Dec 2017 Notizario

Dante Alighieri Notiziario - Denver

CHRISTMAS PARTY    The annual event will be on Saturday, December 9 at 1:00 p.m. and will be held at the NorthPark East Association Clubhouse, 9996 Grove Street, Westminster.  As usual, the Society will be providing wine, coffee and sodas along with cups, plates and plastic ware.  Members whose last name begins with A through N are asked to bring heavy hors d'oevres, and members with last names beginning with the initial O through Z are asked to bring a dessert.  For additional information and RSVP please contact Vera Buffaloe at 303-422-5757,

We are asking that you bring a white elephant gift for the member exchange; no need to go shopping, just look around your house for something you wondered why you bought in the first place.

Street Directions to NorthPark East Association Clubhouse:  The best and easy way is to go North on Federal Blvd. to the street light of Northpark Ave. (100th), (if you pass 104th Ave., you went too far) turn left (West) at Northpark Ave., go one block and turn left at 99th Ave., turn left again at Grove St., go 2-1/2 blocks.  The clubhouse will be on your right side.

If you would rather use Map Quest or Google Map, use/enter 9897 Grove Street.


On the 5th of November, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, founded and built by Italian immigrants in 1894, was officially recognized as an historical site in the Denver area by Washington D.C.  After the mass, celebrated by Bishop Jorge Rodriguez, the historical committee unveiled the bronze plaque which will eventually be placed on the church’s wall.  The committee in the photo (left to right) worked hard for many months to achieve the feat:  Bob Kochevar, Sharon Losasso Johnson, Chairperson Frances Coloroso Daly, Pastor Fr. Hugh Guentner OSM, Sister Therese Merandi MSC and Sister Alice Zanon.  Not in the photo Sister Martha Lopez MSC.  Bravi tutti!



The Dante Alighieri Society will offer a 10-week winter session of Italian language classes, beginning January 8, 2018.  The schedule for winter classes will be posted on the Dante Alighieri website, and is listed below.  Students must register and pay for classes through the website.  The classes are taught by experienced and talented bi-lingual teachers.  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  or call 303-810-9042.   To register and pay for classes, visit the web site:

The registration deadline for the winter session is January 3, 2018.


Beginner Level Italian Classes

Beginner 1.  Mondays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning Jan 8, 2018 through March 12, 2018 (Brunetti).  In this class students with little or no knowledge of Italian will learn to communicate in simple everyday situations. Students will study the basic building blocks of the Italian language, including the alphabet, rules of pronunciation, basic syntax, and grammatical structures. Topics include subject pronouns, definite and indefinite articles, regular verbs in the present tense, and noun-adjective agreement.
Required Text: 
The Italian Project 1a.

Beginner 2.  Mondays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning Jan. 8, 2018 through March 12, 2018 (Brunetti).  In this class students will build upon their existing knowledge while incorporating new vocabulary and grammatical structures through conversation, role plays, listening, reading and writing activities. Topics include irregular and modal verbs in the present tense, articulated prepositions, and possessive adjectives.
Required Text:
The Italian Project 1a.

Beginner 3.  Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning Jan. 9, 2018 through March 13, 2018 (Jensen).  In this class, students will cover the topics in Units 4 and 5 of the textbook, including past and future verb tenses, adverbs, and ordering in a restaurant.
Required Text: The Italian Project 1a.

Intermediate Level Italian Classes

Intermediate 1.  Tuesdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning Jan. 9, 2018 through March 13, 2018 (Jensen).  In this class students will build upon their prior studies through role plays, listening, reading and writing activities. Topics include the imperfect, the past perfect, demonstrative adjectives, “volerci” and “metterci.”    Required Text: The Italian Project 1b.


Other Intermediate and Advanced classes will be offered in 2018.

Advanced Level Italian Classes

Advanced 6.  Thursdays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning Jan. 11, 2018 through March 15, 2018 (Brunetti).  This class will be predominantly in Italian, and will introduce more advanced vocabulary, subjunctive tenses, and courtesy forms of speaking.  Students will continue to develop their reading, listening, writing and speaking abilities.  Part of each class will be devoted to a review of material from the Italian Project 1a and 1b textbooks.  Required Texts: The Italian Project 1a, 1b, and 2a.


