The month of March has brought us Spring, and the 100th birthday of a legend, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, celebrated poet and San Francisco’s first Poet Laureate. He is also a painter, social activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers located in San Francisco’s North Beach district.  On the occasion of this historic month, L’It...

Two things Lawrence Ferlinghetti has done in abundance — besides writing poetry — is paint and pose for pictures. And there are enough of each to fill a gallery. To that end, in honor of the North Beach bard’s 100th birthday on March 24, Rena Bransten Gallery is showing the paintings of Ferlinghetti, and Canessa Gallery is showing pictures of Ferli...

Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s hand-painted sign, taped to the window of his office at City Lights, overlooking Columbus Avenue, reads: “OPEN DOOR.” That all-inclusive ethos, which has guided the San Francisco bookstore since Ferlinghetti co-founded it in 1953, will be fully evident when the shop hosts an open house on March 24 to celebrate Ferlinghetti’s...

Much like other Little Italys in the U.S., San Francisco’s North Beach saw a decline of its  Italian population after the 1950s. Today, what points to the neighborhood’s Italian heritage is mostly the number of Italian restaurants and cafés, the signs in Italian, the green-white-red colors. Gentrification, a decline in immigration from Italy, and t...

For 83 years, October in San Francisco’s North Beach has begun with a festival celebrating the Blessed Mother. The Madonna del Lume festival, celebrating Mary’s protection of fishermen, was brought from Sicily to San Francisco and instituted in 1935. The festival first started in Porticello, Sicily, after some fishermen credited Our Lady for guidin...

Sunday, for the 150th time, a Queen Isabella and her court will march through the streets of the city’s Little Italy section, North Beach, for an Italian Heritage and Pride parade. There’s a lot to be prideful about. North Beach is the oldest section of the city, with the largest concentration of authentic Italian restaurants, including old-time in...

On Saturday, September 15, the Festa Coloniale Italiana was held in Washington Square Park. This free family event celebrates North Beach's Italian culture and heritage, including this year's honoring of the 100th anniversary of the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club. The event featured food, Italian wine, live music, the Ricco Italian Dancers, an...

Until 1909, everyone’s favorite diagonal thoroughfare was known as Montgomery Avenue, creating a de facto intersection of “Montgomery and Montgomery” at the site that would go on to become the Transamerica Pyramid six decades later. That year, the city of San Francisco, in post-earthquake recovery and consolidation mode and with more than 400,000 r...

San Francisco has always been an important location for the Italian emigration. History is mixed with innovation, and both tell the story of how Italian hard work and creativity are rewarded by the entrepreneurial spirit that finds a perfect welcome in San Francisco and its surroundings. Consul Lorenzo Ortona heads the Italian Consulate General in...

San Francisco's 64th Annual North Beach Festival wraps up Sunday evening in Little Italy, organizers said. The free festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Grant Avenue between Columbus Avenue and Filbert Street, on Columbus Avenue between Broadway and Green Street and on Vallejo and Green streets between Grant and Columbus avenues. From 2 t...