Dante ALighieri Society Denver


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


Following the recent Black Lives Matter protests, the city of Denver removed the Columbus memorial sculpture from Civic Center Park to protect it from vandalism. They are looking to change the purpose of the sculpture and have asked Denver’s Italian community to provide input into the process. I attended a ZOOM meeting with the Italian Vice-consul, Giovanna Carriero-Contreras, and representatives of several other Italian organizations as well as Alisa DiGiacomo from History Colorado. It was agreed that the sculpture should honor the many contributions the Italian community has made to the Denver area and beyond. The dedication plaque and location will be determined in conjunction with the city.  Our Vice-consul stated that the Italian community wants to be a part of the change that is taking place. We at the Dante Alighieri Society agree and will be participating in the process.  Stay safe and well. Let me know if you have questions.  John Giardino johncgiardino@comcast.net



The Dante Alighieri Society is eager to resume Italian language classes when it is prudent, in view of the public health considerations.  If a fall session of language classes is offered, the classes will begin in mid-September, and online registration will be available on the Society website in mid-August.  We will follow public health requirements and recommendations.  Please check the Dante Society website for updates, which will also be published in the Notiziario in future months. 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/



Phyllis Ursetta will do a book reading from her book "My Life in the Middle of the Mob." The book is fiction but based on Phyllis's life.  The presentation is set for Friday, September 11th, at 7:30 p.m. for a ZOOM meeting.  Details will be in the September issue of the Notiziario.


The first ever virtual wine-tasting held on June 28 was well received as a total of 38 members and guests participated.  The three wines chosen were excellent and enjoyed by all. The presenter (Max Ariza) was simpatico and questions were very pertinent.  The virtual presentation went for one- and one-half hours instead of sixty minutes.



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….

We are doing ok and feel fortunate that everyone in our family is still able to work through the current covid19 time.  Sure look forward to being able to meet with the Dante folks in the future and attend meetings and programs.   Not sure if we've updated you but John changed jobs in January 2019 and now works for the Jeffco District Attorney's office. Same investigative duties as with the Arapaho County DA but ever so much closer to home.  For a while John worked some days in the office and some days at home but has now returned to the DA's office all week.  The biggest challenge for his office will be when trials can resume.  These keep getting pushed back. Meantime of course everyone keeps working to be ready to go when the justice system can safely resume in person services.

I've actually been working from home full time since January of this year.  My prior position in HR was eliminated but I was fortunate to be able to transfer to the Appeals Team.  I now manage disability claims appeals for multiple clients for our Company.  The covid19 crisis has had a very negative impact on folks not being able to get into their doctor in a very timely manner. That seems to be improving with tele medicine visits now being available and the federal law governing how quickly we are required to issue an appeal decision to give people more time to submit their paperwork and records for both their initial claim and for any appeals.  Hopefully that will help alleviate some stress for both our team and the people we serve.

John and I have been helping with child care for our 9-year-old grandson Danny so Tina and her husband DJ can continue work with school going on line and day camps being less available. DJ continues with additional hours at his Army Reserve post.  This has helped as his Employer had to cut hours during the crisis but he is still able to put in some hours doing mobile alignments on large trucks in the transportation industry.  Tina's hours as an EMT have been a bit erratic as her Employer used to provide medics for large sporting events and concerts.  They are picking up additional work doing temperature checks at DIA and the casinos and helping man testing stations and the medical stations at the temporary homeless shelters and the Colorado convention center where they may be needed if the current covid19 situation gets any worse.

For the summer we're each taking a half day off on Thursday or Friday and taking our own field trips with Danny now that things are opening up. We've ridden on the Georgetown Loop, visited the Colorado Railroad Museum and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science over the past couple of weeks.  It is reassuring to see most people wearing masks and practicing social distancing while we are out and about.

Teri and her husband Dillard are doing ok in Boston.  Teri was able to finish teaching courses on line at Tufts University where she is also working on her PhD dissertation.  She will continue writing her dissertation with some delays due to not being able to access libraries for research just yet.  She will also teach two on line classes for the next semester.   Dillard's company Tatte, a bakery cafe similar to Panera, was able to transition to just doing take-out orders. Boston still hasn't started dine in service.

