Dante ALighieri Society Denver


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

cultural eventMARCH CULTURAL MEETING  Celebration of Women’s Day  March is International Women's Month. Join the Dante Alighieri Society to celebrate our Italian women from the historical and contemporary; internationally, nationally and locally. Presenters and Dante Society members Gina Oldenburg, former owner and Executive Director of Creative Expressions Center and current Certified Wellness Coach for the City of Greenwood Village; Margaret Foderaro, Industrial Hemp Inspection and Outreach Coordinator for the Colorado Department of Agriculture; and Susan Gurule, retired District Executive Director of Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists will amaze you with the stories of many Italian women. Prepare to be impressed!


The program will be on March 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Mount Carmel Church Parish Hall, 3549 Navajo St.



April 17 meeting:  A play by Silvio Caputo and Rosalie Galasso Caputo:

"Life and Times of an Italian Immigrant Family in the coal fields of Colorado circa 1900", a tribute to the Italians of the Ludlow Massacre.

Saturday, April 18:  Cooking class with Giuseppina Nachira:  Food Culture in the Middle Ages.

In this class, we will communicate how in Europe the two different food cultures between the North and the South in the transition period between Antiquity and the Middle Ages meet and give birth to a new food culture.

In Southern Europe, the Mediterranean food culture is based on the triad: wheat, oil and wine and is supplemented by dairy and cheese (sheep farming); while the northern European food culture, of the German and Celtic populations, is based on hunting, fishing, free pasture (especially pigs) vegetables and beer.  The two food cultures clash in the transition period between Antiquity and the Middle Ages and face each other until they meet and create a mixed model of food production.

The two dishes that we will make together are representative of these two models.


Due to limited kitchen space, class size will be limited to 12 participants. Priority for registering will be given to Dante Alighieri Society members of record.  Class fee is $50, ($55 non-members) payable by check, made out to Dante Alighieri Society of Denver and mailed to Vera Buffaloe, 13778 W 62nd Drive, Arvada, CO 80004.  For questions,  email Vera at: buffaloev@gmail.com


MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE   FINAL NOTICE:   Membership renewal cards went out in late December.  I hope you will join us for another year of interesting lectures, movies and fun.  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 2020, 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.

BENVENUTI  The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver gives a warm welcome to our latest members:  Kathleen and Tom Di Leo, Charla Gonzalez, and Bill Strempel.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT   Over the course of one week in February, I visited each of our Dante Alighieri Italian language classes. This is a commitment I made when I took on the position of president a year ago. While it involves some time, effort and planning (with our Friday cultural meeting, I found myself at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel five nights in a row!), I enjoyed every minute. I’ve gotten to know the students and they always seem pleased that I stopped by to visit. Our exceptional teachers are not only accommodating but often include me in some of the exercises so I’m improving my Italian every time I go! I plan to continue making my visits if for no other reason than it’s fun.   John Giardino


SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS LUNCHEON    Please mark your calendars for May 3, 2020, when we will award this year's Dante Alighieri Society of Denver Scholarships.  The luncheon and ceremony will again be held at the Arvada Center, and more information will be available in the April edition of the Notiziario.  We hope you will all come to this signature event of our society and help us congratulate our winners.  Scholarship applications are available online at the Dante website https://dantealighieriofdenver.com, and announcements have been sent to local colleges and universities.



The Dante Society’s Italian conversation group will meet on Saturday, February 29, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  We are trying a new location in February.  We will meet at Panera Bread, 3545 West 38th Avenue, Denver.  The conversation group is open to all Dante language students and Society members from beginners to fluent speakers.  There is no charge to meet.  This conversation group gives students and members a chance to practice speaking Italian in a welcoming and supportive environment.  It complements the very robust program of Italian language classes offered by the Society.  Please save the dates of the last Saturday of each month for future meetings.  If you would like to participate, or if you would like more information, please contact the Education Chair, Suzanne Fasing at suzannefasing@yahoo.com


The Dante Alighieri Society will offer a 10-week spring session of Italian language classes, beginning March 23, 2020.  The schedule for spring classes is posted on the Dante Alighieri website, and it is listed below.  Students must register and pay for classes through the website.  The classes are taught by experienced and talented bi-lingual teachers.  Each class meets for 90 minutes, once a week, at 3549 Navajo Street, Denver, in the parish offices of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.  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

                        The registration deadline for the spring session is March 16, 2020.


Beginner Level Italian Classes

Beginner 1.  Wednesdays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning March 25, 2020 through May 27, 2020 (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 March 23, 2020 through June 1, 2020 (no class on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020) (DiMaggio). 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.

Beginner 3.  Tuesdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning March 24, 2020 through May 26, 2020 (Jensen).  In this class, students will build upon their existing knowledge  through conversation, role plays, listening, reading and writing activities.  Topics include past verb tenses, prepositions, telling time, and ordering in a restaurant.
Required Text: The Italian Project 1a.

Beginner 4.  Thursdays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning March 26, 2020 through May 28, 2020 (Brunetti). In this class students will build upon their prior studies through role plays, listening, reading and writing activities. Topics include the past and future verb tenses, and train travel.  Required Text:  The Italian Project 1a.

Note: Spring 2020 Session has been cancelled due to the concerns with coronavirus. Please check back for updates on the next session.

Intermediate 1.  Mondays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning March 23, 2020 through June 1, 2020 (no class on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020) (DiMaggio).  In this class students will build upon their prior studies through role plays, listening, reading and writing activities. Topics include past verb tenses and possessive pronouns.  Required Text:  The Italian Project 1b.

Intermediate 2 will be offered in future sessions.

Intermediate 3.  Wednesdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning March 25, 2020 through May 27, 2020 (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 Italian Project 1b.


Italian Literature 202.  Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning March 24, 2020, through May 26, 2020 (Jensen).  Advanced Intermediate class on Alessandro Manzoni’s I Promessi Sposi.  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 book.  A strong knowledge of language is necessary to engage in conversation.  Students will discuss the book in present, past, future and conditional tenses. Required Text: I Promessi Sposi (ISBN: 9788853617637)  Students may purchase this book from internet booksellers, including applauselearning.com, bookdepository.com, europeanbookshop.com or by clicking this link for the publisher of ELI graded readers:     by clicking this link: 


Conversation 207.  Thursdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning March 26, 2020 through May 28, 2020 (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.


mimosa flowerInternational Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

What is International Women's Day?

International Women's Day is a worldwide event with a human rights theme, highlighting the social, economic, cultural and political achievements and contributions made by women. It is held annually on the 8th of March. The day also sees demonstrations and protests aiming to further gender equality. In some areas the day has become an occasion to express appreciation for women in general, similar to Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. In many (mostly eastern) countries the day is a public holiday.  (Calendarpedia)

International Women’s Day 2020 theme: "I am Generation Equality:
Realizing Women’s Rights”

The theme for International Women’s Day (8 March) 2020 is, I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights. The theme is aligned with UN Women’s new multigenerational campaign, Generation Equality, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Adopted in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, the Beijing Platform for Action is recognized as the most progressive roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls, everywhere.

The year 2020 is a pivotal year for advancing gender equality worldwide, as the global community takes stock of progress made for women’s rights since the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action. It will also mark several other galvanizing moments in the gender equality movement: a five-year milestone towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals; the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security; and the 10th anniversary of UN Women’s establishment.

The emerging global consensus is that despite some progress, real change has been agonizingly slow for the majority of women and girls in the world. Today, not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality. Multiple obstacles remain unchanged in law and in culture. Women and girls continue to be undervalued; they work more and earn less and have fewer choices; and experience multiple forms of violence at home and in public spaces. Furthermore, there is a significant threat of rollback of hard-won feminist gains.

The year 2020 represents an unmissable opportunity to mobilize global action to achieve gender equality and human rights of all women and girls. The United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day 2020 will take place at the United Nations Secretariat in New York on Friday, 6 March 2020, from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

The Observance aims to bring together the next generations of women and girl leaders and gender equality activists with the women’s rights advocates and visionaries who were instrumental in creating the Beijing Platform for Action more than two decades ago. The event will celebrate change makers of all ages and genders and discuss how they can collectively tackle the unfinished business of empowering all women and girls in the years to come.  (UN Women)

Mimosa Flower is a Symbol for International Women's Day

International Women's Day is celebrated throughout the world every year on March 8th. The Day traces its beginnings to the early 20th century as a result of the socialist movement. The holiday recognizes the social and political struggles that women have faced for centuries. It is also a chance for us all to show women how much we respect them and appreciate them.

The holiday stirs more emotions in some countries than others.  The custom of giving the mimosa flower can be traced back to Italy around 1946. The flowers were intended to be given as a sign of respect and the mimosa's symbolism rivals that of a red rose on Valentine's day. Mimosa's origin can be traced back to Australia. It arrived in Europe around 1820. The plant is quite invasive and should not be placed too close to other plants. Its blooms are often harvested for cut flowers, honey and oils for perfume. You may recognize the blossom at the premium cosmetic store, L'Occitane en Provence. Many clients from Russia, Eastern Europe and Italy will often call or email to check on this fleeting flower's availability for March 8th. Mimosa has a lovely scent and Exotic Flowers in Boston will have Mimosa for sale on International Women's Day.  (Posted by Rick Canale)                                              

Dante Alighieri day

NEWS FROM ITALY   Italy Establishes National Dante Day

Among the greatest poets of Italian and world literature, Dante was born in Florence in 1265, and died in exile in Ravenna in 1321. His tomb is still in Ravenna.  It was during exile that Dante composed his greatest work, The Divine Comedy, his vision of the afterlife where references to myth, history and scripture serve to comment on the politics and political figures of his day.

A year ahead of the celebrations for Dante Alighieri’s 700th death anniversary, the Italian government has announced the establishment of a National Dante Day, or Dantedì, to be observed annually on March 25. Why this date? According to scholars, Dante’s journey to Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, which he recounted in his masterpiece, the Divine Comedy began on March 25 (his voyage began during Easter week in the year 1300).

“Every year on March 25, the date that scholars recognize as the beginning of the journey into the afterlife of the Divine Comedy, Dantedì will be celebrated,” said Italy’s Culture Minister Dario Franceschini. “It will be a day to remember Dante's genius throughout Italy and the world with many initiatives that will see schools, students and cultural institutions involved. There are a lot of projects currently being examined by the committee for the celebrations chaired by Professor Carlo Ossola ahead of the celebrations for Dante’s 700th anniversary. Dante symbolizes many things that hold us together: he is the unity of the country, he is the Italian language, he is the very idea of Italy.”  (by Silvia Donati, Italy Magazine 1-28-2020)



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



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


Cultural Meetings






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.