Dante Alighieri Society of Washington
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March 25 Meeting Cancelled

Ciao a tutti –

Following the recent announcement of Washington State’s plan to limit gatherings of 50 or more and the urging of Governor Inslee that Washington residents over 70 self-isolate immediately, as the demographic most at risk of severe infection from COVID-19, we have decided to CANCEL the next Dante Alighieri Society’s Italian Language presentation and meeting scheduled for next Wednesday, March 25.

We will continue to monitor the situation and make a decision about the April 15 Annual General Meeting  closer to that date.

We understand that this is a developing situation and, as such, our policy will be responsive and in-line with the recommendations of Washington State and King County Public Health departments.

Please take care of yourself during these stressful days.  Statemi bene!

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

A presto – 

Dan DeMatteis,
President, Dante Alighieri Society of Washington

March 11 Meeting Postponed

Ciao a tutti –

The health and safety of our members remains our number one priority. We are following closely the guidance of our local public health experts, the World Health Organization, and the CDC regarding the threat and spread of COVID-19 and are carefully assessing the impact of this outbreak.

A few days ago, all news reports and public health experts stated that the risk to the general public was low, and therefore we said it was our intention to go forward with our meeting next Wednesday, March 11.

However, the situation has continued to evolve and the guidance from local public health professionals changed in the last 24 hours to strongly advise all people who were at greater risk (those who are over 60 or with a history of respiratory or immune disease issues) to avoid if possible large public gatherings. They also recommend that community group organizations either postpone or cancel events for the upcoming weeks.

For these reasons, we have decided to POSTPONE the Pasta Dinner and English Language presentation scheduled for next Wednesday, March 11.  We hope to reschedule Pat Hoffman’s talk for a date later this Spring if scheduling allows.

We will continue to monitor the situation and make a decision about whether to cancel the March 25 Italian meeting closer to that date.

We understand this is a developing situation, and as such our policy will be responsive and in-line with the recommendations of Washington State and King County Public Health departments.

A presto –

Dan DeMatteis,
President, Dante Alighieri Society of Washington

Dante Society’s Coronavirus Response

Ciao a  tutti –

We are mindful of the growing concerns of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 in the news and in our community and want to be sure we all stay safe.

At this time, both the March 11 English meeting with the Pre-Dante Pasta Dinner and the March 25 Italian meeting will continue as planned.

We understand this is a developing situation, and as such our policy will be responsive and in-line with the recommendations of Washington State and King County Public Health departments.

While public health officials have not recommended any restrictions on group gatherings, they do recommend that vulnerable populations avoid crowded settings. Persons who are older or who have underlying health conditions are at higher risk to develop complications from this virus.

If you are sick, we thank you for staying home from Dante meetings.

In an effort to keep our food safe, please be sure to bring serving implements for any antipasti/dolci you provide for the meetings — please avoid finger-foods for now! 

Membership Renewal Time

Just a reminder that Dante Alighieri Society memberships are up for renewal for 2020. The Dante membership year goes from January to December each year. Dues are $40 for a single membership and $50 for a family membership.

Your dues help support the many activities of the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington and allow us to keep our event prices as low as possible. All donations are greatly appreciated. You are now able to renew online on our website: https://danteseattle.org/join-the-dante-alighieri-society-of-washington/ . Its simple and easy. Or, if you prefer, we’ll have a membership table set up at the English Meeting on Wednesday, February 12. You can renew there.

The Dante Alighieri Society of Washington promotes the Italian language and culture and welcomes all who share those objectives. Each year we present English and Italian programs open to the public, and host the Christmas party and the Annual Wine Dinner featuring wines from throughout Italy. The Society also sponsors an Italian Language program with beginner to expert classes for everyone who wants to learn, improve or perfect their fluency in Italian. We are an official chapter of the Società Dante Alighieri, an international organization headquartered in Rome, Italy. When traveling in Italy, Washington Chapter members are eligible to receive discounts. Information on the available discounts is available on the Dante Seattle website: https://danteseattle.org/join-the-dante-alighieri-society-of-washington/. Be sure to ask for your Membership Card at one of our meetings.

