Screaming with strangers inside San Francisco's 104-year-old Italian social club

Jul 13, 2021 559

BY: Dan Gentile

Five minutes into the Euro Cup Final between England and Italy, the bar at the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club is quiet, except for the sound of Peroni bottles popping open and a man saying “scusi” as he inches through dozens of downtrodden Italians. Someone whispers that what this crowd needs are shots of espresso. 

“This is… intense,” says membership manager Gina Travaglio as she surveys the scene. The hushed atmosphere can be attributed to Luke Shaw, a 26-year-old Manchester United footballer who’d just scored the fastest-ever goal in a Euro Cup Final — a dream start for England, and a nightmare for the droves of Italians packed into the sprawling Stockton St. compound.

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