San Francisco is one of the American cities which history starts back during the Hispanic colonisations. Even its name traces back to that period, too.
San Francisco is considered one of the most important cultural cities in the United States, more because of the tolerance and open-minded approach of its citizens than for the physical availability of important museums or cultural sites.
San Francisco’s Roots: A Little Bit of City History
Initially, the city was a religious mission, founded in 1776 by the Spanish under the extended name of La Misión de Nuestro Padre San Francisco de Asís
After the Spanish period, San Francisco became part of Mexico and, under the new name of Yerba Nueva, in 1835 it started a progressive urbanization development around the oldest part of the city.
In 1848, after the war between US and Mexico ended with an American victory, the city changed its name back again to San Francisco.
Its population grew incredibly, mainly because of the presence of silver mines. By the end of 19thcentury San Francisco was an important trade center. Victorian palaces grew around the city and the first cable cars started working.
After World War II San Francisco became the heart of United States liberalism, with the birth of several movements for homosexual rights (how can we forget Summer of Love?).
Visiting San Francisco
San Francisco is the most European-looking city of the United States. Famous for its hills and for being the “city by the bay”, San Francisco offers a lot of things to do and see (if the fog does not cover everything!).
Golden Gate is the iconic symbol of San Francisco. It offers a great view from every spot you look at it, and the massive fog typical in San Francisco makes it even more fascinating: it can be completely hidden by the fog and then re-appear in all its magnificence. Ride a car, a bicycle, or simply walk all along the bridge to experience its beauty.
In Pier 39 there are mainly 2 things you can do: admire the sea lions who live there and just lay under the sun, or just let yourself go with shopping. You can find anything you wish, from fashion to souvenirs, and amazing sights of the astonishing beach.
The oddest street in the world: this is the best description for Lombard Street: down the hill, bend after bend, flowerbed after flowerbed.
Cable cars are a classic in San Francisco: riding up and down the hills, with their passengers hanging outside the doors. You have seen it a thousand times in films, you have to ride one when you are in San Francisco!
Once you are on The Rock, you are going to be literally surrounded by this chapter of history. You have to book your ticket to Alcatraz long before you actually are in San Francisco, but it is worth the waiting: the view from the boat is stunning, both to and from the island welcoming you to a different level of Mexico inspired ambiance.