Dante Alighierio of Denver Notiziario

Oct 2019 Notiziario

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE   October will be a special month for the Dante Alighieri Society and for our Italian culture.  What will hopefully be the first annual Italian Heritage Month celebration will be taking place. The committee, of which I am a member, has worked extremely hard to put together a number of exciting events throughout October. Check the out the schedule in this Notiziario and come out not only to support the Dante Alighieri Society’s efforts but also to show your love of the Italian culture.  Grazie, John Giardino



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 Dante Society’s Italian conversation group meets on the fourth Saturday of every month, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Brew Culture Coffee Shop, 3620 West Colfax Avenue in Denver.  Upcoming dates are September 28, October 26, and November 23, 2019.

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.  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 Society thanks Dave Puzo for his presentation on the region of Molise.  It was well attended and well received.  Dave, through the pictures he took, showed us the beauty, history and culture of this often-forgotten region of central Italy.


 Sincere condolences to the family of George O’Donnell who passed the 14th of September.  George was a long-time member and Chairman of the Scholarship Committee.  The Society will miss him.

The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver

Celebrates Italian Heritage Month in the Month of October

Details of events from October 20th through 26th

Genealogy Workshop and Dual Citizenship Presentation
Sunday, October 20, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Koelbel Library - 5955 S. Holly Street, Centennial

Joe Beine will discuss his USA death indexes website, tips for finding your ancestor on ship passenger lists from Europe to the USA from 1820-mid 20th century, and on-line civil registration records from the Italian State Archives.

Dual Citizenship
Joe Mauro who recently completed the process and received his dual citizenship will provide insights into the procedure.

Please RSVP so we'll be certain to have enough seats and materials available. Call Susan Gurule at 720-484-1014 or email her at susangurule@msn.com


Enjoy an evening of laughter with popcorn and good company at the Movie Night.   Noi e la Giulia

(In Italian with English subtitles)
Friday, October 25, 7;00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Hall, 3549 Navajo Street, Denver.

‘Noi e la Giulia’ is the story of fully-grown men who finally take the guts to stick to their Plan B: letting go of the profession they despised, to start anew by building their own activity.

Diego (Luca Argentero), Fausto (Edoardo Leo) and Claudio (Stefano Fresi) are in their forties and find themselves joining forces as complete strangers, to set up a farm resort. They’ll be joined by Sergio (Claudio Amendola) a fifty-year old who still believes in fighting class warfare, and Elisa (Anna Foglietta) a young and eccentrically sweet pregnant woman. Their endeavor will be determined by the encounter with Vito (Carlo Buccirosso), a peculiar member of Camorra who approaches them to demand protection money, who arrives driving a vintage Giulia 1300, equipped with an alluring radio cassette player…

The movie which literally translates “Giulia and us” has a romantic charm to it, for the nostalgia towards vintage memorabilia and the simple life, as well as the idea that it’s never too late to start from scratch to attain happiness. You will leave the movie thinking that there are no registry office limitations for the pursuit of your dream, all it takes is audacity, a little recklessness and the right travelling companions.

If you've wanted your children to learn Italian, what better way to do than by learning to sing Italian songs and dancing the Tarantella, Bring your children to the:

Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales Library, 1498 Irving Street, Denver (second floor)
Saturday, October 26th, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Free Event – Reservations Required – Limited Seating! 6 years of age and older.

One parent or guardian must accompany up to 3 children.  Rosalie Caputo who teaches Italian to adults and children will teach the children some Italian songs and the Tarantella dance.

Learn how to play two of Italy's most popular card games - Scopa (to sweep) and Briscola (literally Trump)

Saturday, October 26, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Hall, 3549 Navajo Street, Denver.

As you walk around Italy, you see people in the piazza or in their storefront clubs playing cards. Have you wondered what is this game that gets the people so absorbed they rarely look away from the game? When it seems sudden passions arise and they forcefully slap cards on the table--with a kind of macho panache.

Scopa is a popular card game played in Italy. Scopa in Italian means broom, and the game is one when a player sweeps all the cards from the table. It is an easy game to learn. It's a game of both skill and luck.  This is an excitable game, with body language, hand gestures and a bit of cursing being the norm during play.

Briscola is a “trump” following game, although the rules allow the trump to be suddenly changed by players, making it a bit more unpredictable.  Cards will be available for sale.

To make reservations, purchase tickets or need additional information, please call Susan Gurule at 720-484-1014, email her at susangurule@msn.com or mail her at 2424 Stuart Court, Denver CO 8021


      For more information visit our website :   http://www.dantealighieriofdenver.com



The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver gives a warm welcome to the following new members:  Priscilla Astudillo, Francis Brehm Jr., Kayla and Zachary Byers, Joshua Campora, Megan Cardellini, Yamila Cruz, Danielle Faczak, Diane Graves, Lis Griffin, Barbara Jeanne Haji, Hildebrand, Sandra Holder, Geoffrey MacDonald, Stephanie Paoli, Valerie Paoli, Carol Piro, Thomas Ruge, Karen Ruggiero, Kathleen Schneider, Mike Southern, Robert Stokka, Audrey Walicek, and Andrew Wilson.


