SEPTEMBER CULTURAL MEETING
“The Sistine Chapel and its View of our World” On Friday, September 8, at 7:30 pm, Professor Wayne Ambler of the University of Colorado will return to speak on this masterpiece of Italian art. In his words, “Michelangelo’s frescos in the Sistine Chapel represent an almost superhuman achievement, and they thus serve as an awe-inspiring reminder of what some members of our species can achieve in less than a lifetime. The sheer virtuosity of Michelangelo’s painting should not entirely distract our attention from the message of the Chapel as a whole, however, so our discussion will try to recover this message, including the ways in which it is alien and perhaps even hostile to the modern world we now inhabit.”
We urge members and guests to attend this presentation which will be held in the Parish Hall of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 3549 Navajo Street in Denver.
With all due respect to the Colorado Rockies, I know the Dante Alighieri Society has had a better season than they have! We led off the year with an infield hit -a look at gondolas and Mt. Everest. Following that was a ripping line drive -scholarships and Donne di Merito- which moved us to second. A lazy pop fly blooper-the summer picnic-sent us coasting into third. Now, with the bases loaded, coming up to the plate is Mr. October -Italian Heritage Month. A grand slam, which is sure to happen, will clear the bases. The last batter scheduled -the Christmas Party- will provide the red, white, and green icing on the cake of a year of celebrating all things Italian. Other members of the lineup -art, music, language, food, etc.- all contributed to our winning season. Eat your heart out, Rockies! Speaking of Mr. October, be sure to check out the Italian Heritage Month schedule of events in this Notiziario, on the Dante Alighieri Society website, or in Andiamo! Glad to have you all as part of the team. John Giardino
BENVENUTO TO NEW ITALIAN LANGUAGE TEACHER
The Society extends a warm welcome to our new Italian language instructor, David Gasbarro Tasker. He will begin teaching language classes in the Fall 2023 session. David enjoys sharing his Italian heritage and the Italian language with others. He has a PhD in applied linguistics from Northern Arizona University, a Master’s degree, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Italian from the University of Colorado. He has ten years of experience with classroom teaching and tutoring in subjects including Italian, writing, and English as a foreign language. He has authored several publications and given presentations about language acquisition at many conferences in the U.S. and abroad. David has spoken Italian with his family since he was young. He studied abroad in Ferrara and Florence and spends time in Italy frequently, exploring the dialects, traditions, foods and wines of different regions, especially his mother’s region of Abruzzo. In his free time, he likes to learn authentic Italian recipes, plays guitar, and reads. Learn more about David in our “Getting to Know You” section of this Notiziario.
The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver gives a warm welcome to our new members:
Mariana Akolt, Camilla Bailey, Jocelyn Carrc, Constance DiBacco, Fred and Lisa DeFilippo, Josephine Doyle, Martino Garavaglia, Paulette Gavin, Michael Gianelli, Angelique Hausner, Frances Kotze, Caitlin Lanzi, Lena Long-Shore, Daniel Martinez, Allison and Sean Miller, Deborah Salerno, and Mark Zardus.
SOCIETY ANNUAL PICNIC
The annual get-together took place on Sunday, July 30 at Oakhurst Park in Westminster. Under the guidance of Rhonda Hopkins and Camilla Marcantonio, the committee did a fantastic job and we congratulate them. A special thank you goes to our two cooks Mike Lovette and Bob Badovinac who spent hours by the hot coals to prepare for our hungry members.
AUGURI DI BUON COMPLEANNO
We wish our members a Buon Compleanno during their birthday month. 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
Anna Marie Ferrari
COOKING CLASS OF AUGUST 19
The cooking class was great fun and we had a number of new people taking the class. As he always does, Chef Adam Giardino came up with a fantastic menu. We made mozzarella from scratch. Instead of using it on the stuffed eggplant appetizer, we made an impromptu caprese salad.
Adam marinated a turkey the night before and it was accompanied by a delicious mashed potato pie with bits of prosciutto and salami and a squash ratatouille. The meal ended with a yummy carrot cake. We made a mint and basil gelato that did not quite have enough time to freeze properly but we got to taste the wonderful and interesting mix of flavors.
