March 2019 Notiziario

Dante Alighierio of Denver Notiziario


Night at the movies. On Friday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. the Society will be showing a comedy by Alessandro Genovesi:  La peggior settimana della mia vita

(The Worst Week of my Life).  Dr. Waldbaum presentsIt is in Italian with English subtitles.  Brief synopsis:  Paolo is about to marry Margherita, the woman he loves.  With one week to go until the wedding, all seems to point to a rosy and sweet future, but a series of unfortunate events take place during that week.   Very funny….do not miss!

As always, the showing will take place at Mt. Carmel Parish Hall, 3549 Navajo St., Denver.


Grazie to Dr. Roberta Waldbaum for the interesting and informative presentation “Ethical Edibles: Visions of the Table in Italian Literature & Cinema”.  Her talk and the illustrated clips from Italian films and literature provided those in attendance much “food for thought” to chew on.


Once again, Gisella Isidori has conducted with flying colors three well attended classes on January 26, February 9 and 23.  Each class consisted in preparing and then enjoying antipasto, primo, secondo and dolce.  The first class featured handmade pasta, the second and third celebrated the upcoming Carnevale and Easter by preparing traditional food.  It was truly fun while working.  Grazie to Gisella, Vera, Rhonda, Veronica and to all those who participated.  Looking forward to future classes.


On February 5, I accompanied Gianfranco and Pamela Marcantonio when they put on a program for first graders at Swigert International School, presenting some major highlights of Italy and being Italian. The students genuinely appreciated the presentation and, as a result, might become Dante members in the future! As I have mentioned, Dr. John Sadler is the incoming Scholarship Committee Chair. I recently met with John and Pamela Marcantonio to facilitate the transition. My thanks to both for helping insure the handoff is a smooth one.

On February 8, I officiated at my first cultural meeting as president where Dr. Roberta Waldbaum’s program, “Ethical Edibles: Visions of the Table in Italian Literature & Cinema”, proved enlightening, entertaining and fun! Our monthly programs are always worthwhile thanks to Dr. Nick Napoli, our Vice-president for programs.

Finally, I’m working on gathering contact information for other Italian organizations so I can begin the outreach effort I talked about previously. If you ever have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel to contact me at 303-378-9736.  Grazie.  John Giardino


Vorrei presentarmI a voi, per piacere.   I would like to introduce myself to you. I have enjoyed serving on this vital Scholarship Committee of the Board for over 10 years. The Board should pride itself in the amount of money given for scholarships, since it was started in 1985. Had it not been for a scholarship, I could never have afforded to go to college. I grew up in a family grocery store.   Questa borsa di studio significa molto per me.  So, this scholarship program means a lot to me personally.

I have been studying Italian for over 20 years with my wife, Ami, who shares my passion for Italian.  We study at CU, but also study in Italy in schools in Bologna, Rome, Montepulciano, and in Firenze, etc. We continue to study 1.5 hours per week with Chiara Torriani (plus homework time) and hope to add 2 more hours per week, beginning in April with a new professoressa.  We are currently taking Italian courses at CU, most recently with Cosetta Seno, on the Mafia and the problems of terrorismo. I retired August 31, 2018 as a past pediatrician, child and adolescent psychiatrist and most recently, for the past several years, I have been serving as a psychiatrist with the homeless population of Denver.  This population brings along with it many problems of serious psychiatric disorders, complicated with problems with alcohol and other addictions such as cocaine and amphetamine.  I was Chair of Child and Adolescent psychiatry at The Children's Hospital of Denver for about 9 years and also at National Jewish Hospital and research center for another nine years.

Pamela, John Giardino and I met in February and Pamela and I met again to work out the details of my role with the committee and the Board.  I am looking forward to this work together with the committee and with you, the Board.  Please save Sunday, May 5, for the awards luncheon.  I am working with Barbara Sadler and Lauren Seymour at The Arvada Center on the details of the menu and pricing etc, and soon we will have reservation forms sent out.  The full Scholarship Committee will meet on Saturday, April 20th, to review all the completed applications and decide on the winners of the 2019 Dante Society Scholarship. In due respect to our applicants, this is a mandatory meeting of the committee and needs to be calendared now, please.  Ciao, John Sadler, MD.

BENVENUTO   The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver gives a warm welcome to our latest member Jim Treibert.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS   La prima domenica in April will be on the 7th, 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. Help will be needed before and after the Mass.  More details next month. Grazie.


