Dante ALighieri Society Denver


Dante Alighieri Society of Denver Website: https://dantealighieriofdenver.com/


As I reported in last month’s Notiziario, a committee of representatives, including myself, from several Italian-American organizations was formed to discuss the re-dedication of the statue in Civic Center Park honoring Christopher Columbus.  Though I was assured by our Italian vice-consul, Giovanna Carriero-Contreras, that the Dante Alighieri Society would have equal involvement in the process, I was never notified of any further meetings. At two follow-up meetings, the other committee members designed a survey to be distributed to all Italian organizations and their members requesting input on the new Italian-American memorial. The link that follows will direct you to the vice-consul’s website where the survey can be filled out. You are asked to add your thoughts and opinions on the issues and thus, by adding your voice, you will be a part of the Italian-American community which assures this memorial will represent the positive attributes and contributions made by the Italians not only to the City of Denver but also the State of Colorado. Please take a few minutes to express your opinions. https://coitalianhc.com/columbus.html      Grazie.  John Giardino, President



You’ve heard plenty of stories about living in North Denver, and probably have a few of your own to share. Join us for a virtual book reading by Phyllis Ursetta from her book My Life in the Middle of the Mob on ZOOM on Friday, September 11, at 7:30 p.m.

NOTE:  You will receive invitation and password to ZOOM 24 to 48 hours prior to the cultural presentation.

Phyllis Borelli Ursetta was born and raised in North Denver’s “Little Italy” in a house that is still standing at 37th and Mariposa Street, and she lives just a few blocks from there today.  She grew up within walking distance to Columbus Park pool and spent many summers swimming there.  She watched movies in the Bug House (the slang name) and bought ten-cent single slices of pizza from the old Subway on 37th and Lipan.  She attended both elementary and high school at Mt Carmel and is still a member of the church today and sings in their choir.

Her career in real estate got started twenty- seven ago when she met and worked for Dana Crawford, who mentored her for two years.   Since then, she has owned and operated her own brokerage, Integrity Reality and specializes in condos, lofts, and single-family homes and knows Denver and the surrounding areas well.

She recently published her first book, a fiction which she co-wrote with her sister, Carol Pollard.  They wanted to share ownership as authors, thus their pen name, c j draper. The story takes place in a city called Sable that closely resembles the neighborhood where Phyllis grew up and the life she led there. Names were changed to protect the not so innocent.  The book―available on Amazon in both eBook and paperback―is titled… My Life in the Middle of the Mob   by c j draper.


Professor Wayne Ambler of CU Boulder and past speaker at many of our cultural meetings has created a website and series of podcasts on the history of Rome.  Currently the webpage is ready and the podcasts will begin on September 20.  We urge all members of our organization to look at this beautiful and informative site and enjoy the upcoming podcasts.  The website is www.getreadyforrome.com


We will launch a new column in the Notiziario to wish our members a Buon Compleanno during their birthday month.  The column will list the names and the day of the month that a member has a birthday, but we will not publish the year of a member’s birth.  Please send a quick email, with your birthday month and day, to Dante Society board member, Suzanne Fasing, at suzannefasing@yahoo.com      Grazie!


The Dante Alighieri Society will offer a 10-week winter session of Italian language classes, beginning in January 2021.  The schedule for winter classes will be posted on the Dante Society  website by December 7, 2020, and online registration will begin as soon as the schedule is posted.  During the current fall session, language classes are offered as online remote classes, using the Zoom platform.  The Dante Society board, in consultation with the teachers, will decide if the winter 2021 session of classes will continue to be offered through the Zoom platform, or whether it will be prudent to offer the classes in person, in the parish offices of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.  That information will be posted on the Dante Society website when the winter 2021 class schedule is posted.  Whether on Zoom, or in person, classes will be held once a week, for 90 minutes.  Cost is $115 for members and $145 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  To register for classes, visit the web site:       https://dantealighieriofdenver.com/classes/language-classes/


Beginner 1.  Wednesdays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning January 13, 2021 through March 17, 2021 (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 January 11, 2021 through March 15, 2021 (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.


Advanced Beginner.  Thursdays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning January 14, 2021 through March 18, 2021 (Brunetti).    This class is designed for students with some Beginner coursework who wish to accelerate their learning.  Students will build upon their prior studies through listening, reading and writing activities. Topics include past and future verb tenses, and the required text will be covered in its entirety.  Emphasis will be placed on everyday conversational situations using grammar and vocabulary from the textbook.  Required Text: The Italian Project 1a.


Intermediate 2.  Tuesdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning January 12, 2021 through March 16, 2021 (Jensen).  In this class students will continue to expand their studies of increasingly complex grammatical structures and vocabulary through listening activities, role plays, readings, education videos and written assignments. Topics include direct object pronouns, reflexive verbs and the impersonal form.

