What We Do
Members of Il Cenacolo enjoy a banquet of benefits. These include weekly lunches, which are highlighted by brief but compelling presentations on a variety of topics, such opera, music, painting, Italian history, San Francisco and North Beach history, architecture, world affairs, and many others.
What We Love
We love everything Italian!
We celebrate Italian history, art, food, wine, all forms of music and literature and the friendship and camaraderie that derives from our membership.
In other words, we love life.
"Itala Gente Dalle Molte Vite"
Our club motto, “itala gente dalle molte vite,” is translated literally as “Italian people of the many lives,” or, more poetically, “Many-lived Italian people.”
It is open to different interpretations. It might refer to the ability of Italians collectively to engage in rebirth, revival and reinvention, after prolonged periods of abject decline, as in Rinascimento (cultural renaissance), Risorgimento (political resurgence), the postwar “Boom degli Anni Sessanta” (1960s “economic miracle” ).
"You may have the universe, let Italy remain mine" (Giuseppe Verdi in his opera, “Attila”)
"That sentiment pretty much sums up the attitude of the members of Il Cenacolo -- even if they are Irish,” said Stephanie Salter in the San Francisco Chronicle back in 2003, with words that still ring true.
"Tastes, trends and affinity groups have come and gone in San Francisco, but [for] over 75 years Il Cenacolo has stayed the course with minimal change. The club exists today for precisely the same reasons it was founded in 1928 ….so that its members can learn about and support art, music, language and culture -- particularly of the Italian persuasion.
Q. When you were a kid, what did you want to be?
A. When I was very young, I was at a birthday party.
My mom was going around the table asking,
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Kids were saying; "An astronaut." "A fireman."
I said, "An Italian."
Christopher Herb Caen (son of Herb Caen) in SF Chronicle 2009.
Il Cenacolo always welcomes new members, both men and women. To learn more about becoming a member, click the Information button.