Not planning any travel other than some additional day trips around the state over the summer.  John and I still enjoy our early morning walks before work. No issues with social distancing at 5 am plus it's much cooler at that hour!

For part of March, and then most of April and May, Tina and my sister Nora and I helped our sister in law Paula with a project sewing face masks for Paula's Employer.  She is a billing administrator for a Univ of Colorado inpatient treatment program.  With the budget cuts affecting both private and public Employers smaller programs can be hard pressed to get supplies during the covid19 crisis.  We were able to donate 600 handmade masks to the program.  It felt nice to help an at needs community and we'll be ready to go back to our sewing machines if additional needs arise.

Please tell folks you are in touch with that John and I say hi and we hope everyone is staying safe and well.


For the last few months has been an opportunity to do “spring cleaning” for better of worst.  I have binge watched season 2 of My Brilliant Friend and if you’re a fan of Elena Ferrante the series is very well done and stays close to the books and it takes place near Naples during post WW2

Prior to shelter at home – I’ve returned to my roots as an artist and covid19 has given me the opportunity to have more studio time and share my art journal online.  I’ve also taken a few online classes – one of which was Italian Literature with Britta. I continue to study Italian with a one-one teacher via zoom.

The one really sad thing for us is – can you believe there’s only one, but our beloved cat of 20+ died.  And my college aged kids are home for a few more weeks – which has been an adjustment. Only for it to change again.  https://keeperofthetreasure.com/category/my-art-journal-looking-for-heart/




Through a great effort we will try to make a short story longer. If you have other things to do, we can wait. We will begin with the report that in the 16th century Martin Luther said that if you are not allowed to laugh in heaven that he did not want to go there. One thing you should know is that     when God gave us a funny bone, we had better use it. In research one finding was that only about 20% of conversational laughter is in response to jokes or funny stories. Laughter is about relationships. It is a kind of social lubricant, a way we send and receive cues about who we are. Even the old Friars Club of yesteryear told their victims, I mean guests, that they only roast the ones they love so that the guests still walked away with dignity.

Have you heard about the girl who was drawing and the teacher asked her what she was drawing? She said that it was a picture of God. The teacher told her that nobody knew what God looked like. She replied that that would as soon as she was through.

Adults laugh 20 times a day, children laugh 299 times a day. Maybe a second childhood is a good thing. Remember that laughter is a universal language.

For more than 2000 years great thinkers like Aristotle, Kent, Darwin, and Freud have pondered laughter.  Nobody is quite sure what laughter is.

Laugh louder and live longer. Laughter has as the ancients knew, therapeutics powers. Research has proven the positive correlation between mental attitude and physical wellbeing. The higher the intensity of the laughter, the greater therapeutic value.

(excerpt by Dr. Frank Giardino from his 2003 article in the Catholic Register: “Your Belly Laugh is Catholic”).


Ennio Morricone, Oscar-winning film composer, dies at 91.

(CNN Written by Javier Romero, Amy Woodyatt, Rome; CNN's Sharon Braithwaite and Hada Messia contributed reporting)

Ennio Morricone, the Oscar-winning film composer, has died at the age of 91, his lawyer told CNN.  He died at dawn in a Rome hospital after falling and breaking his leg, his lawyer, Giorgio Assumma, said.   Morricone is best known internationally as the composer behind the instantly recognizable melodies from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and "Once Upon a Time in the West."

The Italian composer was famous for the tension-filled scores of spaghetti Westerns, and won an Academy Award for his soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight" in 2016, after five previous nominations and an Honorary Award in 2007 that recognized his lifetime's achievement.

The Rome-born composer scored more than 500 films, and was a winner and nominee for numerous BAFTA awards and Golden Globes, as well as being the recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Although arguably best known for creating music for Westerns, the composer also developed soundtracks for cinematic classics including "The Mission" and "Cinema Paradiso."  Morricone requested a private funeral, Assumma said.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte paid tribute to the composer on Monday, writing on Twitter: "We will always remember, with infinite gratitude, the artistic genius of the Maestro EnnioMorricone."

"It made us dream, move, reflect, writing memorable notes that will remain unforgettable in the history of music and cinema" he added.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella offered condolences to the family of the distinguished artist.

