visibly preserve the history and culture, are privileged places from which to learn and experience the legacy of this community.
Our walk includes visits or material on:
Old piers and produce markets, food manufactures, importers, and restaurateurs
The marble halls of finance established by Italian-American business innovators, who changed the reach and scope of the banking industry and introduced new ways of thinking about business and markets.
Social clubs, churches, and mutual aid societies that redefined ethnic and national identity
Italian theatre and music, and the impresarios and artists that made them what they were.
Italian coffee culture the places, equipment, and processes that brought espresso to the West
The legacy of Italian artisans -- in food, fashion, and more
Fishermen and farmers, separation and coexistence in local symbols and rituals
The Italian-American love affair with baseball, and its role in the immigrant experience.
Each part is a 2 mile excursion, and takes 3 hours. At a leisurely pace and as flat as we can make it, with a break for Italian (of course) coffee and light snack (included in the price of the tour). For Part A, we meet in Ghirardelli Square. Part B, offered in November, begins at the Ferry Building, and winds its way through Jackson Square and up Columbus to the Park.
Genius Loci uses closed circuit personal radio listening devices to facilitate audio quality and allow for a private experience. We take only SMALL groups -- defined as 12 or fewer participants.
Ghirardelli Square (View)
900 North Point Street (meet at the Mermaid Fountain)
San Francisco , CA 94109
|Minimum Age: 14|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|