Required Text:  The Italian Project 1b.


Intermediate 1, 3, and 4 will be offered in a future session.


Advanced 1.  Wednesdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning January 13, 2021 through March 17, 2021.  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 Text:  The Italian Project 2a.


Italian Literature 204.  Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning January 12, 2021, through March 16, 2021 (Jensen).  Advanced Intermediate class on

Carlo Goldoni: Il Servitore di Due Padroni: (The Servant of Two Masters). Comedic play in three acts by Venetian playwright who wrote during the famed "commedia dell'arte" era in Italy. The book is a shortened and easier version than the original. Students will read, listen and discuss book as well as do grammar, vocabulary and comprehension exercises on each chapter of the book. Strong knowledge of the language is necessary to engage in conversation. Students will discuss the book in the present, past, future and conditional tenses.
Required Text: Carlo Goldoni, Il Servitore di Due Padroni. (ISBN: 9788853623140). Students may purchase this book from internet booksellers including applauselearning.com, bookdepository.com, europeanbookshop.com or go to ELI Graded Readers for more purchasing information: Il servitore di due padroni.


Conversation 209.  Thursdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning January 14, 2021 through March 18, 2021 (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.

                                SPRING SESSION OF CLASSES WILL BEGIN IN MARCH 2021. 


Since we've all been sheltering at home for several months, the Dante Board would like to know what you've been doing to stay busy and keep yourself entertained. Please send me a line or two explaining what you've been up to. We will be posting your response in upcoming issues of the Notiziario.   We’ve heard from several members. Here’s what they’ve said. Please share your comments with the Dante Society membership. Send them to Susan Gurule susangurule@msn.com.   WE HAVE MORE COMMENTS…..SO ….Let’s Talk….

  • Ciao a tutti, Silvio has been taking care of his garden. He has zucchini, pumpkin, beans, lots of garlic, oregano, tomatoes and chiles. We have been at home and walk our dogs daily. We go out every once in a while to eat at a restaurant.

Silvio is finishing another book, this one is about his childhood growing up in Trinidad, Colorado. He focuses in on life at Mount Carmel Church in Trinidad, around 1960's.

I have been crocheting and reading and I go to outdoor yoga in our neighborhood four days a week.

We try to go to church, when we can get a reservation.

I started to bake bread every week and it has all been therapeutic.

We hope that all of you are well.  Cari saluti,  Rosalie and Silvio

  • Judy and I are doing okay and hope you and all the Dante members can say the same. We are a bit restless and have not seen our children and grandchildren since this started. I think that is about to change. We get up every morning and ask each other, “what are we having for dinner tonight? “ The question after dinner is , “ what should we watch tonight? “ There is a lot of reading going on too.The best thing I have read so far is “ The Gift of Rain “. Finally we have learned to Zoom with friends and family.  Hopefully we will come out of this the better. Stay well, Nick
  • I heard a fellow Dr. of Psychology in a recent Webinar saying that in this time of SARS Coronavirus-19 that while staying at home we should focus on inner peace.

To achieve this peacefulness, we should always finish things that we have started and of course we all could use more calmness in our lives.

I looked through my house to find things I’d started and hadn't finished, so I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonnay, a bodle of Baileys, a butle of wum, tha mainder of Valiumun srciptuns, an a box a chocletz.

Yu haf no idr how absulutelee fablus I feel rite now. I want to sned this to all my phelo Dandee mumbers who need inner pizza and telum I luvum.  And two has yer wands.  And towarr yer mascStafe day avrybobby!!! Looove youuu! Ammo! Sow!  Frank

******* Let's Talk wants to hear from you regarding a topic we believe most Italians can relate to - Sunday dinners. Please share a favorite memory of yours about what Sunday dinners mean to you, or if you still carry on the tradition, or if you want to bring back the Sunday dinners. Italian comedian Sebastian Maniscalco felt so strongly about Sunday dinners that he has hosted on-line Sunday Suppers. Send your thoughts to me at susangurule@msn.com. I'm eager to hear from you.


Venice anti-cruise ship activists cheer temporary victory as liners pull-out.

A Venice citizen's group is cheering a temporary victory as cruise lines pull out of the lagoon city this year due to coronavirus logistical challenges, even as pressure rises from furloughed port workers.   MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises announced this week that their first Mediterranean cruises after a months-long hiatus due to the pandemic would depart from Genoa and Trieste, larger ports that make new coronavirus-related regulations, such as social distancing, easier to ensure.                                                                                             Photo:  Miguel Medina / AFP

On Friday, the group No Grandi Navi (No Big Ships) plans an evening gathering to celebrate what organizers called a small step forward in an eight-year battle to ban the massive ships from Venice's environmentally fragile waters. No departures from the UNESCO-listed city are planned for the rest of the year, as the two companies trim back their schedules and itineraries. Many big cruise ships will also be skipping Venice as a port of call.