"Both a refined and popular musician, he has left a deep mark in the history of music in the second part of the 20th century," he said. "Through his soundtracks, he has greatly contributed in spreading and reinforcing Italy's prestige around the world."

Photo: Composer Ennio Morricone poses with the Oscar for Best Original Score, for "The Hateful Eight." Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images


Handmade Ties from Southern Italy With a British Twist.

Film star Marcello Mastroianni, John F. Kennedy, even Prince Charles -- all have donned handmade ties from one shop in Naples so famed for its artisanal finery some devotees boast thousands. The painstaking needlework cannot be rushed, despite demand for E. Marinella ties usually far outstripping production.

In Naples, the tiny shop near the sea remains much as it was when it opened in 1914, with its wood-framed windows, chandelier, and counter where the red, blue, polka dot or diamond-patterned ties are displayed. Maurizio Marinella, 64, who is the third generation to head up the company, says his family's success in the southern Italian city, which struggles with poverty and unemployment, was "a kind of miracle".

"It all started in 20 square meters in Naples, where everything is a little more difficult than elsewhere," he told AFP.  Maurizio's grandfather Eugenio wanted to create "a little corner of England in Naples" in this city with its view of Mount Vesuvius, offering men's shirts and accessories with fabrics shipped directly across the Channel.  Little by little, however, the tie became Marinella's signature piece.

The silk is still hand-printed in Macclesfield, England, and the ties themselves are sewn by hand in a workshop close to the boutique, which employs 20 seamstresses.  Loyal customer Rudy Girardi has been frequenting the shop since his late teens and now boasts "thousands of Marinella ties", costing from between 130 to 215 euros.

"The tie is fundamental," he says, as a sign of "respect", and he loves Marinella for its "maniacal care for every detail".  He changes his ties several times a day, selecting a colorful one in the morning, something a little more institutional in the afternoon, and an elegant option for upmarket dinners.

Each Marinella tie takes about 45 minutes to make, with ten steps in all, from cutting the silk to doing the stitching, and adding the loop and label.  "It's precision work, comparable to that of a goldsmith. We work on half-millimeters," says Maria Rosaria Guarino, 60, who has worked for the company for 38 years.  Customers can personalize the length, width or thickness of the ties.

Every day, about 150 ties are produced. But the demand pre-coronavirus crisis was much higher -- as much as double or even triple. And in the three months leading up to Christmas, it could be "as high as 900 ties a day", Marinella said.  The company had ruled out making more, however, saying it would compromise quality. "Each tie is a unique work of art", he says, admitting that "quality is almost an obsession" for him.

Personalities from all over the world have donned the ties, including Chancellor Helmut Kohl -- a "giant for whom we made ties 65 centimeters longer than normal".  Almost every day, Sunday included, from 6.30am, Marinella is at the shop to "welcome, pamper the customers, offer them coffee", in the pure Neapolitan tradition.

While the brand had a turnover of 18 million euros in 2019, it is expected to suffer a "significant" drop this year because of the coronavirus epidemic, which forced the shop to close, stopped tourism and saw many formal events cancelled.  The sector has suffered in general, even before the pandemic.

Exports of ties, bow ties and neckties fell by 10 percent between 2015 and 2019, with Chinese products making up 46.5 percent of the market, compared to 13.6 percent for Italy, according to the International Trade Centre (ITC).  Fads are to blame: youngsters have gone off ties, and some big firms and banks have made wearing one optional.

"Fortunately, fashions are cyclical. Lately we've seen a bit of a shift away from street wear to classic fashion, where the tie is the cardinal point," notes 25-year-old Alessandro Marinella, who represents the company's fourth generation.

He wants to shift the house's focus "towards a 'total look', including women's wear", a move begun a few years ago, so that the humble tie now represents less than half the company's turnover -- though all of its reputation.

(From Italia Mia  By C?line CORNU)

“VENICE TOURISM MAY ACTUALLY IMPROVE” is an interesting article in the Feature section of the Denver Post written by Anna Momigliano dated Sunday July 12, 2020.

If you are concerned about the current and future situation of this beautiful canal city we suggest you read it.


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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