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North Beach

North Beach, rich in Italian heritage compresses cabarets, jazz clubs, galleries, inns, family style restaurants and gelato parlors into less than a square mile. Bakeries and delicatessens serve up such traditional Italian delicacies as prosciutto, provolone, mozarella, St. Honore cake and sacripantina. A perfect spot for cappuccino and espresso, North Beach is transformed into one of San Francisco's most electric playgrounds by night; live music and dancing keep the streets swinging.

* A fascinating mural by Anthony Klaas on the outside wall of a restaurant at Broadway and Columbus Avenue is considered a microcosm of life in San Francisco.
* Sunbathing and snacking are popular pastimes in quaint Washington Square Park, bordered by Union, Filbert, Powell and Stockton Streets.
* Saints Peter and Paul Church on Filbert Street, just off the square, is known as the "fisherman's church" because many of its parishioners once made their living from the sea.
* The Benjamin Franklin statue in the square was donated to The City in 1879 by Henry Cogswell, a dentist who struck personal gold fitting the mouths of pioneers with gold teeth during the Gold Rush era.
* The North Beach Museum, 1435 Stockton Street, carries an excellent collection of vintage photographs tracing the neighborhood's early days.
* Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill is blessed with marvelous views. Murals on its ground floor walls were painted in 1933 by some 30 local artists; each piece depicting a different aspect of the Great Depression.
* The Filbert Steps lie behind the tower, leading to small alleys replete with charming wooden cottages.

Each June, the North Beach Festival, San Francisco's oldest street fair, unfolds along Grant Avenue and Green Street. Each October, North Beach celebrates its Italian heritage by paying tribute to Christopher Columbus. A series of traditional events that include the blessing of The City's fishing fleet and a festa in the wharf area culminate with a grand parade.


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