Advanced 8.  Thursdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning Jan. 11, 2018 through March 15, 2018 (Brunetti).  This class will be predominantly in Italian, and will introduce more advanced vocabulary and grammar.  Students will continue to develop their reading, listening, writing and speaking abilities.  Correction of written materials by students will also be covered.  Required Text: The Italian Project 2b.



SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE   With only a few glitches, our new online Academic and Music Scholarship application process worked very well in 2017.  The few revisions and updates we are making to the applications are now well under way.  In the past the applications weren’t available until the middle of January but now, once the updates have been completed, they will be available immediately on the Dante website to all students at the colleges and universities within our Dante Society geographic region. (University of Colorado, University of Denver, University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University, Metropolitan State University of Denver and Regis College) The deadline for submission of applications for the awarding of the 2018 scholarships is April 21, 2018. The annual Scholarship Awards Luncheon will be held May 6, 2018, tentatively scheduled at the Arvada Center. Mark the date on your calendar now to be sure you have it saved.  Finally, as we approach the end of another year, many of us consider donations to various charities and non-profits. I ask that you please consider a year-end donation to the Dante Scholarship Fund in order that we may continue the tradition of supporting college students who want to further immerse themselves in the study of our great Italian heritage. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 303-378-9736 or  Thank you.


FUND RAISING OPPORTUNITY FOR SCHOLARSHIP FUND   The Dante Society is planning to sell King Soopesr gift cards at the annual Christmas party. King Soopers offers organizations a simple way to raise money by returning 5% of grocery sales made on the card to our organization. The cards will initially cost $5 but can be reloaded for any amount at checkout.  By continuing to use the cards for purchases, this will provide an on-going source of income for scholarships. If you are not planning to attend the Christmas Party, cards will be available by calling Veronica Goodrich at 303-421-1547.

This is an advertisement paid by our member Tony Lombardi

nonno-tell-us-a-story book cover

GETTING TO KNOW YOU   Babbo Natale and La Befana.

Italy's version of Santa ClausBabbo Natale, Italy’s version of Santa Claus, is becoming more popular and gift giving on Christmas day is becoming more common. La Befana, the old woman who delivers gifts on Epiphany, January 6, is still the more popular Italian Christmas figure.  But Babbo Natale, or Father Christmas, is gaining popularity in Italy.

Babbo Natale is a thinner and more regal looking version of Santa Claus. They both wear red cloaks with white trim, but Santa Claus has most decidedly enjoyed more second helpings at the dinner table than Babbo Natale.  Historically, Christmas in Italy has been more focused on its religious significance than in some other European countries and certainly more reserved than the raucous month-long Christmas season enjoyed in the US. Yet many Italians now hang Christmas stockings for Babbo Natale to fill.

Santa Claus, or Saint Nicholas, has very European roots in traditional folklore. Babbo Natale in Italy, Père Noël in France, Father Christmas in England, Julenisse in Scandanavia , Sinter Klass in the Netherlands, as well as Santa Claus are all regionalized versions of the story of Saint Nicholas. La Befana, though, is uniquely Italian.  Since the Santa Claus story was popularized by Clement Moore and Coca Cola, the story the world over has many similarities. Babbo Natale also has reindeer, whose names are: Cometa, Ballerina, Fulmine, Donnola, Freccia, Saltarello, Donato, Cupido (Comet, Dancer, Dasher, Prancer, Vixen, Donder, Blitzen, Cupid).   Children all over the world write letters to their version of Santa Claus in hopes of receiving gifts. And, adults, well it is likely that many of us still believe in the spirit of the jolly man in the red suit whether he is known as Santa Claus or Babbo Natale.

italian folklore

The Legend of La Befana. 

In Italian folklore, La Befana is a witch who brings good children treats on the morning of the Epiphany, January 6. But if you were bad, look out – you may wake up to a lump of coal. We know. Familiar, right? Does she say, “Ho ho ho,” and associate with red-nosed reindeer, too?  Think again: La Befana has been flying around the world on her tattered broomstick to swoop down chimneys and deliver sweet or sooty judgment on girls and boys long before Kris Kringle could so much as grow a goatee. The witch has been in the Italian tradition at least since the eighth century, as part of the Epiphany.  In Italy, the Epiphany marks the official end of the Christmas season, commemorating the day when the three Wise Men arrived at the manger bearing gifts. Every year, the occasion is celebrated with living nativity scenes, a great procession through the city center, and — most exciting for the sweet lovers among us — the arrival of La Befana.

