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Festa Italiana Quiz – Pasta of Italy

When: September 9, 2020
Speaker: Domenico Minotti
Topic: Virtual Festa Italiana Quiz

About the Speaker:

In the late 1920s, Nick’s parents emigrated from Sant’Angelo, Limosano, a small hilltop town in Molise. The population at that time was about 1000 but is now 345 as Nick learned on a visit last year. The family spoke their dialect at home. Nick studied Italian at Columbia University and Perugia and got lots of practice while on Fulbright study grants in Milan in the mid 60’s. Nick returned to the states and to his first love, medicine, at Georgetown University and came to Seattle in 1976 to work at the US Public Health Hospital on Beacon Hill, better known as the Marine Hospital. He and his father Pasquale would attend Dante meetings back then but took a break until retirement a few years ago. Nick serves as a Consigliere for our Dante group.

About the Presentation:

For the past several years, Domenico has prepared a quiz for Festa Italiana, an annual celebration of Italian culture, food and music held each year at the Seattle Center at the end of August. Since this year’s Festa Italiana will be virtual, Domenico has prepared a virtual quiz to go along with that. The quiz was premiered at the Dante Alighieri Society’s English Language meeting held virtually on Zoom. Links to the quiz and the answer key along with a recording of the presentation are below.

PowerPoint Presentation (English Version)

PowerPoint Presentation (Italian Version)

Festa Quiz 2020 (Italian)

Festa Quiz 2020 (English)

Festa Quiz 2020 Answer Key

Recording of Presentation on September 9, 2020



Italian Flag

Learning Italian through Art – Dante Society Member Interviews

per la diffusione della lingua e della cultura italiana nel mondo

Fall Quarter Class Opportunity

Annalisa Bellerio, an Italian journalist and writer currently residing in Redmond, gave the last in person presentation at our Italian language meeting in February 2020 on Leonardo da Vinci. In the upcoming Fall quarter she will be teaching a course of Italian Through Art, offered online by Shoreline Community College. A description of the class and registration information is available on the Shoreline Community College website.

Dante Society Member Interviews

Andrea Aldrich, long time Dante member and new consigliere on the Dante Board, has interviewed two of our members for her podcast, Italy Inside Out. Check on here interviews available These are the links to the two episodes:

A Quest for Her Cultural Heritage in Trentino with Mary Beth Moser
Mary Beth Moser is a long time and active member of the Dante Alighieri Society and she is the current president of the Trentino Club in Seattle. During this interview, she discusses the unique history of the region of Trentino-Alto Adige, the languages known as dialects, the traditional foods and wine, the stories of the family connections she made and the Trentino immigrants in America.

Returning Home to Abruzzo in a Pandemic with Sam Ciapanna

Sam Ciapanna is a long time member and past president of the Dante Alighieri Society and he is the current president of the Il Punto. Sam has dual citizenship and recently purchased a home in the region of Abruzzo. He describes the challenges of traveling to Italy during the covid-19 crisis. We also learn of the love he has for the hill town of Colonnella where his grandfather was once a beloved tailor.
All episodes of Andrea’s podcast can be found on many podcast directories, including Apple Podcasts and Google podcasts.

Socially Distanced Goodbye to Nancy McDonald

Hopefully, each of us can say that there are one or two friends in our lives who always made you smile, always told you the truth and who were always there to step up when things were falling apart.

For the women of Dante who have been loving this Society for the last 25 years or so, that member was Nancy McDonald. It seemed like a sudden decision to most of us, but we all understood how much Nancy’s young nephews adored her! When the boys moved back East to Ohio last year, it was tough on everyone. Nancy took charge of her life and decided to solve the situation by moving to Ohio also!

So our friend who was so much a part of our Dante lives, was leaving. She was the person who organized the programs, the pre-Dante dinners, wrote the Dante cookbook, published the Dante brochure, and always solved the questions of struggling events and festivals. We could not let her leave without a proper send-off.

So Gini Harmon had the idea to gather together as many of us as possible for one last lunch together, outside on her deck Friday afternoon, July 10th. Twenty-one friends were contacted, and when all the universe did its job, we had seven ladies come, bearing food, gifts, cards and the best wishes of all those who could not make it, to say goodbye.

Through our masks we told stories, remembered old friends, and then had a wonderful salmon entree prepared by Gini, salads that only veteran Dante ladies could easily create, and a few tears.

We wish you could all have been there to send her off with giant air-hugs, and yet all the Dantes were there in spirit.

In a while Nancy will send the address of her newly built townhouse with updates! Thank you Nancy for making us at the Dante Society a part of your life for so many years.

