APRIL CULTURAL MEETING   Dear Members, please be informed that there will not be a cultural meeting in April.  If you are interested, the University of Colorado in Boulder is having their Annual Italian Film Festival from April 7 through the 9th and the 14th through the 16th.  For films shown, times and location see http://www.italianfilmfests.org/boulder.html .

MARCH CULTURAL PROGRAM   Bryan Jansing and Paul Vismara authors of the book, Italy, Beer Country did a very entertaining and informative presentation on microbreweries in Italy. Italian microbreweries are some of the most innovative in the world and are among the best in Europe. Unfortunately not many of their products are available in the US but there are some at Mr. B's on Market St.  Bryan and Paul also do microbrewery tours in Italy. The Dante extends a warm thanks to Bryan and Paul.

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL   Deadline for renewals is March 31, 2017.  For any questions contact  Rhonda Hopkins, Membership Chairperson (720-596-4169), rhop626@gmail.com.

PRIMA DOMENICA    Laprima domenicain April will be on the 2nd, at 9:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Mt. CarmelChurch Parish Hall, 3549 Navajo Street, Denver.  The Dante Society is once again sponsoring the breakfast following the Mass, so mark your calendars. Help will be needed before and after the Mass.  If you would like to offer your time, please contact our coordinators Nina and John Incampo at 303-423-4811. Grazie.


The Dante Alighieri Society is currently offering the 10-week spring session of Italian language classes, which began the week of March 27.  The 10-week summer session of classes will begin in late June 2017, and the summer class schedule will be posted on the Dante website in May.  The classes are taught by experienced and talented bi-lingual teachers, and include beginner, intermediate, and advanced 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 $100 for members and $130 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 or call 303-810-9042.   Information about the classes is also available on the web site: http://www.dantealighieriofdenver.org/languageclasses.html    


We expect there are students out there busily filling out their applications for our Dante scholarships.  With our new online system, hopefully they can submit documentation more easily and in a more timely manner. Once the Committee evaluates the applicants and determines the winners, we will celebrate at our annual Scholarship Awards Program.  This year we will be back at the Arvada Center for the Sunday May 7 ceremony. Included in this month’s Notiziario is the luncheon reservation form.  Since space is limited, get your reservations in early to insure you will be there for the gala affair.  And, as always, please consider a contribution to the Scholarship Fund.  Grazie.


BENVENUTI  The Dante Society gives a warm welcome to the following new members:  Manuel Amaya,  Alia Andrews, Anthony Andrews, Alicia Branch, David Brazeau, Jeanette Gaydos, Matt Hurley, Kansas Gentry, Michael Lanciloti, Laura Lapsys, Mary and Robert Longnecker, Marjorie Maccagnan, Debbie Michalski, Lisa Peraino, Thomas Ruge, Daryl Shute, Wendy Silverman, Lisa Streisfeld, and Lisa and Mark Vogele,

BOOK REVIEW   The Society has introduced a new section in our Notiziario and welcomes members to send us reviews pertaining to Italian culture.

Book Review of “My Brilliant Friend”

“My Brilliant Friend” is a novel originally written in Italian by Elena Ferrante and translated into English.  It is the first in a series of four novels that is a captivating story of the lifelong friendship between the narrator, Elena, and her close friend, Lila.  The novel begins in the 1950’s in a poor and tough neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, when Elena and Lila were small children.  “My Brilliant Friend” provides a window into the culture and customs of Naples in the post-war years when the city was undergoing tremendous change. 

The narrator, Elena, tells of the struggles and hardships of her childhood, and the neighborhood feuds.  Few people ventured beyond the borders of their neighborhood into the larger city of Naples, and their life experiences were largely limited by their neighborhood.  The novel reveals the lack of education of many adults and children of that time, especially girls.  But, from a young age, Elena was a smart girl who was encouraged by her teacher to continue her education past elementary school, when her friend Lila and many other children left school. 

The novel recounts how Elena’s and Lila’s lives began to diverge at a young age, even though they maintained a close friendship.  The novel engages the reader with Elena’s ups and downs—in school, with her family, and in her adolescent encounters with boys, while her friend Lila was headed toward a different future.  “My Brilliant Friend” ends when Elena and Lila are 16 years old, and Lila has already married.  The author skillfully leaves the reader wanting to follow their lives by reading the next novel in the series.  Ferrante has been described in a book review as “the foremost modern written in Italy” and the series known as The Neapolitan Novels has been described as “a tour de force.”  It is highly recommended.              

(Review submitted by our Education Chair Suzanne Fasing).



The agreement between the Vatican and the Dante has been renewed once again for the year 2017.   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:



GETTING TO KNOW YOU   Robert Badovinac.

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?