Dante Alighieri Society of Washington is a 501(c)(3) organization. Membership dues and donations are tax deductible to extent allowed under federal law. Tax ID: 91-0988808.

February 12, 2012 English Language Meeting

Ciao a  tutti –

at St. Patrick’s Church – Social Hall, 815 E Edgar Street, Seattle

Our January presenter is Prof. Lloyd Howard, a  Dante expert and previous DAS presenter.   Professor Howard’s topic this time is The Power of Music on the Shore of Dante’s Purgatory.  Professor Howard will begin his talk with a brief description of Dante’s world and how the Commedia was transmitted both in written form and orally by singing Dante’s text. He will then turn to the second canto of the Purgatorio, where Dante introduces the soul of the musician, Casella, who, while living, sang Dante’s love poems.  Lastly, Professor Howard will discuss the Paradiso where, by flight through the music enhanced spheres, Dante, a famed writer of worldly love songs, reaches the Celestial Rose.

Lloyd Howard received his PhD from the Johns Hopkins University in 1976, after which he was appointed to a position at the University of Victoria, where he taught until his retirement at the rank of Professor in 2016.  His research focused initially on the extant poetry of Guido Cavalcanti, before turning to Dante’s Commedia.   Along with numerous articles, he has written two books: Formulas of Repetition in Dante’s Commedia: Signposted Journeys across Textual Space (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001); Virgil the Blind Guide: Marking the Way through the Divine Comedy (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010). 


The presentation starts at 7:30 pm. 

As usual, we will have a Pre-Dante Pasta Dinner, prepared by our members, starting at 6:45 pm. (Please note the new time.)  If you plan to come for the dinner at 6:45 pm as well as for the presentation at 7:30 pm, please make your reservation by 5:00 pm Monday February 10 by:

Let us know how many are in your party. This will help our volunteer cooks know how much pasta to prepare.  

The cost of the dinner is $8 per person or $15 per couple.  There is no cost to attend only the presentation. 

If you are coming to dinner,  you are encouraged to bring along an antipasto, dolce or vino to share. 

The Hall is open at 5:30 pm for Setup.  The Antipasto will be served, starting at 6:00 pm. The new times should give us more time to socialize, have a glass of wine and some antipasti before dinner. 


The meeting as usual will be in the Parish Social Hall at St. Patrick’s Church, 815 E Edgar St., Seattle. 

To reach St. Patrick’s from the North, follow I-5 S.  Take exit 168A for Boylston Ave toward Roanoke St.  Merge onto Boylston, turn left at light onto E Roanoke St.  Turn left at the first cross street onto Harvard Ave E.

To reach St. Patrick’s from the South, follow I-5 N.  Take exit 168A for Lakeview Blvd E.  Turn left onto Lakeview Blvd E, and continue onto Boylston Ave E.   Turn right at the light onto E Roanoke St. Turn left at the first cross street onto Harvard Ave E.

The parking lot will be on your right off Harvard.  And the stairway down to the door to the Social Hall is located at the parking lot level in back of the Church, off the parking lot.

Feel free to come early to help set up and start visiting.  And, in any case, please come. 


If you haven’t renewed your 2020 membership yet, you are now able to renew online on our website:  https://danteseattle.org/join-the-dante-alighieri-society-of-washington/ .

 You can also renew at the meeting.  We’ll have a membership table set up in the Social Hall on Wednesday.  

A presto – 

Dan DeMatteis,
President, Dante Alighieri Society of Washington

Laura Ciroi

Laura CiroiLaura Ciroi has been teaching with the Italian language program of the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington since 2003. She was born in Palmanova, in Northern Italy, a star shaped fortress built by the Serenissima Republic of Venice to protect the territory from the invasions of the Hapsburg and the Ottoman Empires. She was raised speaking Italian, French and Friulano (her native Northern Italian dialect). Laura received a Laurea in Linguistics from the Università di Udine where she specialized in Spanish and English literature. Since then she has lived and worked in Holland, Switzerland, Spain, England, America, and Italy.

