Dante Alighieri Society of Washington

per la diffusione della lingua e della cultura italiana nel mondo

Join Our Social Gatherings!

About our social gatherings and events

Devoted to sharing the wondrous art, history, literature, music, culture and cuisine of Italy, the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington offers twice-monthly meetings with a rich program of lectures in English or Italian. A warm, welcoming hospitality includes antipasti social hour or a delicious pasta dinner prior to the presentations. And always, vino and dolci, generously shared by our members.

Additionally, throughout the year we publicize and participate in events of the larger Seattle area Italian community.

Learn more about these gatherings and events below

English and Italian language meetings

In keeping with the Dante mission to promote knowledge of Italian culture and language, the Society holds meetings on the second* and fourth Wednesdays of each month, September through May.

The presentation given at the meeting on the second Wednesday is in English and the presentation given at the meeting on the fourth Wednesday is in Italian. A gathering featuring delicious homemade food, wine and conversation with fellow lovers of all things Italian precedes each meeting. It is not necessary to be a member to attend but membership is appreciated to support the cost of these non-profit activities.

Dante Alighieri Society Gatherings - 2018-2019
English Language Italian Language
September 12th, 2018
Speaker: Dominick Minotti
Topic: - “Le Regioni d’Italia” (The Regions of Italy).

Nick will provide information and pictures about the foods, wines, tourist attractions and industry of the different regions of Italy and ask the audience which of the twenty regions those clues apply. The presentation is a beta test of the quiz to be offered at the Dante Alighieri Society Booth at Festa Italiana on September 29 and 30.

September 26th, 2018
Speaker: Federica Gabardi
Topic: "La testa degli italiani" di Beppe Severgnini
For some foreigners Italy is only a great immutable poetics "mental Tuscany". A land of light and perfumes, aperitifs at sunset and friendly natives. But in the heads of Italians - unfortunately or fortunately - there is something else. Traveling along the Peninsula in the company of friends from abroad, Beppe Severgnini becomes an ironic and implacable Dante. Beppe describing and explaining the cities, the streets, the houses, the squares, the shops, the churches, the stadiums etc. describes a country that "has too much style to be hell" but is "too disorderly to be heaven."
October 10, 2018
Speaker: Prof. Mary O'Neil
Topic: Niccolò Machiavelli on Politics, Religion and War

Mary O'Neil is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Washington where she has taught since 1981. She received her BA from the University of Chicago and her PhD from Stanford University. 

She has taught courses on Medieval and Renaissance Italy since the 1980's, including the course Rome: the City in History from Romulus to Mussolini.
Her research interests focus on the Roman Inquisition, heresy and popular beliefs suppressed by the church courts.
October 24, 2018
Good-bye to Garden House Get-together

Usually at our second meeting each month we have a speaker, who makes a presentation in Italian.  And for the October 24 we had booked Claudio Mazzola from the UW Italian Department to present an overview of the films to be presented at the SIFF CInema Italian Style Festival, November 8-15.  Unfortunately SIFF has still not announced the lineup of films for the Festival, so our speaker has been unable to put together material for his presentation.

This is our last meeting at Garden House. We will use this opportunity for members to make suggestions for a new meeting place, give feedback and have questions answered.

So here's the plan:

  • Meet at 6:30 as usual.  Please bring along an antipasto, vino or dolce to share
  • 6:30 - 7:15 food and informal conversation preceded by a toast to Garden House
  • 7:15 - 8:30 information and feedback meeting:  where do we go from here?
November 14, 2018
Speaker: Prof. Beatrice Arduini
Topic: Italian Languages and Dialects

Italy is a very rich country in terms of linguistic heritage: the Italian peninsula is home to 28 indigenous and six non-indigenous languages, although Italians usually - and rather erroneously, according to many linguists - refer to those as "i dialetti." Where do these "dialects" come from, and why do Italian often don't respect their own languages to even call them languages? Tonight we will take a linguistic dive into Italy's languages and dialects and their significance for language learners and Italy lovers.

November 2018
No Gathering
December 12, 2018
Annual Christmas Party
December 2018
No Gathering
January 9, 2019
Speaker: Mikala Woodward (Wing Luke Museum) in collaboration with Rainier Valley Historical Society
Topic: Seattle's "Garlic Gulch" Italian community
January 23, 2019
Speaker: Prof. Susan Gaylard
Topic: Italian Fashion
February 13, 2019
Speaker: Arne Millan of Esquin Wines
Topic: Wine Tasting Dinner with Pairings of Traditional Italian Food and Wine
February 27, 2019
Speaker: Cecilia Strettoi
Topic: Italian literature on migration
March 13, 2019
Speaker: Father Tom Lucas
Topic: To be announced
March 27, 2019
Speaker: Prof. Alberto Sbragia
Topic: To be announced
April 10, 2019
Annual General Membership Meeting and Election of the Board of Directors
April 24, 2019
Speaker: Matteo FitzGerald
Topic: Sicily
May 8, 2019
Speaker: Rob Prufer
Topic: To be announced
May 2019
No Gathering

Location of our regular meetings

The November and December 2018 English Meetings (there are no Italian meetings those two months) will be held at the St. James Cathedral Pastoral Outreach Center, 907 Columbia Street on First Hill. Parking is available in the O'Dea High School Parking Lot, just 1 1/2 blocks to the East between Columbia and Marion.


General timeline for meetings

English Language Meetings

Time Activity Cost
5:30pm Room Setup and meal preparation; volunteers welcome! Pasta, salad, and bread is prepared by members, and all attendees are encouraged to bring wine, antipasti, or dessert to share. And, of course socializing. None
6:30pm Dinner is served! Preregistration* is requested to ensure that enough food is available for everyone. $8 per person or $15 per couple
7:30pm A presentation related to Italian culture provided by guest speaker and is presented in the English language. None
8:30pm – 9:00pm Room Cleanup: everyone is encouraged to participate. None

*Register for Pasta Dinner (English language meetings only)

Register for the Pasta Dinner before English language meetings here. Or, call our Information Line (206) 289-0419 by the Monday before to reserve your spot(s) or email your request to reserve@danteseattle.org. Cost is $8.00 per person or $15.00 per couple to be paid at the dinner. Cash, check, credit or debit cards accepted. Reservations are not necessary for Italian meetings.

Italian Language Meetings

Time Activity Cost
6:00pm Room Setup; volunteers are welcome! None
6:30pm Potluck wine, antipasti and dessert are provided by attendees, so bring your favorites to share. Conversation is in both English and Italian, as you wish; it's a good opportunity to practice your Italian conversational skills. None, bring what you want to share
7:30pm A presentation related to Italian culture provided by guest speaker and is presented in the Italian language. None
8:30pm – 9:00pm Room Cleanup: everyone is encouraged to participate None

Special events

In addition to the regular meetings, the Society participates in various other events involving Italian language and culture. For example:

Get Involved! We'll welcome you, and we'll get to know each other.

As an all volunteer organization (except Language School staff) Dante activities above are made possible only by the time, energy, passion and love of our volunteers. Our events and gatherings create unmatched opportunities to learn more about Italy, its language and culture and to meet other people, of Italian heritage or not, who share our common fascination with Italy. It takes a lot of volunteers to make all the Dante events happen. Member or not, you are encouraged to become actively engaged in Dante's programs - it's a great way to better know a great group!

Volunteer opportunities:

To volunteer for any position or activity or if you have questions before committing, send an email to: info@danteseattle.org or call: (206) 289-0419.