Join us on Monday September the 30th at 10:00 a.m. at the History Colorado Center for In Sights & In Person with Paolo Battaglia.  See clips from the documentary featuring Denver, hear insights from Battaglia and hear Italian actors Alessandro Quarta and Sara DeSantis, actors traveling with Battaglia, who will read emigrants’ letters and sing some emigrants’ songs.  Of course there will be time and opportunity for questions and answers.  Paolo Battaglia is a former museum director who founded Anniversary Books in Modena, Italy in 2009.  He is a writer and historian who is interested in the Italian American experience as transplanted from Italy, Italian identity and culture.

History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, Stephen H. Hart Research Center.  Cost:  Free.  Get tickets on line at http://ow.ly/XOC050w4xZx  Questions: 303-866-2306.


The Piccirilli Brothers were renowned carvers of many of the most significant marble sculptures in the United States. In 1888 Giuseppe Piccirilli (1844-1910), a well-known stone carver, brought his family to New York from Massa, Italy. The entire family, father and six sons – Attilio, Ferruccio, Furio, Getulio (Giulio), Masaniello, and Orazio – were trained as marble cutters and carvers. They lived in a brownstone on 142nd Street in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx and set up a stone-carving atelier next to their home that would eventually occupy an entire city block.

In addition to carving the lions for The New York Public Library, the Piccirilli Brothers carved the six allegorical figures representing History, Romance, Religion, Poetry, Drama, and Philosophy that adorn the Library’s Fifth Avenue facade. A selection of their other commissions in New York includes: The Four Continents by Daniel Chester French and 12 allegorical statues on the cornice of the U.S. Custom House at Bowling Green; the New York Stock Exchange pediment by J.Q.A. Ward; 30 large allegorical figures for the cornice of the Brooklyn Museum; the Maine Monument in Central Park and the Firemen’s Monument in Riverside Park, both sculpted by Attilio; and an innovative glass relief at Rockefeller Center, also by Attilio. (New York Public Library)

The work for which the Piccirilli Brothers are most famous is in Washington D.C. and rests on the west end of the Reflecting Pool facing the Washington Monument.  One of the most esteemed sculptures in the United States, Abraham Lincoln’s imposing statue, sits inside the Lincoln Memorial.  While the memorial was designed by Daniel Chester French in 1919, the Piccirilli Brothers did the actual carving of the Lincoln statue.  Once again laboring in their New York studio, the brothers transformed white Georgia marble into intricately carved pieces.  On May 30, 1922, the memorial was dedicated.  Their work was so precise that each of the separate marble pieces simply lay upon one another.  Viewing Lincoln’s statue illuminated at night should certainly be on everyone’s D.C. to-do list.  (Italian America)

Fiat pulls its 500 off the U.S. market as Americans snub the Italian minicar.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is halting production of its Fiat 500 and electric 500e hatchbacks in North America, the latest move by the automaker to curb exposure to a shrinking car market in the U.S.   As production of both models winds down at a plant in Toluca, Mexico, remaining inventory will be sold into next year, the company said in a statement. The Italian American carmaker did not say what vehicles may replace them at its Toluca plant. Fiat Chrysler will continue U.S. sales of the slightly larger 500X crossover, the 500L wagon and the 124 Spider roadster. But the decision to withdraw the brand’s mainstay 500 model from the U.S. ends an eight-year experiment and refocuses the company on its more profitable — and larger— vehicles such as Jeep SUVs and Ram trucks.

Fiat returned to the U.S. market in 2011, betting the stylish Italian micro-car could compete with Britain’s Mini Cooper while satisfying a pledge to the Obama administration to help sell Americans on more fuel-efficient small cars. Despite a high-profile marketing campaign, the 500 model undershot an initial forecast for U.S. sales of 50,000 vehicles a year.  Former Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne acknowledged marketing missteps a year into the initiative: “We thought we were going to show up and just because of the fact people like gelato and pasta, people will buy it,” he told reporters at the Detroit auto show in 2012. “This is nonsense.” 
Plunging gas prices and American drivers’ love affair with big SUVs thwarted Fiat’s efforts to gain traction. Sales of all Fiat brand cars in the U.S. peaked at about 46,000 in 2014, and have been in a free fall ever since — dropping 41% last year to just 15,521 vehicles, the lowest level since the brand’s reintroduction to the U.S. market after a 30-year absence.  Fiat brand sales were down 38% in the first half of 2019, with deliveries of the 500 dropping 25% to 1,692. Sales of the 500 dwindled by more than half last year to just 5,370.  Fiat Chrysler plans to build a new all-electric 500 at its Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy, but hasn’t said if that car will be sold in the U.S.  (Los Angeles Times,  by Gabrielle Coppola / Bloomberg )


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.


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


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.