Sept Notiziario 2021

Dante Alighieri of Denver header


Wow! I can’t believe it’s already September. It seems like just yesterday………! Looking back, the Society has managed to do a lot to make up for lost time, e.g., our luncheon in May, a movie in June, a picnic in July, a cooking class in August. September’s Cultural Meeting will be a special treat as Silvio and Rosalie Caputo perform a play they have written. And, of course, Italian Heritage Month in October. The events for IHM are planned and all the information is included in the following pages. The Board of Directors continues to keep our association alive and available so please continue to attend all our functions as you are able.

Thank you!  John Giardino


On Friday, September 10, 2021, the Dante Alighieri Society will present a play written and performed by our own members Silvio and Rosalie Caputo.   It will be at 7:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Hall.

Silvio and Rosalie will perform their play Life and Times of an Italian Immigrant Family in the Coal Fields of Colorado circa 1900. Coal mining has never been a safe or easy profession. Yet, many Italian men were lured to Colorado to work in the coal mines, bringing their families with them or sending for them after they were settled. Playing Vincenzo Caputo, Silvio's grandfather, and Carmella Caputo, Silvio's grandmother, Silvio and Rosalie will portray his grandparents as they recall their days in the mining camps and the various events they lived through.

Silvio will have copies of his two books, The Death of Spring and Don't Let Me Catch You, for those individuals who wish to purchase a copy.



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.



The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver gives a warm welcome to the following new member:  Joannie Flynn.

INDOVINELLO: (Riddle)    Vado avanti, vado indietro, corro e mi fermo, ma non cambio mai di posto.  (I go forward, I go backward, I run and stop, but I am always in the same spot).   See answer on last page.


For the Fall 2021 session of Italian language classes, the Dante Alighieri Society is resuming in-person language classes at 3549 Navajo Street, Denver 80211 in the parish office of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church. Each class meets for 90 minutes, once a week, for 10 weeks. The schedule for fall classes is posted on the Dante Society website, and is listed below. The classes are taught by experienced and talented bi-lingual teachers.  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  To register and pay for classes, visit the web site:

The registration deadline for the fall session is September 13, 2021.


Beginner 1. Thursdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning June 23, 2022 through September 1, 2022 (no class on July 14) (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 New Italian Project 1a 

Beginner 2.  Wednesdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, beginning June 22, 2022 through August 31, 2022 (no class on July 13) (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

Beginner 3.  Mondays, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, beginning June 20, 2022 through August 29, 2022 (no class on July 4) (Brunetti).  In this class, students will build upon their prior studies through listening, reading and writing activities. Topics include past and future verb tenses, and the required text will be covered in its entirety.  Emphasis will be placed on everyday conversational situations using grammar and vocabulary from the textbook. Required Text: The New Italian Project 1a

Beginner 4.  Wednesdays, 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm, beginning June 22, 2022 through August 31, 2022 (no class on July 13) (Brunetti).  In this class, students will build upon their prior studies through role plays, listening, reading and writing activities. Topics include future verb tenses and learning about holidays and train travel in Italy.  Intermediate level material will also be introduced.   Required Text: The New Italian Project 1a And The New Italian Project 1b


Intermediate 4.  Thursdays, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning June 23, 2022 through September 1, 2022 (no class on July 14) (Brunetti).  In this class students will continue to expand their vocabulary and understanding of more advanced grammatical concepts through listening activities, role play, readings, videos, conversation and written assignments.  Topics include the present and past conditional tenses and review of Italian Project 1a and 1b.  Required Text: Italian Project 1b




It was an eager group of amateur chefs and seasoned cooks who gathered at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish hall for the Dante Alighieri Society's cooking class: Cena Magica a Base di Funghi (A Magical Mushroom Dinner). August is the time of year to harvest mushrooms and Adam Giardino, a trained chef, incorporated mushrooms into each course of the meal. He used Portobello mushrooms in the Antipasto, Shitake mushrooms in the Primo, Oyster Mushrooms in the salad that accompanied the roasted beef chuck cross rib roast, Cremini Mushrooms in the contorno and ended it all with candied King Trumpet mushrooms in the dolce. Those who have attended Adam's cooking classes in the past have come to appreciate the little surprises he includes at the end of each meal. This class was no exception and ended, La Fine!, with Adam giving each attendee a small bottle of his home-made espresso liqueur! Yum.

