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 as opera, music, painting, San Francisco and North Beach history, architecture, world affairs, and much, much, more!
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.
IL CENACOLO MAN OF THE YEAR 2019
Il Cenacolo: The Jewel of San Francisco
I’d like to tell you a story...
Some years ago, there was a movie with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, called “The Jewel of the Nile.” Michael Douglas plays an Indiana Jones wannabe, searching throughout the Nile Valley looking for the Jewel of the Nile. After many adventures, it turns out, the Jewel of the Nile is not a precious stone, a diamond, emerald or ruby. No. The Jewel of the Nile is a person.
So, I started thinking. What is the Jewel of San Francisco? And I realized, like the Jewel of the Nile, The Jewel of San Francisco is not a thing. Not a precious stone. Is it one of the beautiful and iconic things that surround us? Is it the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, our beautiful bay, Golden Gate Park, the beautiful dome on City Hall?
No. It is none of those things.
The JEWEL OF SAN FRANCISCO is Il Cenacolo! ....
Il Cenacolo celebrated
as the premier
Italian Cultural Club
in San Francisco
at our Christmas Gala
December 7, 2018
at the St. Francis Yacht Club.
President David T. Giannini, Supervisor Catherine Stefani, and Consul General of Italy Lorenzo Ortona holding the Certificate of Honor for Il Cenacolo issued by the San Francisco Board of Superviors.
"La Cultura Italiana"
Our very own Dr. James Boitano delivers a well-researched,
well-written and provocative article each month about all things Italian: famous and infamous Italians, unique places and traditions, and any aspect of Italian culture, modern and historical, that captures his attention.
"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 90 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.