Who Are We?
The Dante Alighieri Society (DAS) of Washington is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation licensed by the State of Washington and operating in the City of Seattle. Additionally we are certified as an official chapter of the Società Dante Alighieri, an international organization headquartered in Rome, Italy.
Membership is open to anyone interested in the goals and ideals of our society regardless of ethnic origin. Many of us are native Italians or of Italian ancestry, but many of us are not. So if you love things Italian or just want to learn more about Italy, its people and its language, you are welcome.
What Do We Do?
Our mission, along with international organization, is to promotes Italian culture and language within the state of Washington and around the world. Language, art, food, wine, friendship, fashion, elegant design and history are a large part of this culture. We gather together regularly (see schedule) to share food and enjoy presentations on the many aspects of the Italian culture. Join Us! There is much to enjoy and learn!
How Are We Organized?
The major elements of our offerings are
- A language program with six learning levels with classes held on the Seattle University campus. Since 1984, the local Dante chapter has offered a comprehensive Italian Language Program for all those interested in learning or perfecting their Italian language skills. Our instructors are native speakers and experienced teachers of adult learners. Learn more here.
- Dinner meetings with authentic meals prepared by members followed by a presentation conducted in the English language. Our pasta dinners are prepared by members using authentic Italian recipes and preparation techniques. Learn more here.
- Meetings in which we share antipasti and desserts and conversation (both in English and Italian) followed by a presentation conducted in the Italian language. The food for these sessions are provided by members and guests in a "potluck" fashion and include homemade Italian delights from the kitchens of native cooks. Learn more here.
The Worldwide Dante Alighieri Society
The Società Dante Alighieri was formed in Italy in July 1889. The society was named after Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), a pre-Renaissance poet from Florence and the author of The Divine Comedy. Dante is considered the father of the Italian language.
The Seattle chapter's Italian language program has now added language proficiency certification options in conjunction with with the international organization. The certifications are recognized in obtaining extended and work VISA by the Italian government. Learn more here.
Discount card - be sure to ask if you are planning to travel to Italy and want to take advantage of this benefit.
A Bit About Our History
The Dante Alighieri Society of Washington was established in 1908 and reorganized in the early 1970s to promote Italian language and culture in the state of Washington.
The society has operated an Italian Language Program in Seattle since 1984.
Our 2019 - 2020 Board Members are:
- Dan DeMatteis - President
- Joyce Ramee - Vice President
- Janet Lenart - Secretary
- Harry Reinert - Treasurer
- David Larsen - Counselor
- Houghton Lee - Counselor
- Bruce Leone - Counselor
- Dominic Minotti - Counselor
- John Steedman - Counselor
- Sylvia Shiroyama - Past President
- Giuseppe Tassone - Language Program Director
Board meetings are held in of the months of August,
November, January, March and May on the first Wednesday of the
month. The next board meeting is tentatively scheduled for May
Meetings are held from 7:00 - 8:30pm at Merrill Gardens at First Hill (formerly Faerland Terrace), 1421 Minor Avenue on Capitol Hill. Meetings are open to all members.
Board elections are held annually at the April English Meeting (see Dante Calendar) with the next election scheduled for April 8, 2020. Members are invited to submit nominees for any office to firstname.lastname@example.org.