According to the story, the four figures’ fates were intertwined when the Magi happened upon La Befana early on during their quest. She charitably hosted them for an evening in her humble but cozy cottage; the next morning, they invited her to accompany them to Bethlehem. Busy cleaning her home, La Befana declined at first – but then, after they carried on their way – she had second thoughts. She quickly filled a basket with gifts for the baby Jesus and set off alone. Although she followed the same star, she was unable to find the manger before the Wise Men did on January 6, the Epiphany.  Today, La Befana continues to travel the world on Epiphany Eve, searching every house for the child and leaving candies and chocolates for the good children – just coal for the bad – in her wake.  (Eataly)

The legend of Old Befana has been brought to children around the world by author Tomie DePaola.  His retelling is unique in its resplendent settings and carefully researched detail.  DePaola portrays Old Befana with more humanity than most have offered the lonely old woman in her endless search for the Christ Child. (Harcourt)

italian cinemaNEWS FROM ITALY  

XVII Settimana della Lingua Italiana nel mondo: l’Italiano al cinema, l’italiano nel cinema.

Dal 16 al 22 ottobre si celebra in tutto il mondo, sotto l’Alto Patronato del Presidente della Repubblica, la XVII edizione della Settimana della Lingua Italiana nel mondo il cui tema quest’anno è: “L’Italiano al cinema, l’italiano nel cinema”. Organizzata dal Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale, insieme all’Accademia della Crusca, alla Società Dante Alighieri e con il sostegno della Confederazione elvetica, la Settimana è divenuta nel corso degli anni l’appuntamento più importante dedicato alla promozione della lingua italiana all’estero.  

Ogni Settimana è dedicata ad un argomento diverso, che serve da filo rosso per un vasto programma di conferenze, mostre ed incontri con i protagonisti della cultura italiana. Quest’anno, continuando il percorso dedicato alle industrie creative iniziato nel 2013, il tema scelto è il cinema, a sottolineare il ruolo che l’industria cinematografica e i suoi protagonisti hanno avuto nello sviluppo della nostra società e della nostra lingua. Per l’occasione, l’Accademia della Crusca proporrà un volume dedicato alla Settimana, disponibile gratuitamente online dal 15 al 22 ottobre, mentre sulle Reti Rai e nei cinema italiani sarà trasmesso un cortometraggio realizzato appositamente per la manifestazione.  Ampia la varietà delle iniziative che Ambasciate, Consolati e Istituti Italiani di Cultura offriranno a tutti gli amanti della nostra lingua e che possono essere scoperte nel Portale della Lingua Italiana, da quest’anno disponibile in una nuova versione inglese.

Le presentazioni cinematografiche saranno al cuore della programmazione di quest’anno, con la presenza, tra gli altri, di Pierfrancesco Diliberto “PIF” a Copenaghen, del regista Gianfranco Cabiddu a Minsk, di Nicoletta Braschi all’Istituto di Toronto e con la partecipazione di 8 film italiani al XXXIII Festival del Cinema di Haifa. Tra le principali iniziative organizzate insieme alla Confederazione elvetica ricordiamo la presentazione dell’ultimo film di Silvio Soldini all’Istituto di Cultura di Bruxelles e la mostra di schizzi di Federico Fellini a Jakarta. Presso l’Istituto di Vienna e il Consolato Generale di Gedda sarà proiettato il film svizzero “Vecchi Pazzi”, mentre l’Istituto di Pechino e l’Ambasciata d’Italia a Nicosia presenteranno al pubblico la pellicola “Oro verde”, di M. Soudani.  Come ogni anno, diverse saranno le conferenze organizzate con grandi protagonisti della nostra cultura. All’Istituto di New York il regista Nanni Moretti illustrerà l’importanza delle scelte linguistiche nei suoi film, insieme a Giuseppe Antonelli, professore universitario e conduttore del programma radiofonico “La lingua batte”. A Bruxelles si svolgerà il Convegno “L’italiano che parliamo e scriviamo”. A Londra, all’interno del “Festival of Italian Literature in London”, co-organizzato dall’Istituto con la comunità di autori italiani residenti a Londra, Giancarlo De Cataldo parlerà del rapporto tra letteratura, lingua e serie TV, mentre Pietro Bartolo, partendo dal film Fuocoammare di Gianfranco Rosi, presenterà la sua esperienza di medico sull’isola di Lampedusa.Infine, numerosi italianisti analizzeranno il rapporto tra l’italiano e il cinema: tra questi, ricordiamo le conferenze del Presidente dell’Accademia della Crusca, il Prof. Carlo Marazzini presso il Consolato di Lugano e del Professor Giuseppe Patota presso l’Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Zurigo.  (Italplanet)

