Oct 2018 Notiziario

Dante Alighieri Notiziario - Denver

Scholarship Fundraiser Concert and Silent Auction

click to print flyer


Italian Music - from Opera to Pop
Saturday, October 6th, Green Mountain United Methodist Church
12755 West Cedar Drive, Lakewood, CO 

Auction bidding begins at 5:30 p.m.  Concert begins at 6:00 p.m.

You don't want to miss out on this fun event! The concert will have something for everyone to enjoy, many songs you'll remember from your days as a child that are still popular today. From professional performers to scholarship recipients to talented individuals who have been singing together for years, you will be treated to an evening of complete entertainment. You'll even get a chance to sing along to some of your favorite tunes.

Auction! Benefits the Scholarship Program!

So many wonderful items to bid on - gift baskets filled with Italian food, wine and other essentials; vintage wine glasses from Italy, 2 nights stay in one of Denver's airbnbs and much, much more.

Let's not forget, this is all to benefit the Dante Alighieri Society's Scholarship Program. Since its inception, the Dante Alighieri Society Scholarship Program has given out over $300,000 to worthy students who have studied in Italy and come home to help promote and foster the Italian culture.

You can buy your tickets online at www.dantealighieriofdenver.com or by calling Veronica Goodrich at 303-421-1547.
See you at the concert!   Click for flyer.


On October 12, 2018, our Italian teacher, Vanessa DiMaggio will present “How Politics Influenced Dante Alighieri’s Writings.  She will be discussing how Dante’s political views changed and crystallized over time, especially over the course of writing the Divina Commedia. We’ll discuss how his exile—and how he came to terms with his exile—shaped his writing, beginning with anger toward the faction who ousted him when writing the Inferno to absorbing the political leanings of the faction who took him in when writing the Purgatorio to finally reaching a place of acceptance when writing Paradiso, where he puts forth his pro-imperialist views most strongly.

As always, the program will take place at Mount Carmel Parish Hall at 7:30 p.m. 3549 Navajo Street, Denver.

Dante Alighieri illustration

A Night at the Opera – CONCERT AT DENVER UNIVERSITY, Nov 2

Lamont Symphony Orchestra & Lamont Opera Theatre will present A Night at the Opera, Ari Pelto, guest conductor.  The Opera Colorado conductor leads the symphony and opera theatre singers on an operatic journey from scenes in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and Verdi’s La traviata to Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Dante Society has purchased a limited number of reserved seating for $5.  Friday, November 2, 2018, 7:30 p.m., if you are interested, kindly contact our President Veronica Goodrich at 303-421-1547 or e-mail goodveron@comcast.net.

Complimentary parking in the Newman Center garage one hour prior to the performance (enter on E. Wesley Ave.).


The Dante Alighieri Society gives a warm welcome to the following new members:  David Carter, Lawrence Dietrich, Robert Elia, Kallman Elinoff, Juliebeth Freshman, Giulianna Giorno, Sue Landers, Sandra Mallea Liosa, George Mazzotti, Ines McCall, Rebecca Mickey, Steve and Sue Preston, Nicole Rosmarino, Silvia Ruiz, Steven Shea, Hannah Shuck, Kevin Trainor, and Dawn Viola.


We would like to thank Professor Wayne Ambler for his informative and inviting presentation on Rome.  We will look forward to visiting the Eternal City with new enthusiasm at the prospect of viewing three cultural periods in one place.

Professor Ambler is an engaging speaker, and we hope he will return soon for another presentation.


Notice will be going out in October to all area colleges and universities that the 2019 Dante scholarship applications are available on line.  The deadline for students to submit their applications is April 6, 2019. Mark your calendars now for the Scholarship Luncheon on May 5, 2019 at the Arvada Center. As always, we ask that you lend your support to the scholarship program through your generous donations. You have an additional opportunity to show your support this year by attending the Concert and Silent Auction on October 6.  It will be a fun evening you won’t want to miss.


Currently the Nominating Committee has the following nominees:

John Giardino, president; Nick Napoli, vice president: Vera Buffaloe, secretary;  Carol Marsala, treasurer.  The nomination for new officers is still open, and according to Robert’s Rules of Order, nominations can also be accepted the night of the election. The Committee consists of board members John Giardino (303-463-0971) and Carol Marsala (303-389-4141).  Members at large are Rosalie Spicola (303-423-9010), Pamela Marcantonio (303-494-3080), and Margaret Foderaro (720-212-6041).

Anyone interested in running for one of the positions should call a member of the Nominating Committee. The election of officers will take place at the Dante Society’s November Membership meeting. Newly elected officers will take their respective positions in January. The term of each office shall commence after the installation ceremony and continue for two years or until successors are elected.


The Dante Alighieri Society will offer a 10-week winter session of Italian language classes, beginning in January 2019.  The schedule for winter classes will be posted on the Dante Alighieri website by December 1.  Students must register for classes through 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.

Please register early because classes do fill up.  For more information, please contact the Education Chair Suzanne Fasing at suzannefasing@yahoo.com or call 303-810-9042.   To register for classes, visit the web site:




Take a Dante Society King Soopers gift card with you to King Soopers! It 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.

