Past Speakers and Topics


Thursday, October 4, 2018
From North Beach to the Hindu Kush: A Correspondent’s Journey
Mike Cerre, TV Correspondent

Thursday, October 11, 2018
The Capture of the U-505. A Legion of Heroes
Robert McLaughlin, Author

Thursday, October 18, 2018
La Dolce Vita University:  An Unconventional Guide to Italian Culture from A-Z”
Carla Gambescia, Author

Thursday, October 25, 2018
La Piccola Roma in Eritrea
Joe Casalaina

This month’s programs arranged by David Cobb.


Thursday, September 20, 2018
Preview of the 2018-19 Season of the San Francisco Opera
Kip Cranna, Dramaturg & Cenacolista

Thursday, September 27, 2018
"Building an Opera Season"
Greg Henkel, SFO Managing Director: Artistic

This month’s programs arranged by Franz Cristiani.

JULY 2018

Thursday, July 5, 2018
No meeting in deference to Independence Day.

Thursday, July 12, 2018
Harlem Jazz Stride Piano
Mike Lipskin, Cenacolista

Thursday, July 19, 2018
Profile of a Commercial Flight; or How to Get from Here to There
Chuck Stagliano, Cenacolista

Thursday, July 26, 2018
My Life in Song
Denise Perrier

This month’s programs arranged by Marv Pheffer.

JUNE 2018

Wednesday June 6, 2018, 6 PM
Dinner honoring Mayor Marco Bucci of Genoa

Thursday, June 7, 2018
No meeting in deference to the Special Event (above)

Thursday, June 14, 2018
Merola’s “Stars of Tomorrow”
Jean Kellogg

Thursday, June 21, 2018
UC Santa Barbara and its Italian Connections
Alan Grosenheider & Toni Arellanes-Miller

Thursday, June 28, 2018
(Members only)

This month’s programs arranged by Stewart Hume.

MAY 2018

Thursday May 3, 2018
The Italian Garden
Mary Menniti

Thursday May 10, 2018
The Shameful Treatment of Italians during WWII
Laura Smith

Thursday May 17, 2018
Misfits, Merchants & Mayhem on the San Francisco Waterfront: Focus on Italian Fishermen
Lee Bruno

Thursday May 24, 2018
Plans for the 150th San Francisco Italian Heritage Parade
John Parente

​Thursday May 31, 2018
Istituto Italiano di Cultura: Its Mission and History
Paolo Barlera, Director

APRIL 2018
Thursday, April 5, 2018
Anna Magnani: First Italian to Win an Academy Award
Jim Boitano, PhD, Cenacolista

Thursday, April 12, 2018
Born in Internment
Anna Fiorina Hess, Author

Thursday, April 19, 2018
How Italy Shaped the Views of a Young American
Admiral John Bitoff, USN, Retired

Thursday, April 26, 2018
Lucca, a Repository of Architectural Treasures
David T. Giannini and Anna Maria Pierini, Cenacolisti

This month’s programs arranged by Alex Kugushev.

MARCH 2018

Thursday, March 1, 2018
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
Alycia Paletta, CPA

Thursday, March 8, 2018
Ukraine’s Path to Freedom
Kateryna Korniyko

Thursday, March 15, 2018
The San Francisco Fair: Treasure Island in 1939 and 1940
Kathryn Ayres

Thursday, March 22, 2018
Open Forum: The Recent Election in Italy
Moderated by Alessandro Kugushev

Thursday, March 29, 2018
The Tenderloin Endures
Don Falk

This month’s programs arranged by Richard De Bono.


Thursday, February 1, 2018
An Italian Library in North Beach: What a Novel Idea!
Joe Carbone

Thursday, February 8, 2018
Mark, a member of SFIAC, will talk about how the Grocery Outlet can get such amazing wines at such great prices.
Mark Rezente

Thursday, February 15, 2018
When many California winemakers felt that a good Pinot Noir could not be grown in California, Josh dreamed of proving them wrong. All he needed was limestone. Josh will share his insights of 42 years in the wine business.
Josh Jensen, Founder of Calera

Thursday, February 22, 2018
Odyssey of a Rock and Roll Priest
Msgr. Harry G. Schlitt

This month’s programs arranged by John Benson.


Thursday, January 4, 2018
The Challenge of Producing a Nice Pinot Noir from the Edge of the Continent
David Cobb, Cenacolista, and Ross Cobb

Thursday, January 11, 2018
Laughter from the Hip: How Early Jazz Developed
Mike Greensill, Cenacolista

Thursday, January 18, 2018
The Meaning of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Alex Kugushev, Cenacolista

Thursday, January 25, 2018
Fez, Where the Middle Ages Still Live
Kayvan Tabari, Cenacolista

This month’s programs arranged by David Cobb.


Thursday, December 7, 2017
Witness to the Day that Lives in Infamy

David Cobb, Cenacolista

Thursday, December 14, 2017
Pursuing My Heritage
Peter Chiarella, Cenacolista

Thursday, December 21, 2017
No meeting in deference to Christmas.

Thursday, December 28, 2017
No meeting in deference to New Year’s.

This month’s programs arranged by Jim Boitano.