On my father’s side, I’m half Italian and half Croatian.  My Italian great-grandfather (Michael Occhiato) was from Vaglio Basilicata in the province of Potenza.  On my mother’s side, I’m half Italian and half German.  My Italian great-grandfather (Pasquale Longo) was from Casole Bruzio in Calabria.  I have never been to Italy. 


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

Michael Occhiato immigrated to the US in 1887.  He spent some time in Kansas City and Denver before settling in Pueblo.  Pasquale Longo arrived in Philadelphia in 1900, where he lived several years.  He moved his family to Pueblo, Colorado around 1920.


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

Outgoing.  I enjoy being around people and meeting new people.


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

This was a hard question to answer, because there was not just one person who influenced me.  I have always been surrounded by hard working, caring people, from my grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, teachers and coaches.  It really did take a village to raise this guy.


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

I was born and raised in Pueblo, and moved to Northglenn in 1984.  My wife, Rose Mary, and I have been married 38 years and have one, son, Michael Dante.  I’m currently employed as a Campus Safety Sergeant at Regis University, and am retired from Rocky Flats.  My main interest is sports, and I was involved in coaching for forty years.


6. How would you most like to be remembered.

  As a great husband, father, family man, friend and coach.

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

When I searched for an Italian-American group to join I felt that the Dante Alighieri Society was the best fit for me.  Many in my family were in the Pueblo chapter of the Dante. 


NOTIZIE DALL’ITALIA 156 Anni dall’Unità d’Italia. 

Mattarella: «Celebrare l’unità del Paese è occasione per renderlo più unito e più forte».

Celebrata la Giornata dell’Unità nazionale, della

Costituzione, dell’Inno e della Bandiera, istituita nel 2012 nella data della proclamazione a Torino, il 17 marzo del 1861, dell’Unità d’Italia, che oggi ‘compie’ 156 anni. Il Presidente della Repubblica Sergio Mattarella si è recato all’Altare della Patria dove ha reso omaggio alla Tomba del Milite Ignoto.

Al suo arrivo, Mattarella ha passato in rassegna il reparto d’onore schierato con Bandiera e banda, accompagnato dal Ministro della Difesa, Roberta Pinotti, e dal Capo di Stato Maggiore della Difesa, Gen. Claudio Graziano.

Il Capo dello Stato ha quindi deposto una corona d’alloro sulla Tomba del Milite Ignoto e ha osservato un minuto di raccoglimento, mentre le Frecce Tricolori sorvolavano Piazza Venezia.

Alla cerimonia erano presenti il Presidente del Senato, il Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri, il Presidente della Corte Costituzionale, e autorità politiche, civili e militari.

Nell’occasione il Presidente Mattarella ha dichiarato: «Celebriamo oggi, a 156 anni dall’Unità d’Italia, le nostre radici e, con esse, l’attualità di quei valori di coesione nazionale, di libertà, di democrazia che costituiscono energie vitali permanenti per la società e per il Paese».

«La storia del nostro popolo – ha continuato il Presidente Mattarella – trae linfa da un antico e indivisibile humus di civiltà e di cultura, ma per raggiungere il traguardo dello Stato unitario furono necessari l’impegno, la tenacia, il sacrificio di tanti italiani che, nelle tormentate vicende del XIX e del XX secolo seppero superare passaggi difficili e drammatici conflitti».

«Nella giornata odierna – ha aggiunto il Capo dello Stato – desideriamo ricordare e onorare il coraggio e l’intelligenza di quanti seppero far convergere forze e volontà per costruire così il cammino nuovo di un popolo. Quello spirito del Risorgimento tornò a vivere nella lotta di liberazione dal nazifascismo e, quindi, nella Costituzione democratica. Oggi è la Repubblica l’espressione più alta dell’Unità degli Italiani e della loro storia, con l’Inno e la Bandiera della nostra Patria, simboli di un percorso che trae origine oltre un secolo e mezzo fa e giunge ai giorni nostri, sfidandoci ancora ad andare avanti e a rimuovere gli ostacoli che limitano diritti e opportunità, anzitutto alle generazioni più giovani. Celebrare l’Unità del Paese è occasione di festa e impegno comune, per rendere il nostro Paese più unito e più forte, condizioni di uno sviluppo solido, equo e sostenibile e contributo – da Paese fondatore – all’Unione Europea per superare le attuali difficoltà».

«L’ispirazione risorgimentale – ha concluso Mattarella – e poi la stagione della Costituzione repubblicana ci consegnano, infatti, uno spirito positivo di comunità, aperta alla collaborazione internazionale per affermare ovunque gli ideali di indipendenza, pace, giustizia, libertà, democrazia».

