Apr 2021 Notiziario

Dante ALighieri Society Denver


In spite of the recent two+ feet of snow, spring is in the air. March has brought us several wonderful events:  the inaugural Donne di Merito awards, an inspiring presentation on Opera Colorado, the start of the spring Italian classes, and still to come an engaging recital by pianist Giulia Olivieri honoring the worldwide celebration of Dante’s passing.

The April 9 cultural meeting promises to be an enlightening panel discussion on the History of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish.

Be sure to put May 2 on your calendar to come to the Mt. Vernon Canyon Club for perhaps the presentation of this year’s scholarship awards (if we receive applications from qualified students) or just a celebration of our Society being able to get together again. You can find details for these events in this month’s Notiziario. Grazie molto to all of our Board members who continue to keep our Dante Alighieri Society viable, interesting, and entertaining. They do it all for you, so please let them know how much you appreciate their efforts, especially during this time of trying circumstances.  Let me know if I can answer questions or help in any way.


The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver (DAS) will present "Dante in Music” in celebration of the 700th anniversary of the death of the Supreme Poet. Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) is revered as the father of the Italian language. His Divine Comedy is considered the greatest literary work composed in Italian.

The DAS is privileged to present Giulia Olivieri, a talented piano soloist from Matera Italy, who will perform a series of songs favored by numerous Dante fans including Puccini and Ennio Morricone. Giulia graduated in 2015 with honors and special mention in Principal Piano at the Conservatory of Matera. She has received First Place in several competitions such as Young Promises (Taranto), Don Matteo Colucci (Fasano) and Music and Art (Conversano). Additionally, she has played for the Mozart International Academy of Music in Castellaneta, the Music University of Evora (Portugal), Tzar Alexey Palace and Jugerson Museum in Moscow (Russia), and the Holland College of Leuven (Belgium). Giulia’s performances and accolades are too many to mention here.

Guilia Olivieri

The concert will be held via ZOOM on Saturday, March 27th at 3:00 p.m.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6904399485   Meeting ID: 690 439 9485

APRIL CULTURAL MEETING:  Friday, April 9, 2021, 7:30 p.m.  Via ZOOM  

Panel Discussion on Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church’s 125-year history featuring:

  • Dominic Dezzutti, Station Manager PBS12 and producer of A North Side Story.
  • Father Hugh Guentner, OSM, Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
  • Crystal Peccia, Pastoral Assistant and religious education director.
  • Fran Daly, Historian.

In the late 1800s early 1900s, there were over 3,000 Italian immigrants living in North Denver, which was known as “Little Italy.” Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and its numerous social and educational services became the center of this community. Time and time again, Denver’s Italian-American community confirms the centrality of the church to their lives and their families’ stories. It was here that Denver’s Italian Americans saw the history of their community manifested most clearly. On April 3, 2017, the National

Park Service designate Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church (built in 1904) to the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural and historical significance.

Dominic Dezzutti, station manager at PBS channel 12, produced a docuseries on Our Lady of Mount Carmel entitled A North Side Story and its important ties to the North Denver community. Instrumental in developing the docuseries were Father Hugh, Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and Crystal Peccia, Pastoral Assistant and religious education director. Rounding out the panel is Fran Daly who was one of the individuals instrumental in securing the historical designation of the church.

Please join the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver on Friday, April 9th at 7:30 p.m. via ZOOM to hear from each of these individuals as they retell the stories of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I believe there will be many in the audience who have stories of their own they can share regarding this historical institution.

SPRING LUNCHEON: May 2, 2021 at 12 pm

On Sunday, May 2, our Society is planning to meet in person for a spring awards luncheon at the Mount Vernon Canyon Club.  This will be our first opportunity to be together in good company in a lovely venue.  We will recognize the 2021 recipients of the Donne di Merito Awards and enjoy a musical program.  The event will begin at noon with a cash bar followed by a plated lunch.

Details and the registration form are in this Notiziario so please complete and return it soon, and plan to join us that day.

