Sept 2019 Italian Meeting Reminder

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Ciao a tutti -


2019-2020 PROGRAM YEAR

at St. Patrick's Church, Social Hall, 815 East Edgar Street, Seattle 98102

The speaker is Robert Thomson from Victoria, Canada who will be presenting his recently published book "Florence, Dante and Me." Thomson spent the 1960-61 year in Italy on a scholarship from the Italian government. During the year he wrote many detailed letters to his fidanzata in Canada, telling her about Italian customs and habits, the Italian friends he made, the cities he visited, the operas he attended, his singing lessons, etc.  Early that year Thomson decided to speak Italian only for the whole year. This served him well throughout his life.

In 2017 he took the letters and photos and made them into a book. He will be reading passages from his book and showing some of the best photos.  To read passages and see some of the photos visit Thomson’s site:

Robert Thomson was born in Vancouver, B.C. in 1940. He fell in love with Italian in 1951 when he saw "The Great Caruso" starring Mario Lanza at his local movie theater. In 1962 he took his B.A. in French and Italian at the University of British Columbia then received his PhD from Yale in 1966.

Thomson had a long and varied career in teaching (e.g. The University of Toronto, The University of Illinois and various high schools). He took early retirement in 1995.

His main books are: "Italian for the Opera" (1990) and "Operatic Italian" (2009). Both books use extracts from operas to illustrate their language points; Thomson's main goal was to analyze them in detail to show the richness of Italian librettos. The reader will also find chapters such as "What is lost in the translation?"; "How do you appreciate a libretto?"; "The influence of Dante"; and "A quick look at Neapolitan." In 2015 Thomson published "Love Songs in Spanish" which comes with a CD and is useful as a tool to improve pronunciation.

At the moment he is finishing a book on how to teach English using audio-visual tools and multi-media sources. He now lives in Victoria, B.C. Asked who his favorite Italian authors are, Thomson replied "Dante and Alberto Moravia."


As usual, the evening will begin with food and conversation at 6:30. There is no cost for the meeting, but you are encouraged to bring along an antipasto, dolce or vino to share.  The presentation which will be mainly in Italian will start at 7:30. 

The meeting will take place in the Parish Social Hall at St. Patrick's Church, 815 East Edgar Street, on the North side of Capitol Hill.

Parking is available in St. Patrick's parking lot, off of E. Edgar street. The meetings take place in the Parish Hall, located in the basement of the church and is entered on the West side of the church from the parking lot.

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. and then take the first right onto E. Edgar Street.

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. and then take the first right onto E. Edgar Street..

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

A presto - 

Dan DeMatteis,
President, Dante Alighieri Society of Washington


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