Giuseppe Tassone moved to Seattle from Italy in 1993. He has been the director of the Italian Language Program of the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington since 1998 and the PLIDA coordinator since 2011. He is a language educator, coordinator, and advocate of Italian language and culture. He has a background in economics and finance (B.A. in Economics), but chooses to specialize in Italian language and culture  (M.A. in Italian Studies). He has 20+ years of experience teaching, developing curricula, coordinating, testing, and assessing in public and non-profit organizations (e.g. Seattle University, University of Washington, Shoreline College). Giuseppe reviewed and/or contributed to several Italian language textbooks, such as Da Capo, Oggi in Italia, Avanti, Piazza and Sentieri. He is the author of Ricordati di me,  Buongiorno Notte – Italian Films Series by Edizioni Farinelli and Un buon AffareItalian for Business by Hackett Publishing Company available in print (2016) and e-book (2019). Giuseppe teaches at Seattle University and heads the Italian Section in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures. Personal interests are: reading, traveling, cinema, economics, politics, playing and listening to music, swimming, biking, gardening and cooking.


E-mail: tassone@danteseattle.org

Francesca Giambartolomei

Francesca GiambartolomeiFrancesca is an Italian native, born in Cremona, northern Italy. She holds a laurea in Biology from the University of Padua and Masters of Biology from Eastern Michigan University. She left Italy in 1994 and has lived in New Zealand and the United States. She has a passion for teaching her native language, as a way of maintaining and exploring the Italian language and culture with different eyes. She has taught privately and in many institutions to students of different proficiency levels groups. Francesca is interested in literature, art and design, and in her free time, she likes reading, cooking, and making jewelry and ceramics.

Email: francesca@danteseattle.org

Damiano Pinton

Damiano PintonDamiano is a native of a small town in the Northern Italy countryside, about 17 miles away from Padua, a city famous among other things for its university, the fifth-oldest surviving in the world. He received his B.A. and M.A. Cum Laude in Japanese language and culture from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, while specializing in linguistics and translation. He lived in Japan for three and a half years, where he continued his studies and his sociolinguistic research on (im)politeness in language. While in Japan, he also started working as an Italian teacher, discovering his passion for conveying the beauty of the Italian language and culture abroad.

Email: damiano@danteseattle.org

Roberta Punzi

Roberta PunziRoberta was born in Salerno a city located in the region of Campania in Southern Italy where in the ninth century flourished the renowned Schola Medica Salernitana; the forerunner of the modern university medical schools.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and Management for Arts, Culture, Media and Entertainment from the Luigi Bocconi University, and a Master’s Degree in Piano from the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Music in Milan.  Roberta has been working in the field of arts management since 2008. She has served as a project manager, fundraiser and arts administrator in high-profile nonprofit organizations and music festivals in Italy.  She has taught music and Italian language in middle schools, and has held lectures in performing arts management as a teaching assistant at the University of Milan and at the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala.  She has performed many solo and chamber music recitals across Italy.  Roberta moved to Seattle from Italy in 2018, and in March 2019 she started working with Greenpeace U.S.A. as a fundraiser.  She loves classical music, visual arts, reading, traveling, hiking and of course teaching Italian.

E-mail: roberta@danteseattle.org

Valentina Robles

Valentina RoblesValentina was born in Bitonto, a small town in Puglia, South of Italy. She has a Laurea in Lettere (Degree in Humanities) and a Laurea Specialistica in Scienze dello spettacolo e della produzione multimediale (Master degree in Media Studies). During her studies, she spent seven months in Spain where she was a tutor for Spanish students enrolled in Italian classes. Her passion for the theatre and cinema brought her to work in the production department for several projects for media, theatre, and live concerts.

Email: valentina@danteseattle.org