The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver Announces the First Annual Donne di Merito Awards Recipients

The Dante Society of Denver has long acknowledged the contributions and achievements of Italian and Italian-American women to society as a whole. In March, International Women’s Month, the Dante Society selected two outstanding donne di merito, (women of merit) who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments that have contributed to the promotion, maintenance and preservation of the Italian culture.

The contemporary winner is Roberta Waldbaum.

She is Teaching Professor of Italian, the Anna Maglione-Sie Endowed Chair in Italian Culture, and Associate Chair in the Department of Languages and Literatures at the University of Denver (DU) where she teaches Italian language, literature, film and

culture in the Italian Program and in the common curriculum.

She co-founded and co-directed the DU/Bologna International Center for Civic Engagement in Bologna, Italy, and serves on the advisory board for the annual Maria and Tommaso Maglione Italian film award and the Showcase on Italian Cinema at the Denver Film Festival. She has published book chapters, translations, journal articles and has given conference papers in Italian Studies in the areas of international civic engagement, cinema and the teaching of language, Italian Jewish Literature and Film, and food studies.

Roberta is the guest editor of the international journal of European Popular Culture, "Soggiorno in Italia-Sojourn in Italy", (May 2019) that contains articles written by DU CAHSS faculty who have received travel grants to Italy.

First Annual Donne di Merito Award Recipient

The historical winner is Genevieve Fiore (1912-2002).

Genevieve Fiore's son Philip accepts award

Genevieve Fiore dedicated her life to humanitarian and peace activities. For over fifty years, she worked with other nonprofit organizations, focusing on human rights and women’s rights. Referred to as Colorado’s “First Lady for Peace and International Cooperation,” she gave over 4,000 talks on various aspects of the United Nations, international issues, and women’s issues. Genevieve was appointed by Governor’s Lamm and Romer as the Colorado Chair for United Nations Day. In 1947 she organized the Steele Center UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), a small community group working to establish international understanding.

She established the Genevieve Fiore Educational Trust Fund and received numerous honors for her peace activism, including the George Washington Bronze Medal from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge and the UNESCO Michelangelo Medal. Genevieve was a co-founder of three Sister Cities Committees including the Denver Potenza Lodge. In 1975 she was knighted by the Italian government for promoting the understanding of Italian culture. She participated in at least eight international conferences throughout the world from Italy to Kenya to Japan. In 1969 she received the prestigious Amita Award presented to outstanding women of Italian lineage. Genevieve’s son Philip accepted on behalf of his mother.

Because the March meeting was held via ZOOM due to COVID-19, the Dante Society will be publicly recognized the Donne di Merito winners at its first face-to-face meeting at a luncheon on May 2 at the Mount Vernon Canyon Club.


artistic vision for the company and how this vision will embrace new and rarely performed works and how it will be presented in innovative ways.  Carpenter’s newest leadership initiatives are focused on increasing the number of productions and performances offered each year to meet the growing subscriber and single ticket audience and to connect with the community through culturally diverse enrichment programs.  Members of the Society look forward to attending a future performance as a group.  Stay tuned.


The Dante Alighieri Society is currently offering the 10-week spring session of Italian language classes, which began the week of March 22 on the Zoom platform.  The summer session of classes will begin in June, and registration will begin on the Society website in mid-May.  Information will also be provided in the Notiziario. The classes are taught by experienced and talented bi-lingual teachers, and include beginner, intermediate, advanced, and conversation classes.  Each class meets for 90 minutes, once a week.  Depending upon public health conditions, the Dante Society hopes to resume in-person language classes for the summer session at Mt Carmel parish, 3549 Navajo Street, Denver.  Alternatively, classes will be offered on the Zoom platform.  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  Information about the classes is also available on the web site:  https://dantealighieriofdenver.com/classes/language-classes/


The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver gives a warm welcome to our latest members:  Mary Beth, Paul Bonacci, Kim and Steven Berry, Nicholas Griffes, Maria Hauch, Lee Ann Matranga, Erin McGee, Gina McGowan, and Emily Ross.


birthday cake

Mese del cuore
Aprile:  I cuori fremono
di teneri languori;
insieme con le primula
fioriscono gli amori

We wish our members a Buon Compleanno during their birthday month.

