Nel Vecchio Vicinato

Three Salesian priests continue the century-old tradition of celebrating a home Mass on Saint Joseph's Day. From left to right, Father Austin Conterno, Father John Itzaina, Father Armand Oliveri, and host, Charlie Farruggia. Photo Credit: Nickolas Marinelli

One Man Preserves a Three-Generation Tradition

Charles “Charlie” Farruggia isn’t just a resident of North Beach. For many, he is the epitome of the old Italian neighborhood. Known as the “Dean of...

"Fior d'Italia" - The flower of Italy has bloomed anew

Every gardener knows that flowers don’t die; they just fade away and bloom again another day. San Franciscans thought that the “America’s Oldest...

The Castles of Telegraph Hill in San Francisco

Towering over San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, on what is arguably one of the most recognizable hills in the world, is one of San Francisco’...
 The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi today

The Other Church in North Beach

When gold was discovered in California in 1849, a fortune-hungry horde poured into Yerba Buena, which recently had been renamed San Francisco...
Looking south on Kearny from Columbus, circa 1900

Public Monuments. The statue of Benjamin Franklin

Father John Itzaina, pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Church, was the first of many to correctly respond that the statue in the center of Washington...
Valente, Marini, Perata & Company 1930s

Valente, Marini, Perata & Company

Lillian LaPira almost correctly identified last week’s mystery photograph as Valente & Marini’s original 1926 mortuary on Mission Street in the...
Marini Pond (just below Washington Square Park) after 1906 Fire

The philanthropist Frank Marini

It’s becoming increasingly common for people to approach me in public, shouting out the answer to the current week’s Nel Vecchio Vicinato question...
By 1910 St. Francis Church had built its new spires

The legacy of an old Italian photographer

Once again, Cathy Burton correctly identified the location of last week’s photograph. If she keeps this up, she’s going to be awarded a knighthood...
The actual office of the Bank of Italy at #1 Montgomery Street, 1907

The Italian-American Bank

Complimenti to Ron Derenzi of South San Francisco for almost correctly identifying the business that originally build and occupied the building on...

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