Adam has graciously agreed to teach two cooking classes during the Dante Society's celebration of Italian Heritage Month in October. Sign up quickly as the limited number of spots go quickly.


Members’ feedback on food….

Tonya Clement: "I joined the Dante Alighieri Society with the goal to learn to speak Italian through the wonderful language classes offered, but had no idea I would also learn to cook a fabulous and authentic Italian meal. No longer do I have to travel to Italy to learn to make gnocchi." 

John Giardino: “When Americans get together, they often eat, Italians get together for the sole purpose to eat."


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

birthday cake

Anna Adriatico Romano     Sept 8
Kelly O’Shaughnessy          Sept 9
Zak Hanna                           Sept 10
Sarah Barnett                      Sept 14
Becky Flax                           Sept 16
Sally Ogden                         Sept 17
Anna Marie Ferrari             Sept 26
Kim Berry                            Sept 28

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                                                     Month of the heart

Son settembre e porto il tino                                 I am September and bring the vat
dove gia’ si pensa al vino;                                     already thinking of wine:
porto I canti nella vigna                                         I bring songs in vinyards
dove l’aria e’ piu’ benigna                                      where the air is fresh and cool
e di pampini mi vesto                                             and dress with vines
quando l’uva va nel cesto.                                     when grapes are placed in basket.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU   Colette Wagner.

  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 Abruzzo.  My grandmother’s family is from Torricella Peligna and my grandfather and his family are from Taranta Peligna.  My husband and I went to Italy for the first time 4 years ago, what a fantastic experience!  We drove up the coast and through the Apennine Mountains to visit both villages.  We met the most wonderful people and even some family members and learned more about my grandfather's family.  We visited a lot of different regions and places in Italy, a beautiful country with wonderful people!!  I can’t wait to visit again!

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

My grandma’s parents were married in Torricella and then came over in the late 1800’s and settled in Mancos, Colorado.  They moved to North Denver where they stayed the rest of their lives.  My grandpa came here through Ellis Island as well, in 1915 when he was 9 years old.  He always talked about how amazing the Statue of Liberty was.  He didn’t talk a lot about his childhood, or how long he was in New York before coming to North Denver.

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

This is a difficult question.  I would have to say Passionate.  I am passionate about what I believe in and in helping others.  I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and have strong feelings about things.

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

My parents were the most influential to me when growing up.  They both are first generation born in America and loved life and family.  They treasured their roots and family. They are the most kind hearted people and appreciate everything in life!

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

I was born in Denver near Saint Catherine’s parish.  We moved to Wheat Ridge near Our Lady of Fatima parish when I was 5 years old.  I grew up dancing and I own Destination Dance Studio in Lakewood.  I love dance and teaching students.  My family is very important to me.  I enjoy cooking with my mom and my 2 boys, especially family recipes that have been handed down for generations.  I enjoy family traditions and our holiday traditions and sharing them with my boys.  I am very interested in finding out all I can about my family when they lived in Italy and so excited to visit that beautiful country again.  I have been taking Italian classes through Dante Alighieri Society for about 3 years and love the language!  I love to hang out with my dogs, cook, sew and craft.

  1. How would you most like to be remembered?

I think I would most likely want to be remembered as a thoughtful, fun, loving person.  Very caring, kind, loyal and generous.  Someone who was passionate, enjoyed life and family and friends.

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

The Dante Alighieri Society has a lot to offer.  Growing up in North Denver, it helps keep me in touch with my roots. I love the language and cooking classes.  October Heritage month is full of fun things to enjoy and learn about Italian Heritage.  I joined the committee this year and have enjoyed meeting and working with the folks on the committee.


Fare un Brindisi. (To make a toast).  Rarely if ever will you find yourself eating dinner with friends or family in Italy without a first beginning the meal with a glass of wine.  For this reason, this months’ tip centers around how to make the proper toast.

