APRIL 15 CULTURAL MEETING
At the next cultural meeting, the Society will show the film in English “Sacco and Vanzetti” which deals with the famous trial of the two Italian-born American anarchists who were convicted of murdering a guard and a paymaster during the April 15,1920, armed robbery of the Slater and Morrill Shoe Company in Braintree, Massachusetts. Seven years later, they were executed in the electric chair. Nick Napoli will do an introduction and guide a discussion after the film. Were they guilty and did they get a fair trial?
The second cooking class of the new year took place on March 3. It was a tremendous success; the food prepared was delicious, and the music based on the operatic theme of the event was a nice accompaniment.
A special thank you goes to Vera and Rhonda for the preparation of the event and for the for the artistically decorated table, and Gianfranco for the music he provided.
We only wish Gisella would spend more time in Colorado so that we could have more classes. We hope to have her back with us soon! Grazie, Gisella, e buon ritorno in Italia e poi in Colorado.
MARCH WINE TASTING The evening was a great success as more than 30 people participated in tasting five reds and three white Italian wines. Jonathon Will gave brief but informative description of each wine and taught us a few things about tannin. Grazie, Nick, for providing the wines.
PRIMA DOMENICA April 8th
La prima domenica in April will be on the 8th, at 9:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church Parish Hall, 3549 Navajo Street, Denver. The Dante Society is once again sponsoring the breakfast following the Mass, so mark your calendars. Help will be needed before and after the Mass. If you would like to offer your time, please contact our coordinators Nina and John Incampo at 303-423-4811. Grazie.
HELP NEEDED IN SOCIAL MEDIA The Society is in dire need of a member able to advertise our goals and events to our community. We thank you in advance if willing to help, if so kindly contact our president Veronica Goodrich at 303-421-1547 or e-mail to email@example.com .
The Society gives a very warm welcome to the following new members: Jessica Baumgart of Denver, Nancy Bucci of Denver, Anna Harrison of Denver, Lindsay Lennox of Arvada, Teresa Mariola-Kitterman of Wheatridge, Linnea Nigro of Denver, Elvia Ostiguin of Denver, Patrick Williams of Denver, and Dylan Wood of Denver.
FUND RAISING OPPORTUNITY FOR SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Next time you head out to King Soopers, be sure to take a Dante Society King Soopers gift card with you. King Soopers offers organizations a simple way to raise money by returning 5% of grocery sales made on the card to the organization. The cards initially cost $25 but can be reloaded for any amount at checkout. By continuing to use the cards for purchases, Dante members will provide an on-going source of income for scholarships. If you give gift cards to friends, family or charitable organizations, consider giving a Dante Society King Soopers gift card. The Dante Society cards cannot be purchased at King Soopers. The Dante Society cards must be purchased through Dante by calling Veronica Goodrich at 303-421-1547.
ITALIAN LANGUAGE CLASSES
The Dante Alighieri Society is currently offering the 10-week spring session of Italian language classes, which began the week of March 26. Additional sessions will be offered again this year with announcements in the Notiziario and on the website. The classes are taught by experienced and talented bi-lingual teachers, and include beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes. Each class meets for 90 minutes, once a week, at 3549 Navajo Street, Denver, in the parish offices of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church. Cost is $100 for members and $130 for non-members. New members are welcome to join the Dante Alighieri Society when they register for classes. For more information, please contact the Education Chair Suzanne Fasing at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-810-9042. Information about the classes is also available on the web site: http://dantealighieriofdenver.com/classes/language-classes/
The Annual Scholarship Luncheon is only a month away. Hopefully you’ve already marked your calendar for May 6 to celebrate the awarding of scholarships to deserving students who will be studying in Italy, to be entertained by our music scholarship winner(s) and to share a delicious meal with other Dante members. Attached you will find the reservation form for the event again being held at the Arvada Center. According to past attendees, the excitement, the entertainment, the food and the camaraderie are well worth the price of admission! Please submit your reservation, here enclosed, by May 2 so we can inform the caterer of the number of people who will be attending.
If you have any questions, please contact me at 303-378-9736. Grazie, John Giardino.
DENVER SILENT FILM FESTIVAL FEATURES ITALIAN FILM “ROTAIE”
Rotaie (Rails), made in 1928, is one of very few Italian films of the Fascist era to confront the social upheaval then gripping the country. Rotaie describes the plight of an impoverished, despairing young couple who embark on a train journey after finding a wallet filled with money. The film explores a society thrown into disarray by a postwar economic crisis, the compression of time and space enabled by rapid train travel, and the rise of Fascism. In the 1920s, a decade of social and political turbulence in Italy, most Italian films consisted of spectacular historical dramas, light comedies, and action-packed historical epics. Rotaie stands out as a notable exception. Rotaie’s director was one of very few at the time who was willing to acknowledge that Italy, despite Mussolini’s claims, was far from achieving a glorious second Roman Empire.
