A guided walk 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 and the ways in which the city and the community have shaped one another. 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, and the new temple of California gastronomic culture 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. This is a half-day excursion. Four hours, 4 miles, at a leisurely pace and as flat as we can make it, with a break at the mid-point for (Italian, of course) coffee and light snack (included in the price of the tour). We start at Fisherman's Wharf, and end at the Ferry Building in time for a late lunch (not included). The tour uses closed circuit personal radio listening devices to facilitate audio quality and allow for a private experience. Limited to 12 participants.