"This isn't the final victory. But it's an important step and we believe it opens a new phase of negotiations in which the game has changed," No Grandi Navi committee member Marta Sottoriva told AFP. The port of Venice is a major economic driver for the city, bringing in hordes of day-trippers who swell the number of annual visits to the city to over 30 million, according to some estimates.  Environmentalists charge that massive waves generated from the hulking liners, which are often hundreds of meters long and several stories high, erode the foundations of the floating city.  (Author: AFP|Update: 17.08.2020)


Italy's biggest cruise companies won't be stopping in Venice this summer. 

Neither MSC Cruises nor Costa Crociere plan to sail their giant liners to Venice as they resume operations this summer after a six-month shutdown.  Instead the companies are planning departures from the port of Trieste, around two hours north-east of Venice, and Genoa on the north-west coast.

Italy's government has given the go-ahead for cruises to restart from August 15th, though operators must stick to European routes in line with a ban on tourism from outside the EU. And while Venice is typically a highlight of Italian cruises, receiving more than a million passengers a year, as sailing resumes it doesn't look set be the starting point, destination or even a stopover for ships operated by Italy's two biggest cruise companies.

Photo:  Miguel Medina / AFP

The news has been hailed as a victory by anti-cruise campaigners in Venice, but it's not yet clear why operators are steering clear, or how long they'll stay away.  The MSC Grandiosa will be the first liner to sail after ports reopen, leaving from Genoa for Malta with stops in Rome, Naples and Palermo. It's one of two Mediterranean routes the company has confirmed, the other departing from Trieste towards Greece and returning to Bari – without stopping in Venice.

Meanwhile Costa Crociere says its cruises will resume in September, starting with a weekly cruise from Trieste to Greece and followed by another route from Genoa to Malta.  The company did not directly answer The Local's questions about whether it would return to Venice, but in an emailed statement it said that it would announce further details of its itineraries in the coming days. All other routes are suspended until September 30th, 2020, it said.

MSC had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing. Earlier this month the company said that passengers departing from Trieste would be offered the chance to visit Venice by train.

Anti-cruise ship activists had threatened to prevent liners returning to Venice by any means possible, including blocking the port with boats or even acts of sabotage.                                                                                 "We said it, we promised it and so it will be: no ships will enter the lagoon for the entire season," declared campaign group Comitato NoGrandiNavi on Monday. "No company has the strength to defy our blockade against the return of these ships that are useless, harmful and unsustainable in every respect!"

The group was organizing a rally at the port on Friday to celebrate what it called "the expulsion of big ships from Venice", which it said it wanted to see gone from the lagoon for good. Residents have long complained that giant cruise ships cause environmental damage and flood Venice with day-trippers, who are less valuable to the local economy than visitors paying to stay overnight.

Before the pandemic the city council planned to start charging day-trippers an entry fee in summer 2020, which would have ranged from €3 to €10 at peak times.  But port workers protested this week calling for liners to return. They blamed the operators' decision to skip Venice both on anti-cruise activists but also the local government, which they said had failed to provide companies with clear options to return.

In a statement, the workers said they supported calls to reroute cruises away from St Mark's Square in the historic centre, but that banning cruises from Venice altogether would put 4,000 jobs at risk. In response, Comitato NoGrandiNavi called for "a new development model for the city and for jobs" to replace mass tourism while protecting residents and workers.

By Jessica Phelan jessica.phelan@thelocal.com



  • A new teacher was trying to make use of her psychology courses. She started her class by saying, 'Everyone who thinks they're stupid, stand up!' After a few seconds, Little Harold stood up. The teacher said, 'Do you think you're stupid, Harold?' 'No, ma'am, but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself!'


  • The math teacher saw that Harold wasn't paying attention in class. She called on him and said, 'Harold! What are 2 and 4 and 28 and 44?' Harold quickly replied, 'NBC, FOX, ESPN and the Cartoon Network!'

       (Jokes submitted by Dr. Frank Giardino and Rosalie Spicola.)



Over the past 2 years, King Soopers has generously donated over $1,200 to our Scholarship program based on your purchases.

Unless the bottom of your King Soopers receipt says “we are donating to the Dante Alighieri Society..” the Dante isn’t benefiting from your purchase.  You can link your King Soopers loyalty card (phone #) to The Dante by selecting BF884 from King Soopers website/community rewards.  It’s a bit complicated:  contact Carol Marsala (clmarsala@gmail.com 303.237.0688) for information.

2020 Calendar


October 30, 7:30 p.m.                             Virtual Presentation:  Divine Comedy – Dr. Seth Fabian

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Dante Alighieri Society of Denver
3510 Broadlands Lane, #102,
Broomfield, CO 80023


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3549 Navajo Street
Denver, CO

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