November 2021 Notiziario

Dante Alighieri of Denver header

PRESIDENT REPORT   As of this writing, there are little more than ten days left and several more events taking place during October’s Italian Heritage Month. So far, programs have been well attended and the number of people signed up to be there for the remaining presentations is impressive. All in all, I would have to say this third year of Dante Alighieri Society’s Italian Heritage Month will be a resounding success. That success is due in large part to Susan Gurule who originally conceived the idea of celebrating the contributions made by Italians to our society. She and the IHM Committee have done a magnificent job of planning, coordinating and pulling off this month-long show.

Not wanting to rest on our laurels however, discussion has already begun on next year’s celebration with plans for more focused programs and greater publicity so more lovers of all things Italian will be invited to and excited about participating. Though October may be over soon, there are more delightful things happening the rest of this year. November’s cultural meeting will be a soup exchange/tasting with proceeds going to local food banks. And once again we will be celebrating the holidays with a Christmas Party (and white elephant gift exchange!) in December. You’ll find details here in the Notiziario so be sure to mark your calendars.   John Giardino


Fall brings back wonderful memories of crispy air, warm sweaters, chilly nights and hot soup with crusty bread.  We will be hosting a soup exchange on Friday, November 12th in the parish hall of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church at 7:00 p.m.

Dig through your recipes and pick one of your favorites - it doesn't have to be Italian- to share with your fellow Dante Alighieri Society members.  Please make a large batch (a large crock pot size) for others to sample.  Couples only need to bring one soup and anyone who chooses not to bring a soup can pay $5 to sample all the varieties.  The Dante Alighieri Society will provide the beverages, bread and dessert.  This will be a really fun event and a chance to show off your culinary skills.

Please email Rhonda Hopkins at or call at 720-596-4169 to let her know what soup you plan to bring.  We want to be sure everyone is not bringing the same soup.

We encourage everyone to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Bienvenidos Food Bank.  Any money collected will also be donated to the food bank.


This year the annual Christmas party will be held at Mt. Carmel Parish Hall (3549 Navajo St., Denver) on Saturday, December 11.  The change in venue was prompted by the fact that North Park Club House was too small to accommodate the increasing number of members attending the event.  As usual members whose last name begins with A through R will be asked to bring heavy hors d’oevres and members with last names beginning with the initial S through Z are asked to bring a dessert.  For additional information and RSVP please contact Rhonda Hopkins at 720-596-4169 or

We are asking that you bring a white elephant gift for the member exchange; no need to go shopping, just look around your house for something you wondered why you bought in the first place.


In memory of his parents, Dr. Frank J and Mary J. Giardino, Dr. Frank W. Giardino has offered a $1000 matching grant to be used for the Dante Alighieri Scholarship Program. All donations up to that amount in total will be matched. Donations to the Dante Alighieri Scholarship Fund should be sent to Carol Marsala, 1696 Garland St., Denver, CO 80215.  As members have donated, they are pleased to learn that their contribution is matched and therefore worth twice as much.  Please join now in supporting our scholarship program, as the matching opportunity will end in the next few months.



The Dante Alighieri Society gives a warm welcome to our latest members:  Angelo DeCecco, Lauren and Lou Scalmanini.

October - Italian Heritage Month

The response and participation in the events have been fantastic.  We only have one event coming up without full capacity and therefore open to more members and/or friends.  We encourage you to sign up ASAP. 


(Public health guidelines will be followed at all events).

Friday, October 29

Movie Night. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Hall – 3549 Navajo Street, Denver,7:30 p.m.

Popcorn and beverages will be served.  Free Event – Reservations Required                                               

Benvenuti al sud (Welcome to the South).  A witty and very human story about how Italy’s North meets Italy’s South. A very uptight postal inspector is horrified to find himself transferred to the South of Italy. He cries on the way down and arrives full of prejudices and misconceptions, only to be warmly welcomed. We won’t reveal too much but he leaves in tears again, in fulfilment of a local saying that people cry twice when visiting, once when they arrive and again when they leave.


To make reservations or purchase tickets, please call Susan Gurule at 720-484-1014, email her at, or mail her at 2424 Stuart Court, Denver, CO 80212.



