There are no events scheduled right now at the Italian Cemetery.
Since 1970, the Italian Cemetery has hosted a Memorial Day Mass in the Italian language in the Chapel Mausoleum. For decades, this Mass was concelebrated by many Italian-speaking priests. Chief celebrant is Father Efrem Trettel, the founder of Apostolato Radio Christiana.
In 2009, the observance of Memorial Day was expanded into the Italian Cemetery’s Memorial Day Scampagnata, adding a complementary picnic lunch and musical entertainment. Today, the celebration is the most well-attended event of the year.
November 2nd is observed in both Italy and the United States as Il giorno dei morti (the day of the dead). Though there are many religious and secular traditions attached to this day throughout Italy.
At the Italian Cemetery we begin with a Mass in the Italian language where we remember those whom we have lost in the past year. Then, we break bread together—or more than likely, eat pasta together. Though not as colorful as other All Souls’ Day observances, the day provides us with an opportunity to see old friends again, and to remember those who have gone before us.
The Italian Cemetery hosts walking tours of the grounds where we explore the lives of the pioneers of San Francisco’s Italian community. The sixty-minute tour is both educational and entertaining.
Facilitated by Cav. Ilia Salomone-Smith, the Italian language group meets on Fridays during the Spring and Fall to improve on elementary language skills. The emphasis is on conversational Italian, and many of the participants have been attending for many years.
For those struggling to find their Italian roots—both in the United States and in Italy—the Italian Cemetery will help with locating any family members who may be interred on our grounds. Though some research their family tree to accommodate becoming an Italian citizen, many attend just to discover the many undiscovered facts about their families history.