Bimbo’s Bridge

As the holiday season approaches, we reminisce of Agostino “Bimbo” Giuntoli and his notable generosity in giving back to the community in which he came from. Born and raised in Chiessina Uzzanese, a small Tuscan town west of Florence, young Bimbo lived the urban tale of endless walking “uphill, in horrible weather, in both directions” as he commuted back and forth from the residential to commercial sides of town. The small river that separates the two vicinities is a trickling brook most of the year, but during the rainy months the water rages high and strong, inspiring the “character building” tales of peoples’ lives as they walked high and low in search for the best crossing point. After some successful years as a nightclub owner and restaurateur in San Francisco, Bimbo decided to help out the people of his alma mater by funding the construction of a bridge over the river, permanently creating an easy, wade-free crossing point for all those who commute from one side of town to another.  In 1953 Bimbo and his family returned to attend the inaugurazione (inauguration) of the bridge, and of course…  the town threw a great party in celebration! And what’s a party without a feast? A long table was set up down the middle of the bridge, with a seat and glass of wine for everyone! Family, friends and lovers, young and old, new and familiar, all gathered and raised a glass to Bimbo for the fine gift he gave his hometown.  Saluti!

A trip to Bimbo’s Bridge was chronicled by San Francisco’s favorite yarn-spinner Herb Caen in the column “Baghdad-by-the-Bay” on May 19, 1955 in the SF Examiner.