Sulla Piazza del Quirinale si è svolto il cambio della Guardia solenne con lo schieramento e lo sfilamento del Reggimento Corazzieri e della Fanfara del IV Reggimento Carabinieri a cavallo.



Castel Gandolfois a town located 15 miles southeast of Rome in the Lazio region is considered one of Italy's most scenic towns.  Within the town's boundaries lies the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo which served as a summer residence and vacation retreat for the pope, the leader of the Catholic Church. Although the palace is located within the borders of Castel Gandolfo, it had extraterritorial status as one of the properties of the Holy See and was not under Italian jurisdiction. However, it was acknowledged on October 21, 2016 that the palace was no longer owned by the Vatican and that it was now open to the public as part of a museum.  Castel Gandolfo has several places of archaelogical interest including the Emissario of Lago Albano and the remains of Villa Domitian.

Otranto is a town in the province of Lecce, Puglia,  in a fertile region once famous for its breed of horses.  It is located on the east coast of the Salento peninsula. The Strait of Otranto, to which the city gives its name, connects the Adriatic Sea with the Ionian Sea and separates Italy from Albania.  In Roman times it was a city. As it is the nearest port to the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, it was perhaps more important than Brindisi under the Roman emperors as a point of embarkation for the East.  In the 8th century, it was for some time in the possession of duke Arechis II of Benevento. It remained in the hands of the Byzantine emperors until it was among the last cities of Apulia to surrender to the Norman Robert Guiscard in 1068, and then became part of the Principality of Taranto. In the Middle Ages the Jews had a school there.


Francesca Cabrini (1850-1917) First centenary of her death.  In November of 1880, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini and six other women who had taken religious vows with her founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Cabrini composed the Rule and Constitutions of the religious institute, and she continued as its superior general until her death. The sisters took in orphans and foundlings, opened a day school to help pay expenses, started classes in needlework and sold their fine embroidery to earn a little more money. The institute established seven homes and a free school and nursery in its first five years. Its good works brought Cabrini to the attention of (the now Blessed) Giovanni Scalabrini, Bishop of Piacenza, and of Pope Leo XIII.  She was the first naturalized citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church on July 7th 1946.

Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957)150th anniversary of his birth.  Arturo Toscanini was a conductor. He was one of the most acclaimed musicians of the late 19th and of the 20th century, renowned for his intensity, his perfectionism, his ear for orchestral detail and sonority, and his eidetic memory. He was at various times the music director of La Scala Milan, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Later in his career he was appointed the first music director of the NBC Symphony Orchestra (1937–54), and this led to his becoming a household name (especially in the United States) through his radio and television broadcasts and many recordings of the operatic and symphonic repertoire.

Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) 150th anniversary of his birth.  Luigi Pirandellowas a dramatist, novelist, poet and short story writer whose greatest contributions were his plays. He was awarded the 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature for "his almost magical power to turn psychological analysis into good theatre." Pirandello's works include novels, hundreds of short stories, and about 40 plays, some of which are written in Sicilian. Pirandello's tragic farces are often seen as forerunners of the Theatre of the Absurd.




                                                                       2017 Calendar

Cultural Meetings                 Events                                        Classes

                                                                                                  Language–Spring begin March 27.

April  7                                   April 2 - Prima domenica   

                                              May 7 - Scholarship Luncheon Flyer       

                                               May 19 - Night at the movies                                                                                              

June 9                                                                                                                

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.


February 18, 2017 Cooking Class




Societa’ Centrale Dante Alighieri – http://ladante.it

Societa’ Dante Alighieri di Romahttp://www.dantealighieri-roma.it 

Dante Alighieri Society of Denver, Colorado – http://www.dantealighieriofdenver.org

Dante Alighieri Society of Pueblo: http://www.dantealighieriofpueblo.org 

DAS of Denver in Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dante-Alighieri-Society-ofDenver/153670041417079.

News from Italy – http://video.sky.it/news/diretta.

Italian art -  http://www.arte.it/.

Italy news in English – http://www.thelocal.it/.

Travel and Events– http://www.i-italy.org/.

The World of Dante – The study and teaching of the Divine Comedy, http://www.worldofdante.org.

Web site for TG5  (Mediaset) Notizie dall’Italia – http://www.mediasetitalia.com/nazioni/colorado.shtml.

US Citizenship – http://www.uscitizenship.info/italian-american-history-and-culture/.

Contemporary art and culture – (Arte e cultura contemporanea), http://www.artwireless.it.

First Web TV on Italian language and culture –http://www.alma.tv.

Italian American Museum -  http://www.ItalianAmericanMuseum.org.

Radio Italia – http://www.radioitalia.it/player.php.

Stations based in Italy as well as international stations –http://www.italiansinfonia.com/stations.htm.

Wikipedia’s list of Italian radio stations– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_radio_stations_in_Italy.


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