Lorraine Shuba           April 4
Hadrien Dykiel           April 8
Joe Holeman              April 23
John Shea                   April 25

We want to include more members in this column, so please send a quick email, with your birthday month and day, to Dante Society board member, Suzanne Fasing, at suzannefasing@yahoo.com


Month of the Heart
April:  Hearts tremble
and tenderly languish;
along with the primroses
blooms love.

INDOVINELLO   (Riddle)  Non ho gambe ne’ braccia, testa ne’ corpo e tuttavia entro dappertutto.

I have no legs no arms, no head and body and nevertheless I enter everywhere.
(See answer at bottom of page).

NEW CONTRIBUTER   In last month’s edition we got to know our member Tonya Clement. 

We thank and welcome her now as a contributor of the Notiziario and Facebook.

For the Notiziario she will be presenting peculiarities in some Italian words and phrases, and the section will be referred to as Italian Language Tips.  She will also update our Facebook page with the Society’s current and upcoming events

Mille grazie Tonya, you are very much needed and appreciated.

The Italian people speak so fast and I find it so hard to decipher when one word is ending and another one is beginning.  I do not know if this is due to the fact that I am not listening or if I am becoming entranced in the sound of the words and my

mind simply stops thinking and instead begins enjoying what sounds like music.  I have recently come to the conclusion that I am struggling because true Italians are using words that are just not taught by Duolingo or listed in my Italian workbook.  It is one thing to learn to say, “l’ape e` nello zucchero” (the bee is in the sugar) but when visiting Italy, I need to be able to say,

“Mannaggia, mi dispiace, ho rotto il tuo bicchiere di vino!”

(damn, I am sorry, I broke your wine glass!).  When the word mannaggia is used by a local, I would never hear the rest of the sentence as I would be trying to decipher what it was I just heard and I would completely miss the rest of the sentence.

Let’s look carefully at this word mannaggia (mahn-nadj-dja).   It can be used as a standalone word to express a basic annoyance with the situation or it can be combined with other words to form phrase, such as such as, “Mannaggia la miseria!” which when translated means darn it.  It is certain Italians have been using this word for a very long time.  I recently read that Massimo Pittau, a well known Sardinian linguist, believed that the word mannaggia came from the Italian word mannaia (cleaver) which is spelled mannaja.  The mannaja was the weapon used to execute prisoners sentenced to death and through the years mannaggia became the word used as an expression of dissatisfaction or annoyance.

Mannaggia, se solo potessi immergermi nella lingua italiana.

ITALIAN HERITAGE MONTH   The Dante Alighieri Society is taking a proactive and optimistic approach to Italian Heritage Month. The board is hopeful that we will be able to hold face-to-face events in October and is beginning to think about activities to be held. Toward that end, the board is seeking volunteers to serve on the Italian Heritage Month Committee (IHMC). Activities that are being considered are a gelato social, a night at the opera, a cooking class, a workshop on Dante Alighieri, an art exhibit (fundraiser), a wine tasting, Italian bingo and much more. Although the organization can’t hold all of these activities; we are fortunate that there are five Fridays and five Saturdays in October 2021, so it opens up more dates in which our members and guests can enjoy the celebration. If you are interested in serving on the IHMC please call Susan Gurule at 720-484-1014 or email her at susangurule@msn.com.


EDITOR’S REQUEST    My idea of a newsletter is to include information about news from Italy and around the world relating to Italian culture and not only our Society’s events.  It is becoming more difficult to reproduce articles and photos from other publications without a written consent from the source.  Therefore, I encourage members to send original articles, stories, book reviews, humorous anecdotes, and recipes to be included in future Notiziarios.  Email to glm3942@yahoo.com  Grazie, Gianfranco Marcantonio



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


Answer to indovinello (riddle) il vento, wind.

2021 Calendar



September 10


Annual picnic – July 25

Cooking class – August 14

October – Italian cultural month


Answer to Indovinello (riddle):  La neve (snow)



Fall Session begin September 20