Every time you reload your card, King Soopers/Kroger adds the amount to Dante’s Reward account.  When the account balance in any given month reaches $5,000, Dante gets a check for 5% of the total.  If we don't hit $5,000 in that month, the balance rolls forward to the next month. The card can be used for purchases at King Soopers/Kroger Stores including gas.

(You cannot use the card for services such as Western Union, lottery tickets, stamps, money orders, ticket master or any other gift cards). 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.

Patrick Wms 2018GETTING TO KNOW YOU   Patrick Williams.

  1. 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?

My maternal grandparents were from Piana degli Albanesi, just a few kilometers south of Palermo in Sicily. I am taking my first trip to Italy this month (October 2018). I anticipate more trips in 2019 and beyond, with extended stays. I applied for my dual Italian-American citizenship in April and am awaiting the final paperwork.

  1. When did your ancestors arrive in America, and where did they settle originally? Did they come right to Colorado? 

 My grandfather, Francesco Manali, arrived in the US in 1907. His last name of Manali was changed to Manale when going through Ellis Island. My grandmother, Rosalia Guidera, came over in 1909. She brought two children with her and they settled in Leavenworth, Kansas, where my mother and the rest of her siblings were born. I was born there also. I moved to Colorado in 1976.

  1. If you had to describe yourself in one word, what word would that be, and why?


  1. Who was most influential to you growing up, and why?

My parents were divorced and remarried. I was fortunate to have four wonderful, loving parents. There is a part of each one of them in me that I treasure and am thankful for.

  1. Tell us a little about you, employment, family, interests and so on.

When I came to Colorado, I began work as a lawyer and stayed in the legal field for 15 years, including 5 years as a judge in Adams County. I eventually morphed over to teaching - primarily math at the secondary level. I finished my teaching career teaching English in Shanghai for two and a half years. I am now fortunate to be working with and for my daughter as a legislative analyst for her lobbying firm, Ascent Strategies.

I have four children and ten grandchildren. Two of the children and three of the grandchildren live here in Denver. My one son and his family (3 children) live in London and one of my daughters and her four children live in Albuquerque.  I like to ride a motorcycle and play my guitar. I am also taking a course on Italian culture at CU in Boulder through the senior auditor program.

  1. How would you most like to be remembered?

As a person who cared about his family, his friends and his values.

  1. What attracted you about joining the Dante Alighieri Society?

I wanted to become involved with an organization that gave me access to cultural and social Italian influences. Also, the opportunity to take Italian classes is great. I am now taking the Beginners 3 class. I am so pleased at how friendly everyone is at the Dante Alighieri Society.

NEWS FROM ITALY Following in Dante's footsteps: Eight beautiful towns to visit in Italy.

Dante and his Divine Comedy rank highly on the list of Italy’s best cultural exports, but even if you haven't actually got around to reading his work, why not soak up some of his genius by visiting one of the towns where the poet spent his days?

Dante was pretty well-travelled; not only did his political role allow him to see a lot of the country, but after being exiled from his hometown, he spent the rest of his life on the road.

City breaks, rural retreats and cross-country road trips can all be injected with a Dante flavor - just follow our guide to discover the poet’s connection to eight spots across the peninsula, all of which are well worth a visit.


This is the big one. Dante was born and grew up in the Tuscan city, which later exiled him when his political rivals gained power. The writer had a love-hate relationship with his hometown – so much so that he liked to describe himself as ‘Florentine by birth, but not in conduct’.

But hindsight's a great thing, and the city that once threatened Dante with death if he dared to return, later decided it was actually quite proud of him. The ‘House of Dante’ is dedicated to the poet’s life if you want to learn more, or you can look for the dozens of portraits, busts and plaques in his honor which are dotted around the city.

You can visit the places where the writer once set foot, starting with the San Giovanni baptistery where he was christened and - probably at a later date - found inspiration for a verse or two of the Comedy in its spectacular mosaic ceiling. Then there’s the Palazzo dei Priori, now a museum, where Dante once spoke at city assemblies. That's just for starters – here’s a self-guided Dante tour of the city which will make sure you don’t miss a thing.


Dante and his children spent two years of his exile in Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna. In 1321, the poet died at the age of 56 as he was returning to the northern town after an ambassadorial trip to Venice.

Ravenna church

Then things got weird.  Dante was buried in Ravenna's Church of San Pier Maggiore (now the church of San Francesco), and a grand tomb was built for him in 1483. Along with the beautiful mosaics Ravenna is famous for, the mausoleum is one of the city’s main historical sites.

But Florence later decided they wanted to bury Dante there, and built a spectacular tomb of their own. Michelangelo and even Pope Leo X got involved in the campaign for the poet’s remains to be returned to his hometown, but the sneaky Ravenna monks sent an empty coffin, hiding his bones in a secret location. It was so secret in fact that they were only discovered by accident in 1865, during construction works.

In the tomb today, you'll see candles hanging from the ceiling inside – the oil for the lamps is paid for by Florence to make up for exiling Dante. And the nearby Dante Museum features several exhibitions about the poet and the role of Ravenna itself in Dante’s life.