—Caterina Murone Wartes

Nancy McDonald's Goodbye Party

From Left to Right: Louise Sportelli, Melinda Jankord-Steedman, Jane Cottrell, Caterina Wartes, Gini Harmon, and Nancy McDonald. Behind the camera: Sharon Leone.

Summer Greetings from Joyce Rameé

per la diffusione della lingua e della cultura italiana nel mondo

Ciao a Tutti!

I’m very honored to hold this office, following the long tenure of our beloved Dan. It’s my pleasure to send midsummer greetings to everyone. I hope this finds you, your “bubble family,” your extended family and anyone you hold dear in Italy in good health and spirits. We all hope for relief from this terrible pandemic and for a return to the gatherings, in person, that we as Dante members hold so dear. MAY IT BE SOON!!! Meanwhile, I’d like to plant some seeds with you for what lies ahead for Dante in the near future.  

1) LANGUAGE PROGRAM You already received word that Giuseppe Tassone and his wonderful faculty are presenting ONLINE SUMMER LANGUAGE CLASSES for the first time. This is an exciting development following the amazingly successful online classes this spring. Online learning will continue in the school year ahead. Watch the Dante web site for details.

2) FALL DANTE MEETINGS First, a big thanks (since we couldn’t do it in person) to outgoing Program Chair Cecilia Paul! Dan DeMatteis is our new Program Chair, and he is working hard to find interesting programs that will be presented online via ZOOM, on the usual Wednesday nights. We’ll try to devise ways to be interactive during these sessions. Programming and start-times should be available by late August – meanwhile, save these dates: English meetings: September 9, October 14, November 11, December 9 (Christmas Party!) and Italian meetings: September 23, October 28. Our running times may vary from normal meetings, since we can’t actually eat together – BUT — I envision us gathering on Zoom, glass and plate in hand, starting the session with “what is your antipasto and vino tonight?” We can do this….

3) FESTA DI NATALE PER I BAMBINI Before the pandemic shut-downs made this moot, Caterina Wartes and I had spoken at length and decided that this program is no longer viable for Dante, at least not at this time. In recent years, the number of children attending from within Dante member families has dwindled significantly, and it has become difficult to get enough people to help. Indeed, now someone would need to step up to actually run it, as Caterina has retired from it. At some future point, when gatherings are allowed, if someone from Dante wants to lead it – either by presenting the event or leading our collaboration with another organization in presenting it – we can revisit whether to hold it again. Meanwhile, THANK YOU CATERINA AND ALL WHO HELPED HER with this program, beloved for so many years!

4) LA VOCE NEWSLETTER UPDATE “Shout out with all voices” to Linda Heimbigner, who has officially retired her La Voce pen as our long time Editor. The newsletter – a means of sharing updates, stories, photos, recipes, events/books/movies and other bits of interest – is now going to have space on our beautiful Dante website. Andrea Aldrich, from our board, is receiving materials and coordinating how and when they will be posted. PLEASE JOIN THE FUN and send her some items of interest! aaldrichj@gmail.com

A few final notes – of course, Festa Italiana at Fisher Pavilion is postponed and the future date unknown. Also, continuing the news about memorials for Terry Hanlon, we will be thinking of a way to honor her memory online – most likely as part of our December meeting, since she was so involved in all things Festa di Natale. Stay tuned for details. Lastly, your Dante Board is meeting a few times this summer, discussing the Language Program classes and following up with Nic Minotti’s Governance Committee work (revision and updating of our Bylaws and Constitution). The latter will have a report out to all members in late summer, with plans to vote on the updates in September. Meanwhile, Board meeting minutes can be made available any time to any members who are interested. Email me.

For the rest of summer until we have more news, I wish you peace, sanity, occasional relief from your computer screen, and lots of good Italian food and beverage!

Joyce Ramee, Dante President


Summer Quarter Classes

New Online Review Classes starting on July 7th & July 11th 

The Dante Alighieri Society of Washington – Italian Language Program, after the positive experience of our spring quarter online classes, is offering for the first time two summer online review sections. These classes are for students who with some previous exposure to the Italian language. During the summer sections, students will solidify what they learned in level A1 & B1 (fall, winter and spring) before advancing to the next level of Italian in the fall of 2020. Special attention will be given to improve speaking and listening comprehension skills. 

Students with no experience of Italian should enroll in Level A1 beginning in the Fall. The 2020-21 school year will start October 1st. Students who completed levels A1, A2 and B1 in the spring can enroll to the next level independently from the participation to the summer section. The registration deadline for Summer is July 3, 2020.



Summer 2020