Fundraiser cardThe Dante has received over $1,000 toward our Scholarship Fund through the King Soopers Neighborhood Reward Program. A hearty thanks to our members and friends who have reloaded gift cards purchased through the Dante Society.  If you don’t have one yet, we’ll have some at the next Dante function or contact Veronica Goodrich 303.421.1547 or Carol Marsala 303.237.0688.  Initially loaded with $25, Dante only gets credit when you add $$ to the card at checkout (or customer service).  It’s painless, and oh, so rewarding.


The Dante Alighieri Society will offer a 10-week spring session of Italian language classes, beginning March 25, 2019.  The schedule for spring classes is posted on the Dante Alighieri website, and it 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 spring session is March 18, 2019.


Beginner Level Italian Classes

Beginner 1.  Mondays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning March 25, 2019 through June 3, 2019 (no class on Memorial Day, May 27) (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.  Wednesdays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning March 27, 2019 through May 29, 2019 (Jensen).  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.  Wednesdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning March 27, 2019 through May 29, 2019 (Jensen).  In this class, students will cover the topics in Units 4 and 5 of the textbook, including past and future verb tenses, the adverb “ci,” train travel, and ordering in a restaurant.
Required Text: The Italian Project 1a.

Intermediate 1: Mondays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning March 25, 2019 through June 3, 2019 (no class on Memorial Day, May 27) (Brunetti).  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.

Intermediate 2: Will be offered in future sessions.

Intermediate 3.  Will be offered in future sessions.

Intermediate 4.  Intermediate 4.  Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning March 26, 2019 through May 28, 2019 (Jensen).  In this class students will continue to expand their vocabulary and understanding of more advanced grammatical concepts through listening activities, role play, readings, videos, conversation and written assignments.  Topics include the present and past conditional tenses and review of Italian Project 1a and 1b.
Required Text: The Italian Project 1b.   

Advanced Level Italian Classes

Advanced 1.  Tuesdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning March 26, 2019 through May 28, 2019 (Jensen).  In this class students will continue to expand their vocabulary and understanding of more advanced grammatical concepts through listening activities, role play, readings, videos, conversation and written assignments.  The class will be conducted primarily in Italian and topics will include double object pronouns, relative pronouns and the gerund.
Required Texts: The Italian Project 2a.

Conversation 203.  Thursdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning March 28, 2019 through May 30, 2019 (Brunetti).  This class will be full immersion. Students will be able to converse, understand, and write on a variety of subjects including but not limited to art and literature. Emphasis will be on becoming “linguistically flexible.”
Required Text: The Italian Project 2b.


It’s that time of year again.  Membership renewal cards went out at the end of the month of December.  I hope you will join us for another year of interesting lectures, movies and fun.  Please review the information on the card and make any corrections before mailing it back to me with your payment.  Attention students.   If you plan to continue taking language classes in 2019, it will be necessary for you to renew your membership regardless of when you joined the DAS.  Please pay for your class and membership at the same time.  If I receive payment prior to mailing the renewal cards, I will not send a card to you.  Instead I will check your current information from your registration and fill the card out for you.   Grazie, Rhonda Hopkins, Membership Chairperson.  Deadline for renewals is March 31.


Carnevale is one of the most colorful celebrations in the world. Most people are familiar with the Carnevale celebrations in New Orleans and Rio, Venice and Viareggio.  However, since Carnevale was actually born in Italy, almost every town in Italy has its own traditional celebration with parades, dancing, masquerading and feasting with special food before the fasting and meditation of Lent begins.  Actually, Carnevale’s roots go back to Pagan rituals celebrating the coming of spring when people painted their bodies and gave into ritualistic dancing and chanting. The roots can also be seen in the Greek celebrations to Bacchus and Roman celebrations to Saturn.

The dates for Carnevale are set by the Roman liturgical calendar and it generally begins the week-end before Ash Wednesday but it can start a few weekends earlier and always ends on Ash Wednesday morning.  Milan, however, is an exception, they follow the Ambrosian calendar and ends 4 days later on the Sunday following Ash Wednesday.

Tradition tells us the St Ambrose, the patron of Milan, was called away from the city around the end of Carnevale.  To avoid missing Ash Wednesday with his congregations, he postponed it to the first Sunday of Lent so he could celebrate when he returned.  Whether the story is true or not, the liturgical calendar of Milan and its dioceses was changed forever and so did the length of Milan’s Carnevale.

The wearing of costumes and masks during Carnevale began during the early Renaissance. The masquerade Ball was introduced by Pope Paul II in the 15th century and gained popularity especially thanks to the usage of the masked characters of the Commedia dell’ Arte.  Arlecchino, Pantalone, and Pulcinella are some of the most beloved masks. These masks depict the human stereotypes of greed, vanity and cunning. During the 17th and 18th century, the wearing of masks became popular at other celebrations and were also used as instruments of seduction by noblewomen and courtesans alike.  (Provided by Gisella Isidori)

NOTIZIE DALL’ITALIA   222° anniversario del Tricolore, simbolo della Patria.