Hospitality Chairperson Camilla Marcantonio would like to thank the members who have provided refreshments for the cultural meetings. If you would like to contribute to our gatherings in this way, please contact Camilla at the following:
CIBOR Italian Television Network
We know that a number of our members subscribe to Italian TV networks, so we thought this might be of interest. CiborTV is an Italian TV streaming platform that provides a wider range of programming than current providers, with promises of expanded programming in the future. As an introductory promotion, CiborTV is offering a 20% discount on the set-top decoder. In addition, they are offering a 10% discount on items in their Italian gourmet marketplace, Just Italy Store, which is part of their new food channel, Just Italy. For more information, VISIT cibortv.com.
ITALIAN LANGUAGE CLASSES FALL SESSION BEGINS SEPTEMBER 18, 2023
The Fall 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 September 18, 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
The registration deadline for the fall session is September 11, 2023.
There are no classes during Thanksgiving week (Nov. 20-24, 2023).
Beginner 1. There are two sessions of this class. One session meets on Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., beginning September 19, 2023 through November 28, 2023 (Tasker). The other session meets on Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. beginning September 20, 2023 through November 29, 2023. 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. There are two sessions of this class. One session meets on Mondays, 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., beginning September 18, 2023, through November 27, 2023 (Brunetti). The other session meets on Tuesdays, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., beginning September 19, 2023, through November 28, 2023 (Tasker). In this class students will build upon their existing knowledge while incorporating new vocabulary and grammatical structures through conversation, videos, listening and reading 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. Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., beginning September 20, 2023, through November 29, 2023 (Brunetti). In this class, students will build upon their prior studies through conversation, videos, listening and reading activities. Topics include past and future verb tenses. Emphasis will be placed on everyday conversational situations using grammar and vocabulary from the textbook. Required Text: The New Italian Project 1a
Beginner 4. Mondays, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., beginning September 18, 2023, through November 27, 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 Text: The New Italian Project 1a
Beginner 4 and Intermediate 1 (combined). Thursdays, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., beginning September 21, 2023, through November 30, 2023 (Brunetti). In this class, students will build upon their prior studies through conversation, videos, listening and reading activities. Topics include future verb tenses and review of previous class material. Required Texts: The New Italian Project 1a
and The New Italian Project 1b
Advanced. Thursdays, 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm, beginning September 21, 2023, through November 30, 2023 (Brunetti). This class will be predominantly in Italian, and will introduce more advanced vocabulary, past tenses of verbs, and subjunctive tenses, with topics including Italian history. Students will continue to develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing abilities. Required Text: The Italian Project 2a
For more information and registration - CLICK HERE
OCTOBER – ITALIAN HERITAGE MONTH
The Dante Alighieri Society of Denver invites the community to discover and enjoy different aspects of Italian culture as we celebrate Italian Heritage Month throughout October. We hope you will join us for the following events. Check our website for more information about programs, registration, and payment. www.dantealighieriofdenver.com
We begin a month of cultural events on Tuesday, October 3, at 5:30 p.m. with an exclusive private Tour of Italian Art at the Denver Art Museum. Angelica Daneo, Chief Curator at the Museum and a native of Italy, will guide us through the Museum’s collection of 15th, 16th, and 17th century Italian art. The cost is $10 per person, limited to 25 people. Registration and prepayment are required. Details regarding parking and gathering place are on the website.
Location: Denver Art Museum – 100 W 14th Ave. Parkway
For those who want information on Obtaining Italian Citizenship, join us on Friday evening, October 6, at 7:30 pm. Again, this year we have scheduled a presentation by two experts in the field. Justin Kesselring, the owner, and general manager of Italian for Dummies, along with Dr. Paula Coffee, Founder Emerita and author of the book Italian Citizenship for Dummies, will take us through the process and answer questions.
Location: Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish Hall – 3549 Navajo Street, Denver
Since there isn’t a Bronco game that day, plan to join us for a taste of La Dolce Vita on Sunday, October 15, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. What better way to spend a lovely fall afternoon than celebrating Italian culture with gelato, a dance program, and other activities designed for fun and discovery. Take photos against a scenic Italian backdrop, learn about your Italian name and genealogy, visit with local authors whose books bring alive their own story, and find out about the region from where your ancestors came. A highlight will be a chance to learn the traditional Italian Tarantella – the dance of the tarantula! Gelato will be sold by Repicci’s Real Italian Ice and Gelato of Denver for $7 for a delicious double scoop.
Location: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish Hall – 3549 Navajo Street, Denver
How different can Tombola (Italian bingo) be from American bingo? You’ll find out when you join us on Friday evening, October 20 at 7:30 pm to play this game that has been an Italian holiday tradition since the eighteenth century. Discover the names and meanings associated with each number, many of which are religious, historical and in some cases even comical in nature. Refreshments will be served. This event is free of charge, but reservations are required.
