San Francisco: North Beach, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf

San Francisco fulfills every taste. Read on to see in the main tourist neighbourhoods in the United States’ most European city.

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San Francisco is extremely walkable: all neighbourhoods are connected and beautiful to walk through. Its public transport is the best in America: tramways, metros (called BART and MUNI), cable cars and buses run all across the town. Such a relief after LA!

If you want to start with the touristy sights, get off at the Montgomery BART stop and walk all the way to Chinatown (about 15 minutes away) through Columbus Avenue and the Dragon Gate. This way, you’ll also end up seeing the Finacial District’s most famous buildings.

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Ross Alley is a small street in Chinatown where the original creators of Chinese fortune cookies keep making the cheap and characteristic delicious treats invented here in SF. Stop by and get a bix of six for one dollar!

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Once you’ve gone through Chinatown, stop by the neighbouring North Beach, gay neighbourhood in the 60s and home of the Beat Generation. Check out Jack Kerouac Alley, the famous City Lights Bookstore and have a drink at the Vesuvio Bar. A drunk Kerouac was once kicked out from here. Stop by the Caffé Trieste, with real good Italian Espressos. According to the pictures in the bar, Francis Ford Coppola started writing the script fr the Godfather right here.

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North Beach is indeed home of the Beat Museum, but it’s also San Francisco’s Little Italy. Trust a picky Italian foodie: its Liguria Bakery near Washington Square is the real deal.

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After North Beach you can make your way to the touristy Marina and Fisherman’s Wharf for views of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s not worth a long stop, but walking there uphill and downhill San Francisco style is fun. Go through Washington Square to see a bunch of old Chinese women dance to ethnic music, all perfectly synchronised with each other, or practice tai chi.

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Coming up, the hipster Mission neighbourhood and the Castro “gaybourhood”; tales of Couchsurfing and the Haight Ashbury, birthplace of the Summer of Love.

Pictures: Carolina Are


A San Francisco ce n’é per tutti i gusti. Io ho iniziato il mio tour con Chinatown, North Beach e Fisherman’s Wharf.

San Francisco é facilissima da girare a piedi e collegata benissimo da tram, metropolitana ed autobus. Comprate dei pass settimanali e sarete a posto. Che sollievo dopo Los Angeles!

Scendete alla fermata Montgomerty della metro BART e camminate fino al Dragon Gate di Chinatown, vicino a Columbus Avenue. Qui vicino c’é Ross Alley, una vietta dove il primo negozio di biscotti della fortuna fabbrica ancora questo celebre dolce inventato a San Francisco, in bustine da sei per un dollaro.

Camminando fino a Broadway trovete alcuni luoghi storici della Beat Generation: Jack Kerouac Alley, il City Lights Bookstore e il caffé Vesuvio, dal quale Jack Kerouac fu cacciato perché troppo ubriaco.

Siamo nel quartiere di North Beach, zona gay degli anni ’60 e Little Italy. Il caffé del Caffé Trieste é buonissimo, cosí come la focaccia della Liguria Bakery vicino Washington Square,
degna del suo nome.

Proprio a Washington Square troverete un gruppo di anziane donne cinesi che ballano o fanno tai chi. Da lí potrete arrivare a Fisherman’s Wharf, il quartiere turistico per eccellenza con fantastici scorci del Golden Gate Bridge.

Tornate su questo blog per leggere del quartiere hipster Mission e di quello gay Castro, insieme alla zona hippie di Haight Ashbury e ad altre storie su Couchsurfing.

Foto: Carolina Are


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