After two years, members of the Society will again gather for a Christmas party to be held on Saturday, December 3 at 12:30 p.m. at the North Park East Association Clubhouse, 9996 Grove Street, Westminster. As in the past, the Society will provide wine, coffee, and sodas along with cups, plates and plasticware. Members whose last name begins with A through M are asked to bring heavy hors d'oeuvres, and members with last names beginning with N through Z are asked to bring a dessert. For additional information and RSVP, please contact Rhonda Hopkins at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 720-596-4169. 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. We hope you will all join us to usher in the holiday season.


On Friday November 11, the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver held its required annual meeting. In addition to reports to be given, officers needed to be elected for the next two-year term. Following the reports, elections were held. Congratulations to Veronica Goodrich, our new Vice-president, Ida Casagranda, our returning Secretary and Nick D’Adamio, our new Treasurer. I was re-elected to serve a third term as President. I want to personally thank Susan Giamarvo (Gurule) and Carol Marsala for their years of hard work, dedication, and contributions to the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver. Finally, The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver has a new and improved website. Please see the article below for more information on all the features and benefits. Grazie, John Giardino, President


Following the installation of Board officers elected at November’s annual General Meeting, John Giardino, President of the Dante Alighieri Society and experienced woodworker, will be presenting a unique look at an Italian icon.
How It’s Made: The Venetian Gondola. The gondola is not just an ordinary boat. For nearly a millennium, it has been designed and painstakingly constructed to not only accommodate il gondoliere and his/her passengers, but to flowingly negotiate the labyrinth of canals in Venice. Learn more about the surprisingly intricate nuances to ordinary boat building necessary to ensure the utility, safety, and navigability of these one-of-a-kind watercraft.


It's that time of year again. Membership in the Dante Alighieri Society runs from January through
December so 2023 renewal cards will be mailed near the end of December. Please make any corrections on the card before mailing it back with your payment. Thank you, Rhonda.
Language students:
soup_exchange.pngYou can renew and pay for your 2023 membership online when you register for the January classes.

The soup exchange event, following the election of officers, on Friday, November 11, 2022, was truly a success all around. Delicious recipes and a fantastic attendance. Grazie a tutti i cuochi.


The Society extends a warm welcome to our new Italian language instructor, Francesca Howell. She will begin teaching language classes in the Winter 2023 session. Francesca grew up speaking Italian and began studying the language as a young teen. She has lengthy teaching experience in a variety of subjects, including Italian. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Italian, from Georgetown University, and she has a Master’s degree as well as a PhD, both earned at prestigious British universities. Her doctoral degree in Religious Studies involved extensive research in Italy over six years. She lived in Italy for four years, and has traveled there for extended periods. Francesca is senior adjunct faculty at Naropa University in Boulder. She is a published author, and in addition to Italian and Italy, Francesca's interests and life-long loves include theatre, dance, music, nature, and the environment.


The Winter 2023 session of Italian language classes offered by the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver will be 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, beginning the week of January 9, 2023. The class schedule is listed below, and it is also posted on the Society website. Classes are taught by talented bi-lingual instructors who have significant experience teaching Italian. 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Register Here

The registration deadline for the winter session is January 2, 2023.

Beginner 1. Tuesdays, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, beginning January 10, 2023 through March 14, 2023 (Howell). 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. Tuesdays, 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm, beginning January 10, 2023 through March 14, 2023 (Howell). 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. Thursdays, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, beginning January 12, 2023 through March 16, 2023 (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, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, beginning January 11, 2023 through March 15, 2023 (Brunetti). In this class, students will build upon their prior studies through listening, reading and writing activities. Topics include future verb tenses and learning about holidays and train travel in Italy. Required Texts: The New Italian Project 1a

Intermediate 2. Wednesdays, 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm, beginning January 11, 2023 through March 15, 2023 (Brunetti). In this class students will continue to expand their studies of increasingly complex grammatical structures and vocabulary through listening activities, role plays, readings, and videos. Topics include direct object pronouns, reflexive verbs and the impersonal form.
Required Text: The New Italian Project 1b

Advanced 2. Thursdays, 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm, beginning January 12, 2023 through March 16, 2023 (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, and conversation. The class will be conducted primarily in Italian and topics will include double object pronouns, relative pronouns and the gerund. Required Text: The Italian Project 2a


The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver is delighted to announce the roll-out of our new website, It features a clean design with iconic Italian imagery while providing simple navigation to find key information quickly.

