San francisco – The only consolidated californian city-county

san francisco california city culture history travel dejavu

I have just come back to Italy from an amazing trip in the west of the USA!

Breathtaking landscapes that stretch as far as the eye  can see , multiethnic  cities  with  thousand faces and colors , modernity and nature,  fun and culture. How can you not fall in love with all of  it ! These pages will tell you  my opinions  about the coolest  things to do and the best places to visit. I will try to give you some advice and tips that can help you make your holiday in the US  absolutely  fabulous !  🙂

San Francisco: history, culture and tolerance.

The first thing that strikes you on your arrival are the ups and downs of the roads built on countless hills of the city ! It is the hallmark of SF, the most European of American cities.

battery spencer travel calfornia san francisco travel dejavu
Battery Spencer offers the best point of view to look at the city’s landmark, the Golden Gate: ride on it by bike  to enjoy a stunning view of its grandeur while you cross the bay.  On riding we were surrounded by   the typical mist that usually crawls on the bridge and this gave  the atmosphere a truly  romantic flavor .

bay bridge san francisco california travel dejavu
Bay Bridge is not so famous as the Golden Gate, but don’t underestimate it: the best way to admire it is definitely  having a stroll along the promenade in the evening . You will see the bay  covered with countless lights that shine like stars . Then  have dinner at Waterbar ,the  wonderful seafood restaurant overlooking the bridge: eating the tasty fried calamari and grilled tuna was for me  the  real icing on the cake after a delightful afternoon. 

mission district san francisco travel dejavu
Do you want to eat well without spending too much? Then go to the Mission district with its colorful murals: excellent burritos and tacos will breathe you even more than the air of the Latin Quarter. 

pier 39 san francisco California travel dejavu
Piers , of course, are destinations that you can’t miss : you will find sea lions enjoying the sun on the pontoons while allowing  tourists  to  take pictures at the famous Pier 39

The main  course of the restaurants of the area is fresh  fish :  have a go and try the crab and the Clam Chowder,  a fish soup served in a bun dug . 

castro street san francisco california travel dejavu

Castro is a  beautiful and elegant neighborhood where everything is a hymn to tolerance and peace : have a look at the flags at crosswalks depicting  rainbows  and  the plaques on the sidewalks with portrays of  historical figures who contributed to the struggle for the rights of all minorities .

Haight Ashbury , on the contrary, is an  old hippy district where famous rock stars of the 70s lived: Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix to name just  two . If you are their fans , you’ll find it  thrilling just  standing  in front of the houses where they lived their short but intense lives .

alcatraz san francisco california cruise travel dejavu
: imagine the lives of the inmates in the famous prison  and their wish to escape  , then have a   look at the waves of the bay:  you can perfectly understand how escaping  from there  was almost impossible. The very  thought of swimming across the short distance ( 2 km) of iced water flavored by the old winds made me shudder. At any rate the place is popular:  I suggest  you  book your visit on Alcatraz Cruises website in advance or you will  find it   difficult to get a place .

Painted Ladies : a row of Victorian houses in pastel colors, in the background the skyscrapers of the city . A fascinating contrast between history and modernity , one of the most photographed views of SF along with the famous Lombard Street because of  its downhill switchbacks .

coit tower san francisco california travel dejavuCoit Tower : from this tower you have a breathtaking 360 ° view of the entire city and the bay. Unfortunately, the city has also a very sad side : you will find many homeless on the streets .There are neighborhoods where dozens of these people who have lost everything stop along the sidewalks. It is touching to see their unhappy faces transformed by alcohol or drugs .

Do not forget to pack a kway and cover yourself well! The wind , which can be cold, will never let you go !! At least in August,  when we were there . And the best way of moving around? Choose Uber: it costs less to take  Uber twice a day rather than buy the Muni pass ; it is  also very convenient because the car comes to pick  you up  directly at your home address .


What would you like to do in San Francisco? If you’ve spent time there, what are your suggestions?

Next Installment : Las Vegas


Barbara Cerati

Hi there! I'm Barbara. I think that travel can give you so many feelings: trepidation, emotion, curiosity before the trip. Surprise,wander, happiness during it. Unforgettable experiences for the rest of your life. That's why I love travel:-)


  1. We moved to Europe from the US and loved visiting San Francisco. I definitely agree with many of your recommendations, especially Alcatraz. We had the most fun touring the prison!

  2. It’s so funny that you mention that it’s cold there in August. It’s often said that summer is winter in San Francisco. Mark Twain is often quoted as saying “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” 🙂

  3. You are tempting me so much. Actually more than half of my college friends are now settled in California. And they keep asking us to make a move…I guess at least I owe a visit..thanks for the post

  4. That’s a lovely guide to SF Barbara! It made me remember my stay there as well. And you are so right about the chill there, sometimes even in summers it gets as cold as winters :p

  5. Must have been cool to see the sea lions on the piers. I have so far only had the luck to se seals while traveling. Haven’t even seen those here in Sweden even if there are some species as here as well 🙂

  6. I was in SFO for a week in 2015 and I was staying in an Airbnb in Castro. It was such a cute district and I loved how everything was walking distance from my Airbnb apartment. It was so colorful too.
    The funny thing about SFO is that it is so cold. I went in the middle of summer and I had to wear a thick jacket everywhere.

  7. I loved this blog, i have been to San Fran myself (I live in London) and i have always said that its one of the only other places i could permanently live in the world. You also have some pretty cool pictures on here!

  8. Lovely insight into San Fran. You really sell the city to me.

    I didn’t know about fish being a main food item. That’s good to know.

    I would love to see and take some photos of the painted ladies and also from the Coit Tower.

    Thanks for the info and tips.

  9. We could not go to the West Coast during our time in the States. We would love to visit SFO someday. Lovely guide, short and to the point. This will help us when we plan our next visit to the States.

  10. San Francisco is one of my favourite destination. I would love to explore this beautiful city. Wanderlusting even more after seeing these wonderful pictures.

  11. San Francisco looks like a beautiful city to see. I remember going when I was in my early teens but I’d like to go back. I remembered enjoying China town there as it is quite big.

  12. I would love to visit this city! My sister spent there three months and she was completely under the San Fransisco’s charm. Really interesting post 🙂

  13. Great post! As a travel agent I have clients going to SF and this post has been very helpful. Thank you for all the lovely tips and information!

  14. I haven’t been to SF yet but your guide gives a good idea about the places not to be missed. I hope I can make it there some day. Pictures are great particularly the contrast between the old houses and the modern skyscrapers.

  15. I haven’t been to San Francisco till now. But I wish to land there sometime. Your photos are simply stunning. I love the top shot of the city from the tower. Nice Post.

  16. Arg!!! I had a small heart-attack watching your post! San Francisco seems so amazing… the city itself has a really strong identity, the bridge, the streets… West Coast of USA seems to be a perfect place for a roadtrip while getting lost in California Dream! Best travel! E!

  17. I so love San Fran through your lens. The pictures and the place is really beautiful. I would really love to try some Clam Chowder. Is there a particular season to visit here?

  18. Honestly, I’ve never known there are so many interesting things to see and do in San Francisco. The golden gate is a photography dream that’s for sure. I would love to stroll around the Mission district and try the street food.

  19. I’ve been wanting to go to San Francisco for YEARS! And all I knew about it was that it was pretty haha. You’ve definitely opened up more of what the city can offer. Now I REALLY can’t wait to go.

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