Thursday, November 2, 2017
The Great American Songbook—With a Twist!
George Yamasaki and Bill Dito, Cenacolista

Thursday, November 9, 2017
A Brief History of the Ukulele
(With Classic Hawaiian Songs)

Marc Goldyne, Ukulele
Accompanied by Eric Rindal, Steel Guitar

Thursday, November 16, 2017
Seekers of the Good Life: North Beach and San Francisco Then and Now
Ernest Beyl

Thursday, November 23, 2017
No meeting in deference to Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 30, 2017
No meeting in deference to the Christmas Gala.

This month’s programs arranged by Bill Dito.


Thursday, October 5, 2017
The 2017-18 San Francisco Opera Season
Kip Cranna, Cenacolista

Thursday, October 12, 2017
Domes, Arches and Minarets: A History of Islamic-Inspired Buildings in America
Phil Pasquini

Thursday, October 19, 2017
The Life and Afterlife of the Etruscan Banquet
Dr. Lisa Pieraccini

Thursday, October 26, 2017
La Sagrada Familia
Alex Kugushev, Cenacolista

This month’s programs arranged by David T. Giannini.


Thursday, September 7 & 14, 2017
No meetings as per Board decision.*

Thursday, September 21, 2017
The Future of Il Cenacolo Through the Eyes of a Savvy Friend
Charles Fracchia

Thursday, September 28, 2017
North Beach and the Italian Bay Area Community as Remembered by Cenacolisti
Ken Sproul, Moderator

This month’s programs arranged by Ken Sproul.

JULY 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Early Days of the San Francisco Opera
Stewart Hume, Cenacolista

Thursday, July 13. 2017
The Stonecutter's Aria: From Italy to Indiana
Carol Faenzi

Thursday, July 20, 2017

From the Battle of the Bulge to the Nuremberg Trials
Arthur Roth

Thursday, July 27, 2017:
The Italian Film Festival in Marin
Lido Cantarutti, Cenacolista

This month’s programs arranged by Marv Pheffer.

Don’t forget that August is our “bye” month!

JUNE 2017

Thursday, June 1, 2017
Liquefaction and Landslide Potential of Quakes
and Faults Near You
Volkan Sevilgen

Thursday, June 8, 2017
A Plan to Change Florentine History
Jim Boitano, Cenacolista

Thursday, June 15, 2017
The Venetian Ghetto
Kathleen Gonzalez

Thursday, June 22, 2017
An Expedition to Nagaland
Mike Prior, Cenacolista

Thursday, June 29, 2017
The Annual Meeting is held at the regular Thursday luncheon.
Members only.

This month’s programs arranged by Jonathan West.

May 2017

During May, learn how two Italian organizations
were formed 100 years ago to assist their Italian immigrant
brothers and sisters to navigate the American system
and become citizens of their adopted country.

Thursday, May 4, 2017
100-Year History of the Italian Community Services
Andy Canepa, Cenacolista
& Anna Maria Pierini, Executive Director, ICS

Thursday, May 11, 2017:
The SFIAC: The Last Stronghold of the Italian Neighborhood
Nickolas Marinelli, Cenacolista

Thursday, May 18. 2017
Luminous Patagonia
Alex Kugushev, Cenacolista

Thursday, May 25, 2017
Il Cenacolo Through the Eyes of our Presidents

This month’s programs arranged by Ron Derenzi.

APRIL 2017

Thursday, April 6, 2017
Marshall, Marconi and Mazzei: A Tomales Bay Story
Tony Kilgallin, Cenacolista

Thursday, April 13, 2017
The USS Potomac—A Part of History in the San Francisco Bay
Bill Hodges

Thursday, April 20, 2017
The Legends of Il Cenacolo
Moderator: Jim Boitano

Thursday, April 27, 2017
Sicily—Crossroads of History and Civilizations
Douglas Kenning

This month’s programs arranged by Jim Boitano.

MARCH 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017
Burning Man: an American Phenomenon
Chris Danesi and Brandee Clark

Thursday, March 9, 2017
San Francisco Legend: Naughty Landmarks and Scandalous Stories
Catherine Accardi

Thursday, March 16, 2017
What Italy Means to You

Thursday, March 23, 2017
Il Piemonte and the Alluring White Truffle
Jack Rubyn, Cenacolista

Thursday, March 30, 2017
History, Design, and Development of the Redwood Park
at the Transamerica Pyramid
Tony Guzzardo

This month’s programs arranged by David Cobb.


Thursday, February 2, 2017
The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run
Antonio Rossman, Cenacolista

Thursday, February 9, 2017
Projecting Ancient Rome: Fact, Fantasy and Fiction
Lisa Pieraccini

Thursday, February 16, 2017
The Secrets of the Mummies
Myron Marx, MD, Cenacolista

Thursday, February 23, 2017
Italians Excelling through the Ages—Except in Governance…

This month’s programs arranged by Alex Kugushev.


Thursday, January 5, 2017
Open Session

Thursday, January 12, 2017
San Francisco’s Dungeness Crab and Domoic Acid
Angela Cincotta

Thursday, January 19, 2017
Preserve your Life Stories for your Loved Ones
Francine Brevetti

Thursday, January 26, 2017
Italian Life Style and “Made in Italy” in the Global Competition

Mauro Zanetti

This month’s programs arranged by David Giannini.