The Society’s fall session of Italian language classes has begun. The 10-week winter session of Italian language classes will start in January 2022.  The schedule for winter classes will be posted on the Dante Society website by December 1, 2021.  The classes are taught by experienced and talented bi-lingual teachers, and include beginner, intermediate, 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 .   To register for classes, visit the web site:


Venice is overwhelmed by tourists and the city’s leaders are acquiring the cellphone data of unwitting tourists and using hundreds of surveillance cameras to monitor and prevent crowding.

A giant motorized watercraft, called Noah’s violin, floated down Venice’s Grand Canal on

September 18 with a string quartet playing Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”.

New airline ITA has officially taken over the troubled flag carrier Alitalia.

Volunteers clean up Italy’s third longest river as pollution is high in the Rome’s Tiber.

Heavy rains flood Northeast Italy and nature’s fury derails life, while in Sicily temperatures climb to a record 120 degrees  as Italy battles blazes.  Also, firefighters fight wildfires on the Adriatic coast.


WHEREAS, of all the immigrant groups who came to the United States during the Ellis Island era, few made a more significant numerical impact than the Italians, many of whom settled in Colorado; and


WHEREAS, Italians were instrumental in establishing Colorado as a leader in railroad transportation, the mining, timber and masonry industries, and agricultural production and distribution; and


WHEREAS, Italians have contributed to Colorado’s growth and economy throughout its history by the establishment of small and large businesses; and


WHEREAS, Italians have left an indelible imprint on the art, culture and culinary desires of Colorado; and


WHEREAS, Italians have been instrumental in improving the quality of life in Colorado by serving in public office and through their philanthropic and benevolent endeavors; and


WHEREAS, Italians continue to enhance and promote the diversity of Colorado by fostering their cultural heritage which is supported by the numerous active Italian American organizations throughout the state;


THEREFORE, I, Jared Polis, Governor of the State of Colorado, do hereby proclaim, the month of October, 2021 as ITALIAN HERITAGE MONTH in the State of Colorado.         

GIVEN under my hand and the Executive Seal of the State of Colorado

Members at Proclamation Ceremony in Northglen

On Monday, October 11, 2021, Meredith Leighty, Mayor of the City of Northglenn, issued a similar proclamation in a ceremony witnessed by several members of The Dante Alighieri Society.


It’s a Wrap…well, almost

Italian Heritage Month is nearing its end. Eight events down (ten if you count Prima Domenica and the proclamation signing at the City of Northglenn) and two more to go. By the time you get this issue of the Notiziario, we will have added the Dante dinner at Colore Restaurant in our completed column. The remaining two events are the movie Benvenuti al sud (Welcome to the South) on Friday, October 29th at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish hall at 7:30. I hope to see you there as we round out the month. The final cooking class with Adam Giardino on Saturday, October 30th is sold out. One scheduled event Dr. Roberta Waldbaum’s presentation has been postponed until early 2022.

I have plenty of thank yous to hand out. First to the board of directors who have given their approval and support for the activities for this Italian Heritage Month. When I noted that we had five full weekends this year and I wanted to fill each weekend with activity, the board members gave their nod. Secondly and equally as important is the committee of committed members who have worked right along-side me in planning and executing each event. In alphabetical order, they are: Bob Badovinac, Ida Casagranda, Anne Cucchi, John Giardino, Veronica Goodrich, Camilla Marcantonio, Gianfranco Marcantonio, Pamela Marcantonio, Griselda Padilla, Dee and Tom Treloar, Colette Wagner, and Tonia Williams. And although they were not part of the committee, I want to thank Rhonda Hopkins for all her hard work in setting up for the cooking classes and Carol Marsala for making sure everyone’s reimbursement checks were sent out promptly. Thank you.

Another huge thank you needs to go out to the vendors who supported us. They are 23rd Avenue Sculpture Studio, Amore Gelato and Deli Italia. Their contributions to our events made a tremendous difference. Thank you.

I also want to thank the other Italian-American organizations that supported, promoted and attended the activities hosted by the Dante Society. While we all share the same “Italian-American” designation, we each have our unique strengths and differences and its heartwarming to have their support. Thank you.

And, of course, the success of these events wouldn’t have happened without the support and attendance we received from all the wonderful people who came to them. Thank you.

Susan Gurule, Italian Heritage Month Committee Chairwoman


Here’s some of the feedback I’ve received from folks.


The presentation on Dante Alighieri was incredible. Dr. Fabian has an extraordinary knowledge of Dante. His presentation was full of enthusiasm and humor. Joe


Several people expressed interest in the Dante Alighieri classes taught by Dr. Seth Fabian. The registration link is below.