For years I thought the meaning of “salute” was simply saying, “I salute you.” Now as I study the Italian language, I understand the word, when directly translated, means “health” and when used in the context of a making a toast means, to your health or I salute your health.  When used it the context of giving cheers, it is often preceded with the words “alla vostra salute or alla tua salute – both mean to your health!  It is common to omit the word Salute as it is assumed and just say alla vostra or alla tua.  Using Salute tends to be the more formal word to choose when making a toast.  In more informal settings, it is more common to hear the words cin cin!

It is said that cin cin was similar in sound to the cordial greeting used among Chinese sailors.  The legend goes that the Italians thought the words mimicked the sound of two glasses clinking and thus was adopted as the common way to say cheers.  Like many other people, the Italians believe it is important to look the person you are toasting directly in the eyes to denote sincerity.

October - Italian Heritage Month

(Public health guidelines will be followed at all events)

The Dante Society may have missed a year in celebrating our proud heritage due to COVID, but we’re back this year with a wonderful lineup. October will start out with a celebration of our organization’s namesake, Dante Alighieri, and continue on with a gelato social, movies, cooking classes, an interesting view of Rome, a wine tasting and dinner at Colore restaurant. There’s definitely something for everyone. Let’s take a peek…


Friday, October 1

Dr. Seth Fabian - Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Hall– 3549 Navajo Street, Denver - 7:30 p.m. Refreshments and beverages will be served.  Free Event – Reservations Required

Follow in the footsteps of the acclaimed medieval Italian poet, Dante Alighieri, on his extraordinary journey through Hell (Inferno), Purgatory (Purgatorio), and into Heaven (Paradiso), as described in Dante's epic masterpiece, The Divine Comedy.

Dr. Fabian received his PhD in Italian Studies and Comparative Literature from Columbia University where he also taught Italian language.  For several years, he has taught a 30-lecture course for adults at the Archdiocese of Denver, which covers all three volumes of the Divine Comedy--Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.


Saturday, October 2

Gelato Social - 23rd Avenue Sculpture Studio – 3500 W. 23rd Avenue, Denver, 2:00 p.m.  $5 per person or $20 for a group of five (Each $5 purchase gets 2 scoops of gelato).  Tickets must be purchased in advance as NO tickets will be available at the event.

Bring your entire family! While enjoying scrumptious gelato, you’ll also be treated to the talents of Reid Belstock, a nationally touring juggler and visual comedian, balloon twisting by Michael Shaloub, and caricature drawings by Chad Straka.

Reid is a graduate of the famed Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Clown College Program.  He has been seen at Walt Disney World, The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Hotel Juraku in Japan, Happy Kingdom theme park in Shen Zhen China and Performing Arts Centers nationwide.

Michael is an actor, known for his work in the television series Monk, Disney Infinity and Silver City.

Chad is an artist specializing in live, quick-draw caricature art. He’s drawn caricatures at Sea World, Coors Field, Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace Center, Las Vegas, and Central Park, NYC, to name a few. It’s a thrill for Chad when he’s drawing, but it’s also an exciting time for those watching and a truly unique experience for the person(s) getting drawn.


Friday, October 8

Wine Tasting with Dinner and a Tour.  Spero Winery – 3316 W. 64th Avenue, Denver, 6:00 p.m.  $40 per person.  Reservations Required – Limited Seating

All tickets must be purchased in advance as no tickets will be available at the event.

In addition to the sampling of Spero’s many wines, dinner includes antipasti, primo, secondo and dolce. Dinner is followed by an impressive tour of the winery.


Saturday, October 9

Italian Card Game – Scopa.  Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Hall – 3549 Navajo Street, Denver, 1:00 p.m.  Free Event – Reservations Required

Learn how to play the time-honored Italian card game of Scopa, one of the two major national card games in Italy, the other being Briscola. The name is an Italian noun meaning "broom", since taking a scopa means "to sweep" all the cards from the table. Watching a game of scopa can be a highly entertaining activity, since games traditionally involve lively, colorful, and somewhat strong-worded banter in between hands. However, skill and chance are more important for the outcome of the game.  Join your fellow Italians and gain your own skills.