Nel giorno dell’anniversario del simbolo della Patria, il Presidente della Repubblica, Sergio Mattarellaha rilasciato la seguente dichiarazione: “Da Reggio Emilia la nostra bandiera è stata il testimone di tutti gli avvenimenti che hanno segnato il Risorgimento e la conquista dell’Unità d’Italia, sino alla Repubblica. Un cammino distinto da momenti di grande entusiasmo e anche da terribili sofferenze, superate con la tenacia, la caparbietà e l’eroismo di un popolo che non ha mai rinunciato a voler dare ai propri figli un futuro migliore.  Nel Tricolore gli italiani hanno sempre visto riflettersi la loro storia comune. La bandiera è un testimone che viene passato di generazione in generazione per riaffermare i valori della nostra identità in un contesto internazionale che ci vede, raccolti nella comune casa europea, fermi sostenitori della pace e della cooperazione fra le genti.  Al Tricolore guardano con rispetto, animati da sentimenti di onore e lealtà, tutti gli italiani che, in esso e nella Costituzione, si riconoscono concittadini.  Viva il Tricolore, viva la Repubblica”.  (ItalPlanet News)


Gold medal for the Mediterranean diet.  If anyone has doubts about the Mediterranean diet was once again and officially named the best in the world. In 2019, in fact, it won for the first time the gold medal awarded by the magazine Us News and World Report .
Among the examined 41 different diets, the Mediterranean diet has won first place in several subcategories: best diet for a healthy diet, better plant-based diet, best diet for diabetes and diet easier to follow. On the other hand, there are numerous studies that have shown that it can reduce the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, memory problems, depression and breast cancer. They are also attributed positive effects on bone health and heart, on lengthening the average life and weight loss.
The final list was drawn up by a panel of experts on various issues (diabetes and heart problems, diet and nutrition, food psychology and obesity), who examined the studies published by scientific and public bodies report publications.
In 2018 the first place was a tie between the Mediterranean diet and the Dash diet countering hypertension. This year, the Dash Diet is in second place, followed by the flexitarian diet (or semi-vegetarian). In fourth place, are the Mind diet (which helps slow cognitive decline) and Weight Watchers.
The Mediterranean diet is an eating style.  At the basis of the Mediterranean food pyramid, there are grains, along with potatoes, that represent an abundant source of complex carbohydrates, fat-free energy, and fiber. Going up the food pyramid, we find the different groups of fruits, to be taken in doses of about 2-3 servings per day and vegetables recommended "in abundance." This group contains fiber and antioxidants, as does olive oil, to be consumed daily albeit with moderation. To be consumed each day are milk and yogurt.  In the middle of the food pyramid there are foods to be consumed not every day, but at least several times a week: they are those of animal origin, such as fish, white meats, cheeses, especially fresh ones. To be consumed more sparingly are red meat and eggs and legumes, which are an excellent source of vegetable protein. At the top of the pyramid there are finally the foods to be consumed in moderation:  sugars, namely sweets, sauces, animal fats (butter), and wine.

The Mediterranean diet is a nutritional model inspired by the traditional dietary habits of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Nutrition scientists around the world have studied it and established it as the diet that provides absolutely the best health. To scientifically prove the health value of the Mediterranean diet, an extensive observational study was undertaken, which became famous as the "Seven Countries Study", in which were compared the diets adopted by seven countries (United States, Italy, Finland, Greece, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands and Japan) to verify benefits and critical points in terms of cardiovascular health. The results of this study do not leave much doubt: the more you deviated from the Mediterranean patterns, the greater the incidence of cardiovascular disease.

The food style identified by this study and many other studies that followed is based on the prevailing consumption of foods such as cereals and dairy products, whole meal pasta and bread, legumes, fruits, vegetables and olive oil.  Born in an area for ancient traditions dedicated to the cultivation of vineyards, the Mediterranean Diet  also advises  a daily wine consumption in moderate amounts (one glass for women, two for men).
There are now numerous scientific evidences that demonstrate the effectiveness of this nutritional model not only in the prevention of cardiovascular disease but also in the protection against diseases like cancerobesity and diabetes.   (ItalPlanet News)


Dante discount card

Once again, the agreement between the Vatican and the Dante Society has been renewed once again for the year 2019.   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:

For additional privileges for Dante members while in Italy, please visit the following site:



Cultural Meetings

March 8 - Night at the movies

April 12


April 7 – Prima domenica

May 5 – Scholarship Banquet


Language – Spring begins March 25

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.