Location: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish Hall – 3549 Navajo Street, Denver
It’s a Pizza Party! On Saturday, October 21, from 9 am – 1 pm, we will be “In Cucina con Chef Adam Giardino”. Adam will teach you on how to make dough, fresh mozzarella, Italian sausage, and different pizza sauces. Then you can finish your creation with your favorite toppings. Prima il dovere e poi il piacere, e poi mangiamo – first we work, then we eat! Classes are limited to 10 people. Registration and prepayment ($60) are required by October 17. Spaces fill quickly so don’t miss out on this fun Pizza Party!
Location: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish Hall – 3549 Navajo Street, Denver
On Friday evening, Oct 27, at 7:30 pm, we will take a Musical Journey into Heaven and Hell, and La Vita Nuova via classical music inspired by Dante Alighieri. Noted music historian Betsy Schwarm will share with us music by various composers including Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Ponchielli and Pacini, all who were inspired by Dante Alighieri's literary masterpieces, The Divine Comedy and La Vita Nuova. Refreshments will be served at this free event.
Location: Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish Hall - 3549 Navajo Street, Denver
GETTING TO KNOW YOU: David Tasker
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 mother’s family moved to the United States from Castel di Sangro, Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy in 1961. I first visited Italy and Abruzzo with my family at the age of 15, and have returned several times over the years. Castel di Sangro is a small town in a mountain valley just next to the Parco Nazionale D’Abruzzo and some of Italy’s most beautiful and rugged inland terrain. I was also lucky enough to reconnect with relatives and family friends, visit the family farm and house in town before they were eventually sold, and to hear the accent, and dialect, that growing up, I heard spoken by my nonni with us at home. Visiting these places and meeting these relatives instilled in me a deeply powerful sense of connection to and pride in my Italian heritage, and it has inspired me to explore new connections with Italy ever since.
When did your ancestors arrive in America, and where did they settle originally? Did they come right to Colorado?
My mother’s family moved to the United States from Castel di Sangro, Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy in December 1961, though it was not a straight trip from Italy to the United States. My grandparents, who had been farmers in Abruzzo, had to move their family due to lasting economic devastation in the region after WWII. They first followed two of my grandfather’s sisters to Argentina where many Italians also landed, though they settled in Akron, Ohio, an industrial offshoot of Cleveland with a large community of Italians at the time, where my grandfather’s older sister lived and could help him secure work before arriving. My mother and uncle both moved to Colorado after finishing their university studies and brought my nonni here to join them. All the Gasbarro grandchildren now live in Colorado, though other Italian relatives remain in Italy and Argentina.
If you had to describe yourself in one word, what word would that be, and why?
Davuccio, which is a diminutive meaning little David. That is what my nonna called me when I was little. My parents picked it up and sometimes call me that to this day. I have always loved it because it conveys the intimacy of family and the connection to generations and ways of life before me, and reminds me of my lifelong love affair with Italy.
Who was most influential to you growing up, and why?
My family. My Italian grandparents were a big influence on me. They were my first invitation into the language, food, and culture, but it was their strength, warmth, and humility that I admired most. My parents, by example and how they raised me, encouraged my lifelong love of learning and travel, especially through family trips, and always let me be myself and follow my own life’s path. My little sister influenced me as well. She often picked up on life’s lessons much more quickly than I did, and much of my sense of humor developed around trying to make her laugh, and, admittedly, giving her a hard time every once in a while.
Tell us a little about you, employment, family, interests and so on.
At home, I play guitar and read, and love to practice my Italian in the kitchen by attempting Italian-language recipes and learning about ingredients and methods. My family also loves Italy. We have taken memorable trips there together, and we have always placed an importance not only on food, but also on the Italian art of being together at the table and conversing. For other work, I currently teach first-year college-level writing courses at Metro State University of Denver, as well as providing remote Italian-English translation work for a multilingual financial regulation platform. Outside of work, I love to move by riding my bike, going for runs, or even just going for a leisurely stroll, a passeggiata.
How would you most like to be remembered?
Such a big question! That is much more up to those around me than it is to me. But I believe I am genuine, caring, present, and inquisitive, and I hope that those traits have a positive effect on others that is worth remembering. In a teaching context, if a student remembered something they learned from me, or, better yet, if they were inspired to learn something new on their own, I would consider it an honorable memory of me.