Friday, October 15

Movie Night - Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Hall – 3549 Navajo Street, Denver.  Pizza will be served prior to the movie, 6:30 pizza / 7:00 p.m. movie.  Free Event – Reservations Required (We want to be sure to have enough pizza for everyone)

In guerra per amore (At War with Love).  It’s 1943 and World War II is raging in Europe. In New York, Arturo and Flora are in love, but she is promised in marriage to the son of a Mafia boss. There is a way around this, but to be able to marry Flora, Arturo needs to get permission from her father, who lives in a village in Sicily. Join us to see how this film - a mix of comedy, drama and romance – unfolds and gives us a history lesson in the process.


Saturday, October 16

Cooking Class - Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Hall – 3549 Navajo Street, Denver, 9:00 a.m., $50 per person. Reservations and Prepayment are Required - Limit: 12 individuals

Antipasto – Roasted Butternut Squash and Gorgonzola on Phyllo Topped with a Fresh Almond and Apple Mixture

Primo –Dried Cranberry Risotto with Rosemary

Secondo – Pan Seared Italian Pork Tenderloin with a Dijon Pan Sauce, Warm Pancetta and Swiss Chard Salad

Dolce - Cannoli Filled with Ricotta Ice Cream Topped with Pistachio Whipped Cream


Friday, October 22

Dr. Roberta Waldbaum, Polo Club North Clubhouse, 2552 E. Alameda Avenue, Cherry Creek, 7:30 p.m.

Free Event – Reservations Required

The Polo Club North requires everyone entering the clubhouse to have a valid COVID vaccine card or proof of a negative COVID test taken two weeks prior to the event.

Unlocking their creative imaginations, DU students in an undergraduate course on “Roman Images in Literature and Film” completed original Cultural Projects in which they created projects that sparked their interest and imaginations. For example, they wrote original short stories or poems, created scientific, engineering, and digital inventions, produced art projects like sketches or paintings, and created musical videos.

Dr. Roberta Waldbaum has been dedicated to the study and teaching of Italian in Denver since the early 1960s. She is Teaching Professor of Italian, the Anna Maglione-Sie Endowed Chair in Italian Culture, and Associate Chair in the Department of Languages and Literatures at the University of Denver (DU) where she teaches Italian language, literature, film and culture in the Italian Program and in the common curriculum.


Sunday, October 24

Dinner at Colore Restaurant, 2700 S. Broadway, Englewood, 3:00 p.m., $50 per person. Reservations Required.  All tickets must be purchased in advance as NO tickets will be available at the event. 

Deadline to purchase tickets: Sunday, October 10.


First Course – Colore Salad for the Table:

Chopped romaine, prosciutto, salame, ham, provolone, artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette

Second Course – Choice of One Entree:

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

Penne Bolognese – Colore’s family meat sauce – ground beef, tomato, spices, parmigiana.

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

Vegetable Lasagne – Spinach, broccoli, zucchini, ricotta, pesto, mozzarella, marinara.

Chicken Parmigiana – Breaded chicken breast, mozzarella, marinara, linguine.

Third Course – Dessert Sampler for the Table:  An assortment of Colore’s house made desserts – Peach bread pudding, flourless chocolate torte, tiramisu, cannoli.

The dinner includes, iced tea, soda, coffee and a glass of house red or white wine.


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.


Saturday, October 30

Cooking Class.  Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Hall – 3549 Navajo Street, Denver, 9:00 a.m. $50 per person.

 Reservations and Prepayment are Required - Limit: 12 individuals.

Antipasto – Eggplant and Roasted Tomato Caponata served on Rosemary Focaccia

Secondo – Skillet Seared Cornish Game Hen Served with Smashed Fall Vegetables and Pickled Zucchini Salad

Dolce – Butternut Squash Pie with Amaretto Glaze and Whipped Cream


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.

2022 Calendar


June 10


May 1 – Scholarships and awards Luncheon

May 15 – Operatic recital 





Summer session June 2022                                                 

Answer to Indovinello (riddle):  Il pendolo (the pendulum)