Feb 2022 Notiziario

Dante Alighieri of Denver header


 It was the early to mid-1980’s when a group of Italophiles, some native Italians and some American born, decided they wanted and needed a way to celebrate and share their love of all things Italian. Thus, in 1985 was born the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver, a chapter of the international Societa’ Dante Alighieri headquartered in Rome, Italy. Since the beginning, the Society has provided cultural programs, social events, Italian language classes, a monthly newsletter, and scholarships for college students to study in Italy. Additionally, for the past three Octobers, the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver has initiated and celebrated Italian Heritage Month. Through the decades the Society, under the leadership of many of the original founders, has continued to lead the way in honoring and

promoting the Italian culture. But, as we all know pointedly from the past two years, times have changed and we need to adapt to a new reality. To that end, the Board of Directors will be meeting this month in a retreat format. In our deliberations we will look to honor the past, celebrate the present and, most importantly, envision the future of the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver. The ultimate goal is to not only continue the extraordinary work of the Society, but to enrich our offerings and to engage more of the Italophile community to participate in the many experiences we offer. We may be asking you questions, so be prepared to provide some thoughtful and honest feedback. We’ll keep you updated as we move forward on this journey to ensure that the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver is seen as the premier Italian cultural organization not only in Denver but in the state of Colorado. Grazie, John Giardino


Dr. Roberta Waldbaum of the University of Denver will present “Rome as Seen Through the Eyes of Students”.

When you hear the word “Rome” certain images come to mind.  When Professor Waldbaum posed that to college students in her “Rome in Literature and ilm class”, she got everything from…well, come and see what she got.

The event will take place at Mount Carmel Parish Hall at 7:30 p.m., 3549 Navajo St., Denver.  In case of inclement weather, you will be notified via email prior to the presentation.

Public Health Guidelines will be followed at all events


For those of you who were looking forward to the January  presentation, “Why Italian Switzerland”,  it will be definitely rescheduled sometime this year.


My Fellow Dante Alighieri Members,

I want to offer my heartfelt appreciation to Gianfranco Marcantonio and Carol Marsala for their effort, attention, and encouragement in helping me achieve my Goal of honoring my Parents, Dr. Frank J. and Mary J. Giardino, through financial contributions to the Dante Alighieri Scholarship Fund. And I, of course, want to especially and sincerely thank all of the people who were so generous and caring in honoring my Parents and in their fostering of Italian Culture and the Arts through our young scholars.   Frank W. Giardino, PhD



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 2022, 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


The Society gives a warm welcome to the following new members:  Paula Arevalo, Leah Becton, Kristine Berlute, Jon and Amy Gamm, Gina Gilbert, Molly Grasso, Laura and Steve Horesh, Erin Howard, Carleigh Maloney, Marie Vine, and Joe Won.



The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver is seeking nominations for the Second Annual Donne di Merito Awards.

The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver has long acknowledged the contributions and achievements of Italian and Italian-American women to society as a whole. It now wishes to recognize Italian and Italian-American women: donne di merito (women of merit), who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments that have contributed to the promotion, maintenance and preservation of the Italian culture. Candidates can be local, national or international women who have significant ties to Colorado and have made enduring contributions to Colorado’s Italian heritage. Awards may be given to historical or contemporary women. Award nominations are due on February 19, 2022. Recipients will be announced on March 11th at the Dante Alighieri Society’s cultural meeting in conjunction with International Women’s Month. Presentation of the awards will be held during the Dante Alighieri Society’s Awards Luncheon on Sunday, May 1st at the Mount Vernon Canyon Club. Deadline for nominations is 5:00 p.m., Friday, February 19, 2022. To obtain a nomination form, please call Susan Gurule at 720-484-1014 or email her at susangurule@msn.com. A nomination form is also included in the Notiziario.


Deadline for nominations: Friday, February 19 - 5:00 p.m.