Well, I don't know how the gelato social could have been any better. What a fun and successful event. Thanks to you and your committee. Rhonda

When we arrived at Spero Winery, we were greeted by Bella, the winery’s hostess dog, who made everyone welcome. The food and wine were good and the conversation was great. – Bob


We really enjoyed the Scopa game. I’ve been playing all the time now on line. Debra & Nick


My daughter and I had a wonderful experience learning new recipes and making new friends. It was a morning filled with fun and a lot of laughter. Lee Ann


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


Alisa DiGiacomo       Nov 6
Nick D’Adamio          Nov 7
Anissa Madrill           Nov 9
Chelsie Scanlon        Nov 11
Rhonda Hopkins       Nov 13

Jillian Ball Roberg     Nov 16
Mike Southern          Nov 17
Lis Griffin                   Nov 21
Collette Wagner        Nov 22
Jessie Goldfarb         Nov 25

Tonia Williams           Nov 26
Jennifer Fontaine      Nov 27
Dee Trujillo-Treloar   Nov 27
Joe Birge                   Nov 30
Rich Sabell                 Nov 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      Grazie!

Mese del cuore

Son Novembre, per fardello

porto solo un canestrello,

con bei fiori e moccoletti

per I campi  benedetti;

con la gente al cimitero

porto un fiore ed un pensiero.

Month of the heart

I am November, for a bundle

I carry only a basket,

with beautiful flowers and candles

throughout the blessed fields;

along with people at the cemetery

I bring a flower and a thought.

INDOVINELLO: (Riddle)  Quali sono le chiavi  che non aprono nessuna serratura?

 (Which keys never open any lock?)

TIPS ON ITALY   By Tonya Clements    Shhhhhhhhhhh

In my article for this month, you will see my goal for learning the Italian language is to blend in with the locals when I travel to Italy.  I do not want to stand out and be coined “The Tourist.”  Today’s Language Tip offers appropriate and effective ways to tell others to SHUT UP.


Pretend for a moment that you are taking a young child on a tour of the best museums in Italy and they are acting a bit unruly and making too much noise.  The easiest way to get them to calm down is to simply hold your finger to your mouth and say, “shhhhhhhhhhhhh!”  Nine times out of ten that will get the desired result.  Every now and then you will have a wild child that is really wound up.  In which case you might follow the shhhhhhh sound with, “Mi dai fastidio!”  In this case you are letting the child know that they bothering you.  If the child persists in talking, you may then resort to saying, Vuoi stare zitto!?  (Would you shut up?!).

Shhhh action by Tonya

GETTING TO KNOW YOU   Lee Ann Matranga

  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 Paternal great grandparents lived in a small village called Piana degli Albanesi, located east of Palermo. Years ago, I spent a month seeing the many cultural sites and wonderful beaches of Sicily while riding a Vespa! One of my favorite experiences was eating delicious fresh lobster while overlooking the turquoise Mediterranean Sea.


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

My ancestors settled in the Southern part of the US and operated a fine bakery in Mobile, Alabama from the 1930’s until 1958. After completing my studies abroad in Switzerland, I moved to Colorado and obtained a degree from CU-Boulder. I have called Colorado my home for over 30 years!


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

Affable— I am friendly, sociable & courteous. I don’t know a stranger!


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

I am fortunate to have had many wonderful family members and friends who have helped shape me into the person I’ve become.  A positive outlook and living life to its fullest works wonders for my spirit!


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

I have 4 wonderful adult children and I am a world adventure traveler who has summited two 19,000 foot peaks. Hiking, biking, cooking, gardening & exploring different cultures are some of my many passions! I was very active with the DAM for many years and enjoy all genres of art. As for employment—I’m continuously working on that!!


  1. How would you most like to be remembered?

 As a fun-loving person who sees “goodness” in everyone! 


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

I am passionate about everything Italian! I enjoy cultivating new friendships and participating in the wide array of activities offered by Dante! My goal is to speak fluent Italian sometime in this century!!!


Members of our Society are all invited to attend the following event.

To register, you can either scan the QR code on the flyer to access the Registration or use the registration link The Italian Showcase at DU - Registration link.

You can also register on the Denver Film Festival site under Italian Showcase where all the Italian films are listed. The DU showing is free.

2022 Calendar


June 10


May 1 – Scholarships and awards Luncheon

May 15 – Operatic recital 





Summer session June 2022