Location : Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, 2 Marina Blvd
Established in : 1978
Open Hours : 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Tuesday to Sunday
Admission : Free
Handicap Friendly : Yes
Parking Facilties : Free Parking Available
America’s sole honorary museum structure towards Italian culture resulted in the establishment of the small yet splendid Museo Italo Americano in 1978. Originally based in the Italian suburb of San Francisco, North Beach, the museum was finally transferred to the Fort Mason Centre located in the Marina Boulevard of Buchanan Street. The museum is integral in preserving Italian art and culture and serves as a community centre for Italian-Americans.
Similar to the Museum of Russian Culture, Museo Italo Americano documents the immigration of Italians into California starting around the 1850s into three phases. The first wave of Italian immigration, which started around the 1850s, saw a surge of Italian population who were battling poverty, while the second wave saw the dispersion of Italian populace around 1935s-1970s to escape the horrors of World War II. It was only in the third phase that the immigrated Italians flourished into successful entrepreneurs, artists, scholars and scientists.
It harbors a spell-bounding collection of historical artifacts including photographs, sword and medals awarded by Italian King Vittorio Emanuele III, a 1920s ballot box, a model of Rex along with personal antiques such an Italian wedding dress, an authentic ravioli-maker, a sledgehammer among others. It is also famous for rendering language classes on Italian.
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