Recipients announced: Friday, March 11

Presentation of awards: Sunday, May 1


The Spring 2022 session of Italian language classes offered by the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver will be in-person language classes at 3549 Navajo Street, Denver 80211 in the parish office of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church. Each class meets for 90 minutes, once a week, for 10 weeks, beginning in late March 2022.  Beginner classes will be offered, and possibly a conversation class.  The class schedule will be posted on the Society website by February 21, 2022.  Classes are taught by talented bi-lingual instructors who have significant experience teaching Italian.  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.  For more information, please contact the Education Chair Suzanne Fasing at suzannefasing@yahoo.com  To register and pay for classes, visit the web site: https://dantealighieriofdenver.com/classes/language-classes/

COVID policies for classes:

The health of our students and teachers is very important to the Dante Alighieri Society and for this reason, all students registering for in-person Italian language classes must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  Masks will be required in the classroom whenever required or recommended by the City of Denver, or the State of Colorado, or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you are a former Dante Society language student, and you would like to return to in-person classes, please notify the Education Chair, suzannefasing@yahoo.com



For those members who know how to play Scopa, the Dante Alighieri Society is ready to set up a regular monthly game of Scopa. It is our hope to begin the Scopa games in the near future. More details to follow. There will also be opportunities for those of you who don't yet know how to play, but want to learn. We'll keep you posted.

INDOVINELLO   ( RiddleQual e’ la citta’ piu’ profumata?  (Which city is the most fragrant?)

La risposta a pagina sei - (answer on page six)



Perchè si celebra il 17 Gennaio la giornata mondiale della pizza?  La scelta della data per istituire la Giornata Mondiale della Pizza unisce sacro e profano. Il 17 Gennaio infatti si celebra Sant’Antonio Abate, protettore dei fornai e dei pizzaioli. Un’usanza tramandata nel tempo, ci dice che in questo giorno i proprietari di pizzerie e forni chiudevano le loro botteghe per celebrare il loro protettore riuniti con le famiglie intorno ad un fuoco.  Il 17 Gennaio è inoltre una data culturalmente rilevante per la pizza. Nel 2017 infatti proprio in questa giornata, l’Arte dei Pizzaiuoli Napoletani è entrata nella preziosa lista del Patrimonio Unesco, divenendo quindi un bene dell’Umanità.


GETTING TO KNOW YOU:   Lou and Lauren Scalmanini.

  1. What region in Italy were your ancestors from?  If you do not have Italian ancestors, what is the ethnic background of your family?  Have you ever been there and what was your experience?

My Italian ancestors emigrated from Tesserete, Switzerland which is just north of Milan, in the Lake Lugano area. I have never been, but my parents visited the area in 1998 and there were still some Scalmaninis living in Tesserete.     

  1. When did your ancestors arrive in America, and where did they settle originally? Did they come right to Colorado? 

My great great grandfather came to San Francisco, California in the mid 1800s. He worked with the Ghirardelli family in setting up their chocolate business.

  1. If you had to describe yourself in one word, what word would that be, and why?

 Eclectic, because I have a wide variety of interests and don't try to fit into any stereotypes.

  1. Who was most influential to you growing up, and why?

 My mom, she was an amazingly supportive and loving person. She showed me how to care for people and do what’s right.

  1. Tell us a little about you, employment, family, interests and so on. 

I've lived in Colorado since 1971. My family moved here from California when I was 5yrs. old. My wife is a Denver native. Our 3 surviving sons (we've lost 2) served in the Marine Corps. We have 5 grandkids, with one on the way. I am a rideshare driver. My wife has a craft business and is setting up a furniture refinishing shop in our garage. I am very active in my church and sit on the board of directors for a faith-based food distribution ministry. I love good food, good friends and a good game of backgammon. (And I have a collection of over 150 Zippo lighters.)

  1. How would you most like to be remembered?

As a faithful man of God.

  1. What attracted you about joining the Dante Alighieri Society?

My parents were active members and I've been looking into my Italian roots after finding a distant cousin I didn't know I had in the San Diego area.

TIPS ON ITALY   By Tonya Clement.  La Festa Degli Innamorati.

Do you ever wonder if the country known for having latin lovers who speak the romantic love language of Italian celebrates Valentine’s Day on February 14th?  The answer is yes.  In Italy this day is referred to as La Festa Degli Innamorati which when translated literally means The Party of Lovers.  It is a day much like our Valentine’s Day when couples get engaged and lovers have romantic dinners.  Like in the US it usual and customary to give each other candy or flowers.  If you asked an Italian, they might just tell you every day is Valentine’s Day in Italy.

Many might say that Valentine’s Day originated in Italy but this is inconclusive information and not proven.  The Catholic Church speaks of two Saint Valentines that appear in connection with February 14th.  One was a Roman Priest and the other a bishop of Modern Terni.  Both were buried just outside of Rome.  Legend tells us there was indeed another Saint Valentine who secretly married couples during times of war when weddings were banned.  The thinking was that single men made better soldiers.  Once his actions were discovered he was ordered to be put to death on the 14th of February.  There is a lot of research to be done

around the subject.