Rotaie will be shown on Sunday, April 29, at 12:30 pm at the Alamo Draft House Cinema, 4255 West Colfax. Tickets are $13 each at the box office or can be purchased through the Denver Silent Film Festival website: https://www.denversilentfilmfest.org/
OPERA AT DENVER UNIVERSITY
The Lamont School of Music is presenting Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro in Italian with English translation. The performance will take place at The Newman Center for the Performing Arts on April 19 – 21 at 7:30 p.m., and April 22 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets $11 - $30 Reserved Seating, NewmanTix.com/Lamont or 303-871-7720.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU Joe Mauro.
- What region in Italy were your ancestors from? If you do not have Italian ancestors, what is the ethnic background of your family? Have you ever been there and what was your experience?
The Mauro and Gargiulo families hail from Sant’Agnello, a small town on the eastern outskirts of the city of Sorrento and bordered by Piano di Sorrento on the west, in the Campania region of Italy’s ‘mezzogiorno’. Even if it is the smallest of the six town councils along the Sorrento coast, it is nonetheless a fascinating and beautiful place. It is situated between the coastal area and seven, small mountains. I had the privilege of visiting Sant’Agnello in December 2016 and look forward to returning again to spend more time there. It’s a quaint little town and typical of Italian small-town life. My grandparents’ former homes (and birth places) are located across the street from the town’s post office.
- When did your ancestors arrive in America, and where did they settle originally? Did they come right to Colorado?
My paternal grandfather, Giuseppe Mauro, arrived in the United States in August 1919, almost 100 years ago, at the port in Philadelphia. Experienced as a sailor in the Italian Navy in World War I, he found work on a freighter and earned his passage to the US. My grandmother, Lucia ‘Lucy’ Gargiulo, followed four months later, arriving in New York City in December 1919. They settled in Coney Island in the southwestern part of the Borough of Brooklyn. Except for my great uncle Tony and my father, no one else from my family ever made it to Colorado. Dad arrived with the rest of our family in 1975. My mother’s family has no Italian roots, coming from the British Isles, but she was a wonderful and proud Italian-by-marriage.
- If you had to describe yourself in one word, what word would that be, and why?
Determined. I can be a bulldog on projects, issues and goals.
- Who was most influential to you growing up, and why?
My mother and father. They raised me to be responsible, respectful and resilient. Mom is no longer with us but I am blessed to have my Dad in my life. You can meet both of us at most Prima Domenica Masses and breakfasts at Mt. Carmel Church. My great uncle, Dad’s uncle Anthony ‘Tony’ Gargiulo, was also a great influence. He was my paternal grandmother’s youngest brother and after immigrating to New York City to join other family, was a successful master carpenter in Brooklyn before retiring and moving to Denver to live with my parents. He was definitely “old school”, speaking English with his heavy Italian accent when telling his many fascinating stories about growing up in Sant’Agnello, immigrating to New York City (Brooklyn), and life in Little Italy there.
- Tell us a little about you, employment, family, interests and so on.
Like many of those I’ve met in the Dante Society, I’m a ‘baby boomer’. I was born in Kansas City, MO, and raised in suburban Washington DC near Silver Spring, Maryland. I moved to Colorado in 1975 and settled in Durango in the southwest corner of the state where I got my undergraduate degree from Fort Lewis College. I moved to Denver in the early 1990s and run my own business providing consulting and fundraising services for non-profit clients in Colorado and surrounding states. My life partner and I live in northeast Denver until I get my Italian citizenship (I submitted my application for citizenship last October) when we plan to move to Italia!
- How would you most like to be remembered?
As one who grabbed life by the horns. Per prendere la vita per le corna!
- What attracted you about joining the Dante Alighieri Society?
After an initial trip to Italy several years ago, I decided I needed to connect much more to my Italian heritage. I began taking lessons in the Italian language and attending Italian cultural events. Joining the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver a few years ago was a great way to connect to other Italian Americans and Italophiles and I’ve enjoyed meeting wonderful new friends and participating in the many activities, classes, cultural nights and other activities since!
NEWS FROM ITALY 10 reasons to visit Abruzzo, Italy's new hot destination. (continued)
Spectacular skiing and hiking trails.
With their mountain landscape, it's no wonder towns like Roccaraso, Castel di Sangro, Ovindoli and Campo Felice are magnets for avid skiers from Italy and other parts of Europe.