A respected politician, thinker and writer, Dante studied at Bologna’s famous university and visited many times afterwards, as well as name-checking the city frequently in his work. In De Vulgari Eloquentia, his treatise on language, he praises Bolognese as a noble dialect in comparison to those of other cities, even though he thought Florentine was the best of all.

Bologna two towers

The city’s two towers - the most popular tourist sight in Bologna - are evoked in Inferno to describe giants submerged in the depths of hell. But far from being offended at the city’s pride and joy being compared to evil giants, the Bolognese are proud of the mention, and a plaque at the side of the towers displays the relevant quote.

Dante and Rome color sketchRome.

Dante visited Rome in 1301 to meet Pope Boniface VIII, and it was while he was on this trip that Florence was taken over by a rival faction of Dante’s political party, the Guelphs, leading to his exile. It's possible that he also attended Pope Boniface VIII's Jubilee the previous year, as he describes it vividly in Inferno.

(continued next section.)

Rome is mentioned frequently throughout Dante’s work, and in return, the city has paid tribute to Dante. You’ll see statues, paintings and streets bearing his name across the city.

Among the more notable homages are the bust in the magnificent Villa Borghese park, and his cameo in the background of The Parnassus, a Raphael fresco, which you'll find in the Vatican Museums.


Verona was where Dante first sought refuge after being exiled, and he stayed for six years between 1312 and 1318, editing Inferno and Purgatorio and working on the final part of the Comedia, Paradiso, in which he praises and thanks his “earliest refuge”. He was hosted by Verona’s ruler, Cangrande della Scala, on whom he lavishes praise in Paradiso and whose tomb you can visit today.

scenic bridge

Dante’s strong bond with Verona is commemorated with a statue in Piazza Dante, and you can take a Dante-themed guided tour through the city’s streets.

You might also want to explore the city's connection to another literary giant; Verona's Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore is not only mentioned in Dante's Purgatorio, but is also the setting of Romeo and Juliet’s marriage in Shakespeare’s play. And a small section of Paradise has been used as evidence that Shakespeare’s lovers were real; Dante refers to the sadness of the Montecchi and Cappelletti families – could these have been translated as the Montagues and Capulets?

Casentino, Tuscany.

About 50km east of Florence is Casentino, full of forests and castles steeped in history. It is untouched by most tourist routes today, but hasn’t always been so peaceful; Arezzo and Florence bitterly fought for the territory, notably in the 1289 Battle of Campaldino, in which Dante played a part. You can see a white column on the site of the battle, known to locals as ‘Dante’s suitcase’, and the nearby Poppi castle has information about the battle.

But Dante’s experiences on the battlefield didn’t put him off returning to the area. He stayed in the towns of Poppi, Romena and Dovaldo to work at court, and if you choose to recreate these trips, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful scenery and majestic castles.

Casentino had a special place in Dante’s heart, and he ensured local citizens fame by including them in his Comedia – even giving the enemy leader who died at the Battle of Campaldino, Buonconte da Montefeltro, a favorable portrayal in Purgatorio.

Lunigiana, northern Tuscany/Liguria.

Lunigiana today lies between La Spezia and Massa Carrara, though in Dante’s time the borders were rather different. Dante visited the territory several times between 1306 and 1308, and his time in the region included a stay at the monastery of Santa Croce del Corvo – which now offers guest accommodation if you want a true Dantean experience.

monastery in Italy

According to writings from a monk named Ilaro, when Dante arrived at the monastery and was asked what he was looking for, he simply responded: “Peace”. You’re sure to get plenty of that in the mountainous rural region, which has If you want to add a bit of culture to your trip you can visit the local Dante museum which explores the links between Dante and Lunigiana. And since 2011, the town of Mulazzo has held annual historical reenactments in April to commemorate the poet’s arrival in the city.


Dante went to Venice numerous times during his period of exile. The first was for a few months in August 1321 to resolve a diplomatic dispute, when he stayed with his good friend, a nobleman named Giovanni Soranzo. Soranzo’s family home, the Palazzo Soranzo, is still standing in Campo San Polo – the city’s second largest square – and though it now houses apartments and offices, see if you can spot a plaque on the front noting the poet’s visitseveral beautiful medieval castles.   Dante was particularly impressed by the busy shipyard of Venice, and uses it as a simile to evoke the movement and restlessness of sinners in Inferno. This is ironic, because while the Venetians produced beautiful ships, the sinners' activity is futile. The tercet has its own plaque, which is on the main entrance of the Arsenal close to a bust of Dante.   (The Local)


Dante discount card

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, rhop626@gmail.com, or Gianfranco Marcantonio at 303-494-3080 glm3942@yahoo.com .

For additional privileges for Dante members while in Italy, please visit the following site: http://ladante.it/diventa-socio/le-convenzioni



Cultural Meetings

October 12
November 9


Concert/Auction October 6
Concert at DU Nov. 2
Election of Officers Nov. 9
Christmas Party Dec. 8


Language – Winter begins Jan. 2019

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.