We all know Tony Bennett Left his Heart in San Francisco and since 2004 artists have been leaving their hearts around the city too. It began as a fundraiser to benefit the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. Local artists were commissioned to design giant hearts to be put on display throughout San Francisco.

Toronto tried this with moose in 2001 and other cities have done the same thing with cows, but it is the San Francisco heart that is truly unique.

painted heart in San Francisco

An Artists work on Display at Union Square

It may have been a quick fundraising project in 2004 to spruce up San Francisco and cut through the fog that falls upon the city but the tradition continues to this day, and each month a different artist’s heart is featured at Union Square. They add their unique flare by painting and decorating a heart  to showcase in Union Square before being auctioned off for charity. It stands proudly in the middle of the city and thousands of tourists pose beside it to have their pictures taken with San Francisco’s heart. We were told that there are hearts on display in other parts of the city as well and in the coming days, we hope to see them too.

One Special Heart in San Francisco

There is one artist who is revered enough to have his painted heart on permanent display. His painting of the Golden Gate Bridge with a heart in the centre, may not be the most magnificent work of art, but it is the most famous.

Tony Bennett's Heart at Union Square

Heart on Permanent Display in San Francisco

It was in 1962 when Tony Bennett recorded his signature song, winning him a Grammy and shooting to the top of the charts. I Left My Heart in San Francisco became a world wide phenomenon and the city adopted it as it’s anthem.

travel bloggers dave and deb in San Francisco

Sneaking a Smooch at Tony Bennett's Heart

The hearts and song epitomize the romantic image of San Francisco, it is known as one of the most romantic cities in the US and with hearts on display, how can you not agree? Sung by one of the last of the great American Crooners, I Left My Heart in San Francisco has endured the ages. Tony Bennett is still going strong and shows no sign of slowing down but you can be sure that he will live on in San Francisco and he will literally leave his heart here forever.

Enjoy Tony Bennett’s Performance of I Left My Heart in San Francisco

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13 Comments

  1. Adventurous Kate

    Joey: “I got an audition! It’s a musical based on A Tale of Two Cities, so I’m going to sing New York, New York, and, um…” (snaps fingers) “I Left my Heart in San Francisco!”
    Chandler: “You don’t get to choose the cities, Joe…”

    1. debndave Post author

      That’s awesome. It’s a great song isn’t it. We didn’t know either until our bus driver pointed out the hearts. I think it is such a cool thing in San Fran.

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  3. Emily in Chile

    I love the hearts! My husband and I had a photo session left over from our wedding package, so we did first anniversary photos in San Francisco and made sure to get pictures with all four hearts.

    1. debndave Post author

      That is amazing. You have to share that with us so we can see them all. I’d love to search for all the hearts in San Francisco.

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