Dante ALighieri Society Denver


Buon Natale! May you have a joyous and safe holiday during this time of uncertainty. Thankfully, there is promise that things will be back to normal next year so we can once again celebrate the joy of being together with family and friends. We have tried to stay in touch with you, our members, and will continue to try and provide programs in the future. However, there is no substitute for meeting face-to-face.  November is traditionally when we hold our annual general meeting but, because of the pandemic, it was not possible this year. Consequently, the Board agreed to consider its November 10 meeting as the annual meeting. In addition to our treasurer presenting the annual report, we also held the election of officers. If anyone is interested in financial details, please contact Carol Marsala. As for elections, the following persons were elected to their respective positions for the next two years – John Giardino, President; Susan Gurule-Vice President; Ida Casagranda-Secretary and Carol Marsala-Treasurer. Congratulations to our Vice-president, Secretary and Treasurer, and a heartfelt “Grazie” to all the board members of the Dante Alighieri Society. I couldn’t do it without all of your help. John Giardino


It’s that time of year again.  Membership renewal cards will be going out at the end of the month.  I hope you will join us for another year of interesting lectures and activities as permitted.  Please review the information on the card and make any corrections before mailing it back to me with your payment.

Attention students:

If you plan to continue taking language classes in 2021, it will be necessary for you to renew your membership regardless of when you joined the DAS.  Please pay for your class and membership at the same time.  If I receive payment prior to mailing the renewal cards, I will not send a card to you.  Instead I will check your current information from your registration and fill the card out for you.

Grazie, Rhonda.



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


Although the coronavirus prohibited the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver from holding its usual in-person events, the organization did celebrate Italian Heritage Month via several ZOOM meetings. The Dante Society kicked off the month by obtaining from Governor Polis a proclamation declaring October as Italian Heritage Month in Colorado. Copies of the proclamation were shared with other Italian American organizations to assist them with their promotions and events.

The Dante Society's first event was a virtual wine tasting in collaboration with Argonaut Liquors. The event featured wines from Veneto, Piemonte and Sicily and was facilitated by Advanced Sommelier, Max Ariza. The tasting also included recipes from Stir Cooking School with suggested wine pairings.

Additional virtual events during the month included a presentation by Alisa DiGiacomo from History Colorado on Frances Cabrini; Book Musing which featured a reading by Paul Borrillo of Borrillo Entertainment of excerpts from the memoirs of his uncle Ted Borrillo. The month was wrapped up with a presentation by Dr. Seth Fabian on Dante and the Divine Comedy. Participants were treated to an in-depth discussion on Dante Alighieri's epic poem. Dr. Fabian teaches a 30-lecture course, which covers all three volumes of the Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso.


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.




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


Dee Trujillo-Treloar              November 27

Silvio Caputo                       December 2

Melissa DiBiase                    December 30


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      Grazie!


Mese del cuore

Dicembre:  Io sono dicembre:  per chiudere l’anno
preparo le feste del bel Capodanno
appresto il Presepe con Magi e pastori
per tutti I bambini e pei genitori.
Sull’albero metto regali e sorprese
e sono stimato il piu’ santo mese.

Month of the heart

December:  I am December:  to close the year
I prepare the feast of New Year’s Eve and
set up the creche with Wise Men and shepherds
for all children and parents.
I place gifts and surprises on the tree
And I am known as the most holy month.



Do you enjoy reading a good book? Wouldn't it be great to discuss it with other people who may have enjoyed it too? Well, the Dante Society may have a way for you to enjoy both of those activities! We would like to start a Book Club. If you're interested, we'll put one together. Once we know who wants to participate, together we'll select a date and time to meet via ZOOM. We'll also determine how and what type of books to select to read. Below are brief reviews of two books Suzanne Fasing has read to give you an idea of what's available in the way of Italian-related books and authors. If you want to join our merry band of book readers, shoot me an email at susangurule@msn.com or give me a call at 720-484-1014. Happy reading!  Come and join us.


NEWS FROM ITALY   Italians make breakthrough in leukemia research.

(ANSA) - ROME - An Italian team has made a breakthrough in leukemia research raising fresh hope of treating the blood cancer better.  The team has shown the effectiveness of treatment with lab-engineered cells dubbed CARCIK on acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children and adults.
Using the new cells, six out of seven treated patients showed a complete disappearance of the cancer, a success rate of 86%.  The clinical study was carried out by researchers from Fondazione Tettamanti labs, coordinated by the children's blood cancer center of the Fondazione Monza e Brianza per il Bambino e la Mamma, with the collaboration of Bergamo's Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital.  The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.  (ANSA). (via We The Italians)

Pompeii's ruins yield bodies of rich man and slave.

