0423 359 503 info@ladantesa.com

Letter from the President

“Una prova della correttezza
del nostro agire educativo
è la felicità del bambino.”
(Maria Montessori)
Dear Members,
Welcome to the last issue of Vita Nuova for 2018. The quote above came to my mind while observing the joyfulness of over 150 children enjoying the fun educational and recreational activities provided by our association during the major free event ‘Befana Down Under’ at the Marche Club.
Much has happened since our last update in October and, overall, 2018 has been another year full of successful events and activities for the Dante.
Italian Language Classes for Adults
The four PLIDA Language Proficiency courses for beginners (A1), continuers (A2), low-intermediate (B1) and upper intermediate (B2) and “Caffe Italiano” conversation sessions have been successfully completed. Between semester 1 and 2, 35 adult students participated in our Language Proficiency courses of which 11 decided to sit the PLIDA exams. We wish them all the best for their results.
In the meantime, we are currently advertising the Italian courses for next year.
Thanks to our teachers, Anna Mazzone, Ciro Pipolo, Emma Benedetti, Giuliana Otmarich and Stefano Bona, for their commitment and for ensuring that students enjoy and continue learning Italian.
This year we have also created and delivered an Italian language and culture course for health carers within Italian-background aged-care facilities thanks to a project in collaboration with Com.It.Es. The program started with Bene Aged Care and we are planning to extend it to other aged-care facilities next year.
Thanks to the passionate and dedicated teacher Stefano Bona.
Dante Kids
Our Italian playgroup children’s language course (0-5 years’ old) has also come to a conclusion. For the second year, the program has received such a positive feedback and response from the community that we are already planning the third edition next year. Our aim is to continue to involve young children from any language and cultural background in the learning of an additional language through fun activities and games.Thanks to Antonio Mercorella for organizing and coordinating the program and to the teacher, Pamela Di Rocco, who created ad hoc materials and planned lessons for children, making the learning of Italian an enjoyable experience for both parents and children.

Schools Project
The Italian Language Assistants’ program for schools in South Australia ran during Terms 2, 3 and 4 of the school-year and concluded in December with a wrap-up workshop for all involved. In 2018 the program involved 6 language assistants operating in 10 State and Catholic schools and being in contact with over 2,800 students, 500 more versus prior year.Once again, the program sees the successful cooperation of the Dante with the SA Department of Education and Child Development and the Catholic Schools Office, with the support of both the Italian Consulate and the Director of the Italian Educational and Cultural Office in Canberra, Anna Rita Tamponi.

The success of the project and its smooth operation is also the result of the outstanding work of both Beatrice Barbieri, who left the association in June, and Stefano Bona, the new Schools Project Coordinator and long-time volunteer of our association.

Thanks also to all our “assistenti” who create a link between Italy and Australