header image - dec 2019

NOVEMBER MOVIE NIGHT   Friday, November 8, 7:30 p.m. at Mount Carmel Parish Hall.

After a brief general meeting, we will be showing “Happy Family”, a 2010 Italian comedy directed by Gabriele Salvatores. It was inspired by Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author.  The movie was nominated for Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Comedy and Best Production Design, and won the Best Editing award at the 2010 Nastro d'Argento ceremony.

Ezio, the protagonist, is a screenwriter who earns his living thanks to an invention of his father. He is going through a creative crisis, until he has a car crash with Anna, who invites him to dinner. Once there, the stories of several characters get interwoven, triggered by the decision of the 16-year-old Filippo, Anna's son, to get married. Dinner's attendees become the characters of Ezio's new screenplay, but they will try to interfere with his work.


The Society will gather for an elegant dinner at Colore Italian Restaurant (2700 S. Broadway, Englewood) on Sunday, November 17, 3:00 p.m.  The cost has been set for $42 (tax and tip included) per person and checks should be made to The Dante Alighieri Society and sent to Rhonda Hopkins  (13738 W. 62nd Drive, Arvada, CO 80004, rhop626@gmail.com ).  Reservations must be received no later than Thursday, November 14.


First course: Antipasto platter for each table with fresh rolls.

Colore Salad - Chopped romaine, prosciutto, salami, ham, provolone, artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper, kalamata olives, tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette


Second Course: Choice of...

Sausage & Peppers - Bell pepper, onion, spicy Italian sausage, marinara, mozzarella, spaghetti

Penne Bolognese - Our family’s meat sauce – ground beef, tomato, spices, parmigiana 

Shrimp Scampi & Linguine - Pan seared shrimp, shallots, garlic, chili flake, white wine lemon broth

Vegetable Lasagna - Spinach, broccoli, zucchini, ricotta, pesto, mozzarella, marinara

Chicken Parmigiana - Breaded chicken breast, mozzarella, marinara, linguine


Third Course:  Assorted Desserts plates for the table…

Peach Bread Pudding - Sliced peaches and French bread, served with our warm caramel sauce, whipped cream and fresh berries.
Flourless Chocolate Torte - Rich dark Belgian chocolate. Served with Berry Coulis, whipped cream and fresh berries.
Tiramisu - Espresso soaked lady fingers, Grand Marnier mascarpone, cocoa dust, whipped cream and fresh berries.

Cannolis - Traditional and chocolate shells filled with sweet cream and chocolate chips, whipped cream and fresh berries.

NOTE:   the cost includes one glass of wine per person, coffee, soft drinks and iced tea.



Italian Heritage Month was unquestionably a first-year success, one that portends its continuation in the future. I would like to express my personal, heartfelt gratitude to Susan Gurule who conceived the idea of Italian Heritage Month and worked uber-hard, along with the committee she brought together, to make this celebration a reality. I would also like to thank all those who participated, either as presenters or attendees.  You were an integral part of IHM’s success.

After a time of recuperation and reflection, I trust we’ll be back at the drawing board looking toward October 2020! Speaking of next year, even though it isn’t a Dante Alighieri Board election year, we are seeking replacements for some members who will be stepping down from their current positions.  Nick Napoli, Vice-president in charge of programs, will be leaving the Board effective Jan. 1, 2020. Pamela Marcantonio and Veronica Goodrich are currently co-chairing the Scholarship Committee, but we are seeking a chairperson to take over that duty following the Scholarship Luncheon in May. Finally, Vera Buffaloe, who has been our Secretary for a number of years, will be stepping down at the end of 2020. Please contact me if you have interest in or questions about any of these positions.  Fino alla prossima volta. John Giardino 303-378-9736


The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver gives a warm welcome to our latest members:  Fausto and Anne Cucchi, John and Laura Gabriel, Elsa Gramola, Anissa Madrill, and Francis Brehm Jr.


The Dante Alighieri Society will offer a 10-week winter session of Italian language classes, beginning in January 2020.  The schedule for winter classes will be posted on the Dante Society website by December 1, 2019.  Students must register for classes through the website.  The classes are taught by experienced and talented bi-lingual teachers, and include beginner, intermediate, advanced, and conversation classes.  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.  Please register early because classes do fill up.  For more information, please contact the Education Chair Suzanne Fasing at suzannefasing@yahoo.com or call 303-810-9042.   To register for classes, visit the web site:




The next meeting of the Dante Alighieri Society conversation group will be on Saturday, Oct 26, from 10:00 to 11:00 am at Brew Culture Coffee Shop, 3620 West Colfax Avenue (southwest corner of Colfax & Lowell).  There is no charge to attend.  Beverages and food are for sale at the coffee shop (no outside food or beverage, please).  I also hope that the spouses of a few students who are native speakers of Italian will be able to join the group in October.

The group will also meet on the fourth Saturday of November.  Each issue of the Notiziario which is emailed to all members, and posted on the Dante Society website, will have an article about future dates for the conversation group meetings.  Any questions or thoughts, please let me know.

Cordiali Saluti, Suzanne Fasing, Education Chair, Dante Alighieri Society of Denver.


The annual Christmas party has been scheduled for Saturday, December 8, at the usual place.:  NorthPark East Association Clubhouse in Westminster.  Details will be in the December Notiziario.



Applications for our Dante Alighieri Academic and Music Scholarships are now available online at the Dante website, https://dantealighieriofdenver.com/scholarships/ .  Colleges and universities have been notified of this opportunity for those students who are hoping to participate in study-abroad programs in Italy.  The application deadline is April 4, 2020, giving the Scholarship Committee ample time to determine scholarship winners prior to the May 3, 2020, Scholarship Awards Luncheon at the Arvada Centersave the date now.

Mille Grazie from Susan Gurule

As we wrap up Italian Heritage Month, I want to express my thanks to all the people who made this a memorable month and who made these wonderful events happen. First, I want to thank Dante Society President, John Giardino, for giving me his blessing and allowing me to take my idea of a month full of activities to the full board. Thank you to the Dante Society Board of Directors for telling me to take the idea and running with it. Thank you to the Italian Heritage Month Committee – John Giardino, Veronica Goodrich, Joyce Mahn, Dee Treloar Trujillo, Rich Sabell and Tonia Williams. Without you, none of this would have happened.  Everyone of you jumped in with both feet and gave it your all.

Thank you to the many people and places that contributed in one way or another toward the success of this month. They are:                              Governor Jared Polis - Proclamation

Spero Winery – June Spero and her two helpers
23rd Avenue Sculpture Studio - Josh and Amoreena Corbin
Reid Belstock – Performer extraordinaire
Parisi’s Restaurant – Christine Parisi and Gennaro
Gia Risk Management – Paul LoNigro
First Bank
Silver State Foods – Andrew
Canino Sausage – Diana
King Soopers
Andiamo! – Jenna Capra
Saluti! – Joe Aiello
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church

Thank you to:

Thank you to the following people who made our presentations and cooking class come alive. They are:

Gina Oldenburg – Book Musings

Tony Lombardi – Book Musings
Anthony Grieve – Book Musings
Gianni Lombardi – Book Musings
Rich Sabell – Book Musings

Daniela DeGarbo – Small Villages of Italy

Adam Giardino – Chef, Cooking Class

Joe Beine – Genealogy Workshop

Joe Mauro – Dual Citizenship

Tonia Williams – Italian Card Games
Veronica Goodrich Italian CardGames
IdaCasagranda – Italian Card Games
Carolyn Fabrizio – Italian Card Games


And, thank you too, to those individuals who jumped in to help wherever and whenever needed:

Tom Trujillo
Rhonda Hopkins
Pamela Marcantonio
Camilla Marcantonio
Gianfranco Marcantonio
Kristina Bonarelli
Carol Marsala

My deepest apologies if I’ve forgotten anyone. I truly appreciate all of you!!   Grazie.

2019 Italian Heritage Month - What Did You Think?

“As a proponent of Italian Heritage Month, I’m so proud of Dante Alighieri Society for taking the lead in celebrating the entire 31 days.” – Joe Aiello

Wine Tasting

“I enjoyed a lovely evening at Spero winery. There was a wide selection of wines to sample paired with delicious antipasti. June graciously invited us to tour the facility where the wine is produced, sharing both her family’s history in winemaking as well as the history of Spero. October was the perfect time for this event as we were able to watch grapes being processed.” - Christy Goodman

Prima Domenica Breakfast

A proud day...all the clubs volunteered for Prima Domenica! Sons of Italy, IOA, Fiori, Potenza, Dante Alighieri Society, Altar & Rosary, Mt. Carmel Men’s Club, and Trentini!!! Well done and thanks to all! –

Rita Defrange

Gelato Social

“Thank you so much for making sure we knew about the fabulous afternoon with the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver. Andiamo!” - Erika Taylor

Book Musings

“What a moving experience it was hearing the retelling of specific events in their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Listening to the stories was heartwarming, touching and endearing. Glad I was there to enjoy it.” – Susan Gurule

Small Villages of Italy

“Loved Daniela’s presentation.  She took me and the rest of the audience on an intriguing virtual tour of small villages in Italy, embellishing each region with delightful stories and practical travel advice while showcasing the religious festivals, history, architectural styles, fabulous art, delicious food -- and of course, the best wines!” – Kristina Bonarelli

Cooking Class

“I want to thank you for one of the most enjoyable mornings I have had in a while.  What a great group of people you have.” – Lou DeRose

Genealogy Workshop/Dual Citizenship Presentation

“The Genealogy and Italian Citizenship presentations at the Koelbel library in Englewood were very interesting and informative.

Joe Beine led us through several ways to trace our ancestors through on line searches. He put the outline of his talk on the website: Genesearch.com/Dante.

Joe Mauro shared his process and the current (ever changing) rules for obtaining Italian citizenship. A few people in the audience who are in the process shared some of their experiences.” - Carol Marsala



Italy is the longtime home of a diverse and vibrant filmmaking community. The 42nd Denver Film Festival is pleased to present nine new Italian works—seven narrative features and two documentaries—from established and emerging directors. Included among them is “The Stolen Caravaggio” (Una storia senza nome) directed by Roberto Ando’ to be shown at the University of Denver on November 6.   Please see attached flyer for details.


Italy imported this festival from the USA through films, TV and pop culture. It all started as a way to entertain children with the famous trick-or-treat routine. Certainly, Carnevale is still superior, but tendencies are looking undoubtedly more and more in favor to Halloween. This is throwing some controversy into the laps of religious authorities in Italy. Halloween is starting to develop a superior influence over Italy’s All Saints and All Souls Day, on November 1st and 2nd respectively, and many worry about the fact that it may turn what is supposed to be a time to remember our dead with love and cherish, into yet another occasion to party.

However, if we look at the true origins and the true meaning of Halloween, we’ll see that they’re not that different from what Italians celebrate on All Saints and All Souls Day. If, from a commercial point of view, Halloween is an All-American product, its spirit is rooted in antiquity and comes very much from Europe. Halloween, known by the Celts as Samhainwas originally nothing more than a day to remember and honor the souls of the dead. It’s been here since before Christ, witness to the wholly human necessity to remember and love those who are no longer physically with us. Celebrations of Halloween were popular in Ireland and Scotland and when people from these countries emigrated to the US in the 19th century, they brought this custom along. America then made of Halloween what we know today, whereas Europe remained attached to the more spiritually oriented celebrations of All Saints and All Souls Day.

Here Comes Halloween. With an Italian Accent. 

It was the beginning of the 90s, I remember I was in downtown Rome, in October. It showed sparse signs of Halloween: shops here and there sold Halloween candles and decorations. As time passed, stores started catering to the Halloween Holiday, featuring rows of costumes, make-up and tons of decorations. For Italians, it’s really not the meaning behind Halloween that counts: they are happy to celebrate their dead on All Souls Day. Halloween is just an excuse to have another festa. Any day is good to party: if this wasn’t true, Italians would stop being Italians.

It was the American movies and tv series of the 80s to make Italians aware of Halloween: ET by Spielberg showed what Halloween was about. Some American horror flics also made quite an impression and left gnarling expressions on European faces: Friday the 13thA Nightmare on Elm’s Street, and Halloween created the strangest of backgrounds for this sort of ancient candy-land of a holiday also in Italy. Lo-and-behold, the Italians seemed to like this type of over blown, over the top celebration and started to enjoy it: dress up parties for adults are held more and more often, and in schools is usual to have a small “trick or treat” session on the day. (Life in Italy, by Admin)


Dante discount card

The agreement between the Vatican and the Dante has been renewed once again for the year 2018.   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

April, Friday 17



April, Sat. 18 – Cooking class

May, Sun. 3 – Scholarship banquet (postponed)                                                       



Language – Spring March 23, 2020


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.