White truffle prices reach an all-time high in Italy.

white truffles

The white truffle is one of the most sought-after ingredients for autumnal dishes in Italy and around the globe, and it's also one of the priciest.  This year, the cost per kilo of the delicacy soared to a record high at the prestigious White Truffle Fair in Alba, Piedmont.

The average price of truffle per kilo reached €6000, up from €5,000 five years ago, and €4,500 ten years ago, according to an analysis from farmers' organization Coldiretti.

The group said this year's unfavorable climate was to blame for the steep increase.  Truffles need both rain and cold to thrive, both of which have been in short supply during a summer of heatwaves and drought.  Both olive and wine production also suffered, with the wine harvest getting off to its earliest start in a decade in some areas. In total, Coldiretti predicted that losses to Italian agriculture because of the summer's extraordinary temperatures would amount to €2 billion.

The Alba white truffle fair, which has been held annually since before World War II, draws in thousands of gourmet pilgrims for nearly two months of tasting, buying and selling each year, and is used as a reference point for truffle prices and quality across the country. Only a small amount of truffle is typically used in recipes,  typically shaved onto pasta, a risotto, or used to infuse honey or pesto.  (The Local)

Pasta facts in honor of Italy’s favorite food. 

making pastaOctober 25th was officially World Pasta Day. But in Italy, every day is pasta day.  Why do Italians love pasta? There are too many reasons to count.  So instead, we'll share with you a few things you might not know about Italy's best-loved export. Italians used to eat pasta with a spike.  Forget the fork and spoon debate: in the Middle Ages, Italians would have been shocked to see diners using anything except a wooden spike to twirl up their noodles.

The instrument was known as a punteruolo and was gradually replaced by the fork as Italians realized that three spikes were better than one.

The fork’s practicality for eating pasta is believed to be a factor in why Italy adopted the cutlery earlier and more enthusiastically than most other countries in Europe.

Naples is the perfect place to make pasta.  Campania, the region of southern Italy around Naples, has arguably the world’s best climate for making pasta.  Its rich soil and warm weather helps durum wheat to grow year-round, while the combination of cool, dry breezes from the sea and hot, wet winds from Mount Vesuvius provide the perfect conditions to dry pasta slowly – but not too slowly – in the open air.  Today the region produces Italy’s first protected pasta: pasta di Gragnano, made from local wheat and soft spring water from Mount Lattari using traditional techniques. The pasta is considered so unique that the European Union granted it “protected geographical indication” status in 2013.

Italy's first pasta factory was in Venice.  Artisanal pasta-making may have flourished in southern Italy, but the first pasta factory was in the north. In 1740 Venice authorized Paolo Adami of Genova to open a pasta factory there.  The license stipulated that he would teach Venetian apprentices the secrets of fine pasta, since outside Neapolitans, Genovese were considered Italy’s other pasta kings.

We eat 13 million tons of pasta a year.  The world spent $23 billion on pasta in 2016, according to market research by Euromonitor. That bought us some 13 million tons of the stuff.  Italy is the world’s biggest market, followed by the United States. But guess who buys the most pasta after them?  Russia. So popular is pasta becoming there that Euromonitor predicts Russia’s appetite could eventually overtake Americans’.   (The Local) 


good newsThe agreement between the Vatican and the Dante has been renewed once again for the year 2017. 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,, or Gianfranco Marcantonio at 303-494-3080 .
For additional privileges for Dante members while in Italy, please visit the following site:


Cultural Meetings



December 9 – Christmas Party                                                                                                                                                                                  


Language - Winter classes begin Jan. 2018

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.