What attracted you about joining the Dante Alighieri Society?
The Italian culture and language that I’ve been lucky enough to be exposed to has enriched my life immensely. I think of it as a key that opens a door, behind which, one can find new family connections and friendships, experiences traveling, and contact with art, ways of living, communicating, and understanding life that are wondrously valuable. One of the things I love most about Italy is the feeling of community and the ease with which people gather, spend time together, and share. This is what attracted me to the Dante Alighieri Society, a space where we can gather to share this key of Italian culture and language.
TIPS ON ITALY By Tonya Clement
I am relatively certain every person reading this knows these do’s and don’ts while dining Italy. After all most of our readers are Italian, right? Given the desire to spare you the scornful look from your server, I think they are worth repeating. I will be the first to admit that over the years, I have made many of these same mistakes or I have seen fellow travelers do the same.
Let’s begin by reminding ourselves of the importance and the value of food in Italy. Any time you are eating out, you can be assured your meal has been prepared with love and pride. There are only a few things to remember:
Photo courtesy of Kaja Reichardt
- You will not be served tap water. It is either still/natural or gas/with bubbles delivered in a bottle. While it is most often served cold, ice will be a rare commodity and the server may look at you funny if you ask for it. I have seen it served with a Spritz, in tourist locations at fancy restaurants or bars but rarely if ever with water.
- Often there may be no salt and pepper on the table as the cook has prepared the meal for you the way it should be eaten. Proceed only after tasting your meal and being sure you really need to add either. Sometimes the waiter will come by and offer fresh ground pepper.
- Now one of the most common mistake I see is folks requesting parmesan for a seafood dish such as pasta and clams. Big no no! The fish should not be masked with the taste of the parmesan.
- One of the biggest surprises is that pizza is served uncut. Pizzas are not intended to be shared in Italy like they are in the US. Pizzas are typically smaller and intended to be an individual serving that you eat by yourself, either cutting or tearing the bite size pieces. As an extra credit tip….most Italians prefer beer with pizza vs. wine .
- Last but not least….NEVER order spaghetti and meatballs. This is simply not Italian. Buon Appetito!
BRIEF NEWS FROM ITALY
- The Italian passport is the second most "powerful" in the world to enter 190 countries without a visa. If you are wondering which countries you can enter with an Italian passport without the need for a visa, you should know that our passport stands out for its strength globally. Not all passports hold the same power; their strength varies based on geopolitical, economic and security factors. (We The Italians)
- Visiting The Mother Cabrini Shrine: Retracing the Legacy of the US’s First Saint. The Shrine has indeed emerged as an iconic destination for tens of thousands of pilgrims each year, drawing visitors from various walks of life to embrace the powerful story of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. Even if you are not here on a religious pilgrimage, the shrine holds a profound appeal that transcends boundaries. (We The Italians)
- The UN's cultural agency UNESCO recommended that Venice be added to its list of world heritage in danger, saying the Italian authorities needed to step up efforts to secure the historic city and its surrounding lagoon. However, Venetians are questioning the value brought by ever-increasing numbers of tourists coming to the city. (The Local)
- Will Rome restrict access to the Trevi Fountain to stop unruly tourists? There were renewed calls to limit access to the Trevi Fountain this week after videos showed a man diving off the 18th-century monument to a round of applause. (The Local)
- Firefighters using a drone in Italy's southern Calabria region caught one of many arsonists thought to be responsible for starting recent deadly wildfires ravaging the south of Italy. (The Local)
- Sicily set for state of emergency as wildfires blaze. Firefighters on Italy's southern island of Sicily have been battling huge wildfires that have left three elderly people dead. Authorities were expected to declare a state of emergency. Extreme temperatures have fueled wildfires in southern Italy this summer which have killed several people and left roads and airports closed. (The Local)
- Airlines reacted angrily this week to news that the Italian government plans to cap the cost of flights, particularly to the islands of Sicily and Sardinia - but can they really do this and what impact will it have on prices? (The Local)
- Italy is tightening the requirements for citizenship via ancestry. Italy is planning to bring in a language requirement and other limits on claiming Italian citizenship by descent. (The Local)
- Italy needs a national plan for sustainable tourism - before it’s too late. Italy needs a nationwide plan to keep its tourist numbers sustainable: piecemeal initiatives by local authorities simply won't cut it. (The Local)
October - Italian Heritage Month
Fall session begins Sept 18