In more recent times, young lovers in Italy began a tradition of attaching padlocks to bridges and public railings and then throwing away to the key to

represent eternal and unbreakable love.  It has now become illegal to do this and a fine is imposed if you are caught in the act.   It might be rare to spot a lock of love today but you can certainly enjoy looking for one on your next trip to Italy.

In the meantime, you can be assured the Italians enjoy making love a topic of discussion so let us practice a couple of ways to express your love to others:  Ti Amo means I love you!  Amo te oggi e sempre means I love you today and always.

And if you prefer to just wish someone a Happy Valentines Day, Buon San Valentino will do just fine.



  • Italy has been crowned 'Country of the Year' by The Economist, an annual honor awarded by the international newspaper. The prize is given "not to the biggest, the richest or the happiest, but to the one that in our view improved the most in 2021", says The Economist.
  • Happy World Pizza Day! On January 17 the world celebrated one of the most loved and most consumed Italian foods on all continents, perhaps the ultimate comfort food. In Italy alone, it is estimated that there are about 8 million pizzas baked every day, 3 billion a year, involving about 130 thousand companies, with a profit of 15 billion.
  • European parliament president, David Sassoli, dies at age 65. Tributes were paid to the well-respected senior EU figure who died early on Tuesday, January 11 at a hospital in Italy.
  • Italy is first in Europe in number of tourists. This is according to the report from ISTAT regarding tourism in Italy the first nine months of 2021. Italy surpasses Spain.
  • Defunct Italian flag carrier Alitalia is set to return to the skies in the next few months in a move that is unlikely to surprise many industry analysts but does contradict what the new owners of the Alitalia brand claimed last October.
  • Submerged Roman city in Italy reveals ancient Roman mosaics. In the waters of the Gulf of Pozzuoli, just a few kilometers from Naples, a small wave of the hand reveals precious, ancient Roman mosaics.
  • Italy bidding for UNESCO status for Espresso coffee. Agriculture Undersecretary Gian Marco Centinaio announced that the government is bidding to have Italian espresso coffee inserted into UNESCO's immaterial heritage list.  "Coffee is much more than a simple drink in Italy," Centinaio said. "It is an authentic ritual, an integral part of the national identity and an expression of our sociality that distinguishes us around the world".
  • Italians are furious as the cost of an espresso soars toward record highs. It typically costs €1 ($1.13) in Italy; experts now say it could rise to €1.50 ($1.70) this year.  Global coffee prices have soared because of supply chain issues and poor harvests.
  • No reports of injuries or damage in Calabria earthquake which hit the region by 4.3 magnitude on January 20 at 10:42 a.m.
  • Stanley Tucci's “Searching for Italy” second season. After two years in a global pandemic, it's a no-brainer that travelling is sorely missed by the nomads among us.
  • Italy takes further measures to contain swine fever outbreak. On January 19, Italy introduced further measures in two northern regions to contain a recent African swine fever outbreak,
  • WWII dog tag belonging to Raleigh soldier found in Italy. In Tuscany, Luca Gattel, a barber and passionate about metal detecting, came across a WWII era dog tag from a Raleigh soldier from N.C.
  • Roman Columns of Brindisi.  The origins and purpose of the columns are still unknown. Historically, it’s believed the columns marked the end of the Via Appia, a massive Roman road that connected the capital to the port of Brindisi, or the Via Traiana, a later alternative to the Via Appia.

Three ways you could become an Italian citizen.

The recent surge in applications for Italian citizenship is hardly surprising when you consider the advantages and benefits that Italian citizenship brings. It gives you the freedom to live, study and work in Italy and the EU indefinitely, plus access to free or low-cost universal healthcare and education.

  • Italian citizenship by descent.
  • Italian citizenship by marriage and civil union.
  • Italian citizenship by residency.

Think you could become an Italian citizen? Get your free, no obligations eligibility assessment from Italian Citizenship Assistance.


Four ways to make the most of your Italian summer.

  1. Find your freedom in Italy’s ancient borghi
  2. Make the most of Italy’s outdoor food festivals.
  3. Enjoy a return to outdoor shopping (and a taste of luxury).
  4. See some awe-inspiring architecture.

2022 Calendar


June 10


May 1 – Scholarships and awards Luncheon

May 15 – Operatic recital 





Summer session June 2022