ROME (Reuters) - Archaeologists have discovered the exceptionally well-preserved remains of two men scalded to death by the volcanic eruption that destroyed the ancient Roman city of Pompeii in 79 AD, the Italian culture ministry said on Saturday.

One was probably a man of high status, aged between 30 and 40, who still bore traces of a woolen cloak under his neck.  The second, probably aged 18 to 23, was dressed in a tunic and had a number of crushed vertebrae, indicating that he had been a slave who did heavy labor.

The remains were found in Civita Giuliana, 700 meters northwest of the center of ancient Pompeii, in an underground chamber in the area of a large villa being excavated.  The men’s teeth and bones were preserved, and the voids left by their soft tissues were filled with plaster that was left to harden and then excavated to show the outline of their bodies.

“These two victims were perhaps seeking refuge when they were swept away by the pyroclastic current at about 9 in the morning,” said Massimo Osanna, director of the archeological site. “It is a death by thermal shock, as also demonstrated by their clenched feet and hands.”  In a statement, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said the find underlined Pompeii’s status as “an incredible place for research and study”.

Pompeii, 23 km (14 miles) southeast of Naples, was home to about 13,000 people when the eruption buried it under ash, pumice pebbles and dust, freezing it in time.  The remains were not discovered until the 16th century and organized excavations began around 1750. However, more recently, attention has focused on arresting the decay or collapse of the exposed ruins.

(Reuters:  Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Kevin Liffey)  

Naples draws on coffee tradition to offer covid-19 tests for those unable to pay. 

Neapolitans are paying for covid-19 tests for total strangers, inspired by the "caffè sospeso" tradition of a customer paying for an additional coffee to be enjoyed later by a stranger who cannot afford it.  The "tampone sospeso" initiative comes as the public healthcare system in Naples is struggling to cope with the backlog of people seeking covid-19 tests, with the option of paying for a test privately out of reach for many poorer people.  The swab tests, which cost the donor €18, are offered at the Basilica di S. Severo where medical staff are undertaking about 100 tests a day.  The initiative, described as "a strong gesture of solidarity," is organized by the charitable association SaDiSa, Diritti in Salute, together with Fondazione Comunità di S. Gennaro Onlus and local authorities.  (Italia mia)

A FAVORITE HOLIDAY RECIPE  - La Crostata Abruzzese

Holiday recipeby Camilla Marcantonio

This old family recipe belongs to a time when recipes were not as precise as those found in more modern cookbooks.  However, I have tried to provide an accurate description of the ingredients and preparation necessary for this delightful dessert.

Ingredients for 4 crostate, each about 12” in diameter

6 cups flour
10 eggs
Grated rind from 1 medium lemon and 1 medium orange
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
9 tablespoons of softened butter
3 cups of pureed fruit pie filling (we used 1½ cups each of cherry and peach)


Recipe 2Preparation

  1. Butter and lightly flour four 12” pizza pans. Use more pans if      they are smaller.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In large bowl, beat the eggs and add grated rind, sugar, baking powder, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix well and set aside.
  4. On large cutting board, spread 5 cups of flour into a low mound and make a crater in the middle to accommodate the egg mixture.
  5. Set aside remaining cup of flour for later use.
  6. Pour egg mixture into crater in the flour and with a table fork slowly mix the flour into the egg mixture, taking care not to let the edge of the flour crater break.
  7. Continue mixing until the mixture has formed a soft dough. As you knead the dough, add extra flour only if dough is too sticky, but dough should not become too stiff.
  8. To prepare one crostata, proceed as follows:
    1. From dough, cut away enough to spread onto the pizza pan. It should be thin but should cover prepare one crostata, proceed as follows:
    2. Spread onto dough about six tablespoons of the pureed fruit. Spread to within ½ inch of outer edge.  Fruit should cover the dough completely but not in excess
    3. Make a lattice design with rolled strips of dough.
    4.  With a table knife, fold up outer edges of dough to make a thicker outer ring.
    5.    Create a decorative edge by slightly pressing the open end of a thimble around the outer edge of the crostata.  Circles should be touching.
    6.    Decorate crostata by rolling very small balls of dough to place in open spaces of lattice.
    7. Bake on center rack of preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes.  Check regularly to make sure dough is becoming a golden brown but is not burning on the bottom.  This bake time may vary according to oven. Monitor carefully.
    8.   Cool completely.   Cut into desired shapes.  Store tightly covered in refrigerator.