The area gets a heavy and lasting snowfall each year and with the Cinquemiglia (a five-mile long, 1,200-meter-high plain), Abruzzo gives other Alpine destinations a true run for their money (at a fraction of the cost).
A third of the region is made up of national parks, making it the most rural region of Italy.
In the warmer months, hiking trails in many of these towns are perfect for those who love the great outdoors. Some of the best are in the Abruzzo National Park and the Majella National Park.
Preserved medieval towns.
Away from the crowds of more famous medieval towns like Tuscany's Siena or San Gimignano, places like Pescasseroli, Tagliacozzo and Santo Stefano di Sessanio provide even more authentic regional experiences and stunning scenery (some even with castles).
One of the most distinctive is Rocca Calascio, which boasts a watchtower from the 10th century and remains the highest fort in all of Italy, at nearly 1,500 meters above sea level.
Abruzzo is touted as the greenest region of Italy due to the number of national parks within its borders and most towns sit off dramatic cliff faces or with imposing mountain ranges as their backdrop.
Marianna Scoccia, mayor of Prezza, one of many small towns dotted along the mountain ranges, says these medieval gems must be protected.
"Our region is known for its medieval hamlets and towns. Many of them, including Prezza, remain relatively untouched," she explains.
"Here in these towns you can walk the streets and enjoy the tranquility of a world gone by and it's where century-old traditions are honored, like the Malmozzetto medieval festival held in Prezza each August."
Sulmona is famous for being the capital of sugared almonds, known as "confetti" in Italian, and torrone, classic Italian nougat. The city sits within a UNESCO-protected valley, once a lake that disappeared in prehistoric times.
The streets here are lined in floral creations made up of confetti covered in colored paper and bunched into bouquets.
You can buy these beauties in any flavor imaginable -- Nutella, tiramisu, ricotta and pear, fruits of the forest, hazelnut, the list goes on.
Guardiagrele in Chieti province is fast developing a local reputation as a foodie town. It even has its own sweet, Le Sise delle Monache, which literally translates as "nun's breasts", so named for its rounded, perky shape. This chantilly cream-filled bun of sorts is most commonly eaten at Pasticceria Emo Lullo (Via Roma 105, Guardiagrele).
As the Italian food sector consistently looks to innovate and honor historic traditions and local customs, quality dining establishments continue to pop up in the Abruzzo landscape.
One of Italy's most famous chefs, Heinz Beck is at the helm of Café Les Paillotes (Piazza le Laudi 2, Pescara). The eatery is situated on the seafront in Pescara overlooking the Adriatic and now has a Michelin star.
Meanwhile Niko Romito has been running Reale (Piana Santa Liberata, Castel di Sangro) with his sister Cristiana since 2000.
The self-taught chef was awarded three Michelin stars in 2013 -- there are only eight restaurants in Italy with this title.
Located within a 16th-century former monastery in Castel di Sangro, Reale's menu combines haute cuisine with the best of Abruzzo produce and beyond.
The Trabocchi Coast.
This UNESCO World Heritage-protected 70-kilometer coast stretches from Ortona to San Salvo in Chieti province. Its most striking sight is a collection of fishing net structures known as trabocchi.
Historically the trabocchi were used by fisherman to avoid deep waters and collect varieties like anchovies, sardines, sea bream and sea bass.
While many are no longer in use because they can't compete with modern-day fishing technology, some are still managed by generations of fisherman and have branched out, now operating as restaurants.
(Maria Pasquale is an Italian-Australian travel and food writer based in Rome. Founder of popular lifestyle blog www.heartrome.com, her adventures can be followed on Instagram @heartrome.)
GOOD NEWS AGAIN FROM ROME AND THE VATICAN FOR YOU TRAVELING TO ITALY.
The agreement between the Vatican and the Dante has been renewed once again for the year 2018. It allows us to visit the museums at a lower price and get in front of the long lines simply by presenting the Dante Society membership card. The cost to visit the Museums is 16 euros per person, and 1 euro if you decide to purchase the Art and Faith DVD on the Treasures of the Vatican. The Dante membership card may be obtained by contacting Rhonda Hopkins at 720-596-4169, email@example.com, or Gianfranco Marcantonio at 303-494-3080 firstname.lastname@example.org .
For additional privileges for Dante members while in Italy, please visit the following site:
Prima Domenica – April 8
Scholarship banquet – May 6
Spring 2018 Language Classes Began March 26
NOTE: Cultural meetings, movies, and cooking classes take place at Mt. Carmel Church Parish Hall, 3549 Navajo St., Denver.
Language classes are taught at Mt. Carmel Church Office.