Dante ALighieri Society Denver


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


As we are now facing a whole new world reality brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, your Dante Alighieri Society Board of Directors deemed it necessary to convene a special meeting to determine our response to the situation. With the health and safety of our members and all those associated with the Society as our primary concern, it was decided that all cultural programs be cancelled until June. In addition, it was decided that the annual Scholarship Luncheon in May be cancelled. The Scholarship Committee will continue accepting student applications but will not award scholarships until a later date as the situation normalizes. Finally, it was decided that all Italian language classes for the term beginning March 23 be cancelled.

We feel that our stance of “social distancing” is not only the responsible action required to prevent this disease from spreading further but will hopefully lead to a faster physical and economic recovery for our local and worldwide communities. We will continue to inform you of future developments but in the meantime, stay safe and help others do so when and where you can.  As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Grazie.

John Giardino, President Dante Alighieri Society of Denver



With regret, the Dante Alighieri Society has cancelled the spring session of Italian language classes, which would have started the week of March 23, 2020.  The cancellation is due to the public health concerns surrounding the coronavirus.  The Society hopes to offer Italian language classes again during the Summer 2020 session, which will tentatively begin the week of June 22, 2020.  If we are able to offer language classes in the summer, the class schedule will be posted on the Society website by mid-May 2020.  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 Society’s monthly Italian conversation group will no longer be meeting, unless someone volunteers to organize this activity.  There are a couple of other options for those who want to practice speaking Italian.  Little Italy Denver is a Facebook group that has a monthly conversation group meeting called Aperitivo Italiano.  If you like and follow this group, you will be notified about their meetings.  The link for this Facebook page is:


Another option is the Denver Italian Meetup Group, which meets monthly at Brooklyn's restaurant near the Bronco stadium (not near the Pepsi Center).  You will need to request to join the group, and then you will receive email reminders about the meetings.  Info is at this link:




Dante Alighieri Society of Denver gives a warm welcome to our latest members:  Kelly Brooks and Scott Crump


If you missed it, the March cultural meeting dealt with the celebration of Women’s Day and was presented by Susan Gurule and Margaret Foderaro.  Here are three more Italian women making history.

Italian doctors have made a breakthrough in the international battle against the deadly Coronavirus by isolating the sequence of the disease, allowing scientists to study the virus and accelerating the possibility of developing the vaccine.

Three virologists, all women, from Rome's Spallanzani hospital for treating infectious diseases, were responsible for the breakthrough, which follows similar results in France and Australia.

Doctors Maria Rosaria Capobianchi, Francesca Colavita and Concetta Castilletti say that the discovery will allow medics "to refine existing diagnostic methods and establish new ones" as well as being able to ascertain quickly if a person is infected or not.

Stating that Italy has become an international "reference point" in tackling Coronavirus, the Spallanzani scientific director Giuseppe Ippolito said that the new data would be "made available to the entire international community."

Italian premier Giuseppe Conte took to Twitter to hail the breakthrough in Rome: "Italy among the first countries in the world to have isolated coronavirus. Very important news for the development of treatments. A big applause to researchers and medical staff from Spallanzani. Proud of our National Health Service, among the best in the world".  (Il Marco Polo)


Italians sing to each other due to Coronavirus lockdown.  In every part of the country, they sing and play different instruments from rooftops, windows, and balconies every night starting at six p.m. while hanging flags to show that they are OK.  Parachutists drop from the skies of Rome with gigantic flags.  The Italian air force is flying around streaming the three colors of the Italian flag while playing Pavarotti singing the aria “Vincero” (I will win) from the opera La Norma. But even during this trying and negative period, Italians proudly remind the world of the contributions they have made.


As the descendent of the glorious Roman Empire and the center of the Renaissance as well as the headquarters of the Catholic church, Italy has a vibrant culture befitting its rich history.  The following is a brief reminder of Italy’s great contributions to western culture.

Art & Architecture. 

From Roman mosaics to the works of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, Roman and Italian visual art have always been prominent in Western culture. The Sistine Chapel in particular has a wealth of artworks by Michelangelo, including The Creation of Adam, that demonstrates delicate use of color and mastery of light and dark, showing the height of Italian renaissance painting. Meanwhile, his statue David shows the Italian mastery over sculpting the human form. However, the most famous painting of Italy, and possibly in the whole world, is Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. With her mysterious smile, the woman depicted has been enrapturing viewers for centuries, and indeed the painting has been described as “the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world”.

We all know about the glory of Rome and its architecture, of the Colosseum and other buildings. This was the beginning of Italy’s architectural greatness. Later on, the Leaning Tower of Pisa became famous for its tilt. However, it was the Renaissance that truly began Italy’s golden age, not only in architecture but in all the arts. Today, classical Roman and Greek architecture still influences the style of many government buildings. One of the most notable examples of the exquisite nature of Italian architecture is the Florence Cathedral, which features a dome 144 feet in diameter, unprecedented in size–several new engineering techniques had to be invented in order to build it! Another masterpiece of Italian Renaissance architecture is the Villa Rotunda, which sits on top of a hill, and is of such elegant design that many other buildings have used the same style, including the White House. However, the epitome of Italian Renaissance architecture is undoubtedly St. Peter’s Basilica, built over the grave of St. Peter. Built to replace the old Basilica that was by then ancient and about to collapse, the Basilica features a magnificent gallery and dome, and attracts millions of visitors every year.


The literature of Ancient Rome was highly influential, and has been studied by scholars up to the present day. The works of authors such as Ovid, Livy, and Virgil have endured the passing of the time. During the Renaissance, Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” and Machiavelli’s “The Prince” were written, which have also made a lasting cultural impression.



If you have studied music, you know that musical terms use Italian. This is for a very simple reason: for centuries, the Italians wrote the most popular music in Europe. Although it may seem timeless, opera had to be invented, and by who else but the Italians? In addition to music meant for entertainment, Italy also has a rich history of religious music, owing to the presence of the Catholic church. The influence of Italy on music cannot be underestimated.


The first Italian motion picture was a clip a few seconds long showing Pope Leo XIII giving a blessing to the camera. Italy experienced a movement of Neorealism in the late 1940s and 1950s, showing the difficult conditions of poor working class Italians after WWII. One of the most notable films of this genre is “The Bicycle Thief.” Although Italian film has declined in prominence since the 1980s, there are still notable Italian films since then, including “Life is Beautiful”, showing a Jewish father using his creativity to protect his son in a Nazi concentration camp, which won 3 Academy awards. 



Italian fashion is famous worldwide, with brands like Diesel, Gucci, Prada, and Versace. Based in Milan, fashion is a major sector of the Italian economy. In addition to fashion, Italy is also a leader in industrial design, including the striking Salif juicer, which resembles an alien’s UFO.


Food is a fundamental part of the Italian cultural identity. As the origin of pasta and pizza, as well as the delicious desert Tiramisu, Italy has had a massive effect on how people all over the world eat. Of course, no discussion on Italian food is complete without mentioning wine. Wine is as integral to Italy as pasta. In 2011, Italy commanded a fifth of worldwide wine production.


Center of the World

Whether it is the canals of Venice, the red tile roofs of Florence, or Roma Aeterna, the eternal City of Rome, Italy and her people have commanded the attention of the world for thousands of years. It might not be the City of World’s Desire, but it undisputedly comes close.  (from Italia mia)


Dante discount card

Once again, the agreement between the Vatican and the Dante has been renewed once again for the year 2020.   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


2020 Calendar


Cultural Meetings

September 11, 2020

Virtual Cultural Presentation:  Book Reading





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.