A primary goal was to enable the website to handle Society transactions online. From now on, registrations for new members, Italian cultural events, culinary classes and special events can all be completed online.

Some other notable additions:

  • Online Calendar – quickly find and register for upcoming events as well as review past events.
  • Membership Benefits – As a Society, it was important for us to showcase the benefits to which you have access and why a website visitor might want to become a member.
  • Fun Feature – If you can read the Italian language, you can click on the flag of Italy in the top right-hand corner of any page to convert all text to Italian. To switch back simply click the United States flag.

We encourage you to take our new website for a test drive… Dig in a little bit and let us know what you think. We would love to hear about your experience.

I want to give a heartfelt thank-you to everyone who worked on this project and to the website designer, James Jackson. I’m excited about the impact this will have in our community.

Grazie, John Giardino, President


We will again be awarding scholarships to university students planning to study in Italy in the coming year. If you or a student you know might be a candidate for a scholarship, please look for more information and application forms on our website HERE



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

happy birthday

Silvio Caputo - Dec 2
Sabrina Iacovetta - Dec 8
Emily Ross - Dec 10
Ramona Olivas - Dec 13
Marie DePietro - Dec 17
Tracie Barnes - Dec 18
Jami Dinsmore - Dec 21
Mary Hayduk - Dec 26
Scott Reeves - Dec 26
Devon Myers - Dec 30
Amanda Canter - Dec 31

birthday cake

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Grazie!


The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver gives a warm welcome to the following new members:

Amber Clark, Lynn Galasso, Kathleen Genereux, Barbara Midyett, and Judith Stillarty-Svegel.



susan oloughlinQ: 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?
A: My father from Abruzzo, my mother, Molise. Every time I visit my parents' homeland, the sense of belonging envelopes me come un abbraccio.

Q: When did your ancestors arrive in America, and where did they settle originally? Did they come right to Colorado?
A: Both of my parents immigrated from Italy to Canada in the 1950’s .They married and settled in Detroit where I was born and raised.

Q: If you had to describe yourself in one word, what word would that be, and why?
A: Devoted: Devotion is the cornerstone of family, faith and personal character.

Q: Who was most influential to you growing up, and why?
A: My Paternal Grandmother. Nonna was the “Manager of the family”, the influencer. She taught and led by example, ensuring that we were raised both traditionally and American enough to chase the American Dream.

Q: Tell us a little about you, employment, family, interests and so on.
A: I’ve lived in Colorado since 1993, still loving it! I have 3 wonderful children, 2 Granddaughters and am expecting a Grandson in March. My interests are volunteering, music, gardening, outdoor activity and anything Italian. I am an Accountant and look forward to spending a year in Italy once I retire.

Q: How would you most like to be remembered?
A: As a good person, mother, grandmother and friend. I strive for that every day.

Q: What attracted you about joining the Dante Alighieri Society?
A: I was introduced to Dante by my late friend Anne Ripepi. I like our shared Italian passion, the educational quality and, of course, the wonderful members!

TIPS ON ITALY By Tonya Clement. A Secret Ingredient.

secret ingredientAs we approach the Christmas holiday baking season, I want to share a little secret ingredient that may only be recognized by a select savvy group of bakers. Fiori di Sicilia is an essential oil that captures the essence of Sicily in a tiny bottle. This little extract is so fragrant that women have been known to wear it as a perfume. When not worn, it is most commonly used to make Italian sweet breads, meringues, panna cotta, and a wide variety of cookies such as Fiori Meltaways (recipe found by googling Fiori Thumbprint Meltaway Cookies).

What is this delicate and yet potent essential oil made of? While every manufacturer tends to keep their exact ingredients secret and proprietary, it is typically a combination of citrus, bergamot and vanilla which produces a lovely floral aroma. It can be substituted for vanilla in most any recipe but be forewarned that it is a bit more concentrated and therefore you may need to reduce that amount. This ingredient should be added in drops verses teaspoons.

When I first discovered Fiori di Sicilia, I was surprised to learn that this potent blend of citrus and vanilla is relatively unknown in the US. You won’t find it easily on grocery store shelves. I order mine from King Arthur Baking ( Once you open your tiny bottle of goodness, you will want to keep it refrigerated as it is a blend of essential oils instead of a distilled extract like vanilla.

So the next time you are about to reach for vanilla, consider using Fiori di Sicilia instead and the aroma will immediately transport you to Italy!

BRIEF NEWS FROM ITALY From: The Local and We the Italians.

  • The Italian city of Venice has been named the third-cheapest place for a get-away in Europe - a survey result that might surprise some visitors.
  • Study finds that Italy has one of the worst levels of spoken English in the EU.
  • A long spell of unseasonably warm weather across Italy is expected to end, with forecasters warning that a series of storms is on the way.
  • French-Italian relations soured recently amid a row over migrant rescues, with the two countries accusing each other of "incomprehensible" behavior.
  • No serious damage was reported but residents had a 'big scare' recently as a 5.7-magnitude earthquake rocked Italy's central Marche region.
  • Treasure trove of ancient Roman statues unearthed in Tuscany. 24 bronze statues dating back over two millennia have been discovered in the Tuscan province of Siena.
  • Travel to, from and across Italy is set to be affected by further disruption as unions have already confirmed several strikes for the coming weeks.
  • The new Italian government has announced the end of some remaining Covid health measures.
  • Italian American scientist Carolyn Bertozzi wins the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
  • Italy’s organic food sales more than doubled in the past decade.
  • San Gimignano is the favorite Italian tourist destination for foreigners and it wins the prestigious Italy Digital Destination Oscar.
  • As the UK plunges deeper into political chaos it has been branded 'the new Italy' - but in fact Italy today has a more stable economy and government.


King Soopers offers organizations a simple way to raise money by returning 5% of grocery sales made on your card to the organization. To participate in the program…

For Computer Users:

  • Go to - in the upper right-hand corner of the page – hover over the Account icon
  • First sign into your account. (Or create a new account) Once that is done, go back to the same drop-down menu by hovering over the account icon again, this time click on the My Account Button.
  • This will take you to another page – scroll to the bottom of the page and look for COMMUNITY REWARDS SECTION – click on the view Community Reward link.
  • This will take you to another page look for the Find Organization Spot – type in Dante Alighieri and hit the magnifying icon and it will bring up Dante Alighieri Society of Denver click that and you will be enrolled.

To enroll using the app on your cell phone:

  • Go to the King Soopers app once you are there go to the top right of the of the app where the three lines are, hit the three lines.
  • This will send you over to another page – three spots down on this page is the Rewards Link, hit that spot.
  • This will take you to the rewards area, click on the Community Rewards Link
  • This will take you to the enrollment page – hit the blue button to search for organizations – then type in Dante Alighieri and hit the search and this will bring up the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver click on the name and you will be enrolled.

After you shop, at the bottom of your receipt will state: “we are contributing to the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver”.
If you have any questions, kindly contact Veronica Goodrich 303-421-1547 or Carol Marsala 303-237-0688.

The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver strives to share and celebrate the richness of the Italian culture and language with the entire community.


January 13, 2033


December 3 – Holiday Celebration
January 13 – Installation of Officers


Winter term begins January 9, 2023