June 2021 Notiziario

Dante Alighierio of Denver Notiziario

PRESIDENT REPORT   Though it feels like a lot longer, it’s been fifteen months since we’ve been able to gather face-to-face. But, thanks to the expeditious development and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, our Society pulled off a wonderfully exciting and stimulating luncheon at Mt. Vernon Canyon Club on May 2. The event was held to present scholarships to two deserving college students who will be studying in Italy and to honor the two winners of our first Donne di Merito awards. Though we’re not totally out of the tunnel, there is enough light at the end that we are comfortable in scheduling another face-to-face cultural meeting on June 11 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to collectively enjoy the movie Che bella giornata (What a Beautiful Day). I’ll be out of town, but I hope lots of you show up to enjoy not only the film but, more importantly, the camaraderie. We’re also planning on a summer picnic, more cultural meetings and the celebration of Italian Heritage Month in October. Even a Christmas party is on the horizon. Still, let’s continue to be safe for our own sake and for the sake of others – get your vaccinations and continue to follow the CDC guidelines even as things begin to loosen up. Grazie. Questions or concerns? Contact me at johncgiardino@comcast.net or 303-378-9736. John Giardino

Left to right:  President John Giardino, scholarship winner Claire Steffek (will study in Torino), Phil Fiore son of historical recipient of Donne di Merito, Genevieve Fiore, scholarship winner Isabella Rizzo (will study in Perugia), Roberta Waldbaum recipient of the contemporary Donne di Merito award, scholarship co-chair Veronica Goodrich, Father Hugh Guentner, Pamela Marcantonio scholarship co-chair, and Susan Gurule chair of Donne di Merito awards.


MAY AWARDS   Thanks to the combined efforts of every member of the Dante Board, we enjoyed a delightful luncheon and awards ceremony on May 2 in which we recognized the 2021 recipients of the Donne di Merito awards as well as this year’s scholarship winners.  We thank Mt. Vernon Canyon Club for hosting the event as well as all members and guests who attended.  It was indeed a pleasure to gather in person after many months of virtual meetings.  Congratulations again to all those whom we honored this year.

MOVIE NIGHT RETURNS!      After many months, we are resuming Friday night at the movies.  On Friday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m., we will watch Che bella giornata, (What a Beautiful Day) a comedy starring Checco Zalone.  The story goes that after dreaming of becoming a police officer, but failing the entrance exam for the third time, a young man with connections soon finds himself a security agent at the Milan Cathedral with disastrous results.  We will meet, as before COVID, at Mt. Carmel Parish Hall, 3549 Navajo St., Denver.

Join us for fun, fellowship, and, of course, popcorn!


PICNIC IN JULY   This summer we will resume our annual picnic on July 25th at Oakhurst Park in Westminster.  Watch for details in the next Notiziario but mark your calendar now.

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



We say a fond farewell to Vanessa DiMaggio, a talented Italian language teacher, who has taught classes for the Dante Society since 2017.  Vanessa holds a PhD and an MA in Italian from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Italian from Florida State University.  She is leaving our program because of increased teaching responsibilities at the University of Colorado.  Vanessa’s students have praised her, stating that she is extremely knowledgeable, patient, enthusiastic, and gives encouragement to all students.  She tells us that it was an honor to teach the Society’s language students who were enthusiastic and passionate about learning Italian.  Tantissime grazie to Vanessa.



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

Mike Esposito     June 8           

John Giardino     June 11

Sharon Albertsen    June 13

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

Sono Giugno, a tutti quanti

Porto doni consolanti,

                   promozioni agli studenti

anche a quelli inconcludenti,

Porto frutti profumati

con I prezzi maggiorati.

Month of the Heart

I am June, to everyone

I bring consoling gifts,

rewards to students

even to those unsuccessful,

I bring pleasant fruits

with increased prices.


INDOVINELLO: (Riddle)     Nasco candida e muoio nel fango. (I am born white but I die in mud). Answer on last page.


I have found one of the most intimidating things to do visiting Italy is to order a cup of coffee at the counter of a bar.  Not only is the barista often very busy, but there is also often a lot of Italians congregated in the same area doing the same.  On my first trip to Italy, I made a mistake and I ordered a latte.  When the waitress asked if I wanted my latte hot or cold, it was becoming clear everyone was in on the joke.  Completely in my own world, I responded and said, “latte caldo per favore.”  Most of you know how this story ends.  Yes, I was in complete disbelief to receive my hot glass of milk.  Never again….

So here is a quick cheat sheet on how to order a cup of coffee.  Always greet the barista with buongiorno or salve as it will give you a glance just long enough to place your order. If you are looking for a traditional Italian espresso you ask, “un caffe’ per favore.”   If ordering two you would request due caffe’.

If a shot of espresso is truly what you had in mind, the barista might think you are a bit crazy and expecting a traditional American cup of Joe and may then ask you if you are seeking a caffe’ normale.  The barista is trying to determine if you really want a large cup of coffee instead of a small shot of espresso.  You can have a little fun and say, “no, preferisco un caffe’ italiano e tradizionale.”

If you are seeking an American cup of coffee you might make it clear from the beginning by saying you would like un caffe’ americano in una tazza grande. This may be the ideal choice if you

are planning to linger at a table to read the paper or watch the people.  Most Italians stand at the counter and quickly slam down their caffe’.  They are simply making a quick stop at the café for un caffe’.

Now it is not uncommon for some to want two shots of espresso in which case you simply request un caffe’ doppio (double espresso).  The drink that I most favor is the caffe’ macchiato which is basically a shot of espresso with a dash of milk foam referred to as schiumaMacchiato comes from the verb macchiare which means to stain.  In essence you are getting an espresso stained with a splash of milk foam.

If you are one of the lucky ones visiting Italy this summer, you may prefer un caffe’ shakerato which is the equivalent of an iced coffee.  It is often served slightly sweet, shaken and poured over ice.  It is a lovely drink on a hot afternoon.  No matter what you receive, it is going to taste wonderful.  I have never been able to determine if the coffee is truly superior or if it just tastes better because I am in Italy.  This should be a sufficient guideline to get your day off to a great start.



There are three upcoming events that the Dante Alighieri Society thought might be of interest to its members.

  • Rigoletto presented by the Central City Opera at Hudson Gardens in July. Several dates and times are available. Tickets can be purchased through the Central City Opera website: https://centralcityopera.org
  • Carousel with Central City Opera - July 3 - August 1, 2021, in which our two-time scholarship winner, Jennifer DeDomenici will be playing Carrie Pipperidge!  So many opportunities for art and for human connection thanks to Central City Oper
  • Andrea Bocelli with the Colorado Symphony on October 31st at 8:00 p.m. at the Ball Arena. Tickets can be purchased through the Colorado Symphony website: https://coloradosymphony.org

Please note:  This is for your information only and are not events that are being coordinated by the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver. If you are interested in obtaining tickets, please go directly to the Central City Opera and/or Colorado Symphony websites.


The Dante Alighieri Society will offer only online remote Italian language classes in the Summer 2021 session, using the Zoom platform.  The ten-week Summer session of classes will begin the week of June 21, 2021.  The schedule of Summer classes is listed below, and it is posted on the Dante Society website.  Each class meets for 90 minutes, once a week.  Classes are taught by talented bi-lingual instructors who have significant experience teaching Italian with the Zoom platform.  A prerequisite for all classes is students' familiarity with Zoom before taking the first class.  The Dante Society hopes to resume in-person language classes at Mt Carmel parish when it is prudent.  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 website:    https://dantealighieriofdenver.com/classes/language-classes/


Beginner 1.  Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning January 11, 2022 through March 15, 2022 (Jensen).   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 New Italian Project 1a 

 Beginner 2.  Wednesdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning January 12, 2022 through March 16, 2022 (Brunetti).   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 New Italian Project 1a

Intermediate 1 will be offered in a future session.

 Intermediate 2.  Wednesdays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning January 12, 2022 through March 16, 2022 (Brunetti).  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 New Italian Project 1b


Intermediate Conversation 102: Tuesdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning January 11, 2022 through March 15, 2022 (Jensen). This class will be conducted in Italian, and will introduce new vocabulary, topics and some grammar. Students will be able to converse on a variety of everyday subjects described in the required text.  Required Text: (ISBN: 9788831496841) La Nuova Prova Orale 1

GETTING TO KNOW YOU:  Peggy Battalora

  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 family is from Prato Leventina, a remote valley in the Ticino canton of Switzerland. I took my sons to visit years ago.  My older sister, who has become a Swiss citizen, accompanied us to translate, since most of the people were Italian-speaking only. It was an amazing trip.
  1. When did your ancestors arrive in America, and where did they settle originally? Did they come right to Colorado?

They arrived in the early 1800's, and settled in New Orleans.


  1. If you had to describe yourself in one-word, what word would that be, and why? Adventurous.  I'm always looking for the next new thing. 
  2. Who was most influential to you growing up, and why? My parents were most influential.  We were encouraged to 'aim high', and that there were no limits on what we could be. They valued education.  Books (and nectar sodas!) were our treats. They allowed me to travel with a New Orleans Catholic high school group to Europe when I was 15.  That trip 'with the nuns' opened up a whole new world.
  3. Tell us a little about you, employment, family, interests and so on. I am a third-generation physician and have worked in Colorado for 29 years at my practice. I am a competitive ballroom dancer.   I have 2 sons.  The oldest graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point last year and will be sent to Germany. The youngest is a junior there.  We travelled to Europe when they were young, and they had a special interest in military museums and military sights, including Normandy.
  4. How would you most like to be remembered?

 I would like to be remembered as a devoted mother, caring physician and good friend. 

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

My older sister (the Swiss citizen) advised me to join my local Dante Alighieri Society when I expressed interest in learning Italian.


On Wednesday, June 16th at 8:00pm, PBS12 will broadcast America’s Last Little Italy: The Hill – A documentary that explores the historic roots of The Hill neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri. Chronicling the Italians immigrating in search of the American Dream and building a "Little Italy" that still flourishes to this day.



In the early years of our Society,  two of our most active members were Ed Westwater and his daughter Lynn.  Lynn was studying Italian and lived for a year in Varese with a family from the Coro Sette Laghi.  Today she is a Professor of Italian and Director of the Italian Program at Georgetown University.  During the pandemic, she created and taught an innovative course on "Can Classics Teach COVID Lessons".  The following site describes her course and the work of students enrolled in it.



With appreciation to all who contributed to the Dante Alighieri Society Scholarship fund in the past two years.

A special thanks to those who donated to a music scholarship in honor of Jason Modlich

Joseph Adducci

Sharon Albertsen

James & Irmhild Aurand

Scott Aurand & Rosanna Patrona-Aurand

Dolores Bammerlin

Sally Brant

Nicholas & Mary Brown

Helen BrowneVera Buffaloe

Joshua Campora

Idamae Casagranda

Dale Coski & Alice Fritz

Daniel & Barbara DiSalle

Nicholas Dowd 

Gregory & Suzanne Fasing

Anna Maria Ferrari 

Robert Gaspar

Dr. Frank W. Giardino

Dr. John & Erin Giardino

Veronica Goodrich                                                   

Lis Griffin

Jeanne Hadji

Lee & Valerie Haines

James & Suzann Hermanski

Joe Holeman

Rhonda Hopkins

 Jeffrey Jensen & Cynthia Wolls

Michael & Marcy Kennelly

Teri Kimball

Patty Korb

Dennis & Jane Kreischer

Kroger-King Soopers

Nancy Landolfi

Virginia Linkus

Erin McGee

Gretchen Mann

Camilla Marcantonio

Gianfranco & Pamela Marcantonio

Carol Marsala

Sharla Marshall

Kathy Miller

John & Helen Modlich

Mary Modlich

Steve & Char Modlich

Theresa Modlich

Gloria Patrona

Lisa Prassak

Frankie Reeves

Rendevous Restaurant

Mary Rome

Dr. John E. & Ami Sadler

Rosalie Spicola

Bonnie Sasso

Ted & Taube Springston

Vincent & Gay Taglialavore

Barbara Tinucci

Thomas & Connie Vervoorn

Leonard & Roberta Waldbaum

Steve & Sue Whitener

Victoria Wintersscheidt

2021 Calendar


November 12 - Soup exchange


Movie at DU – November 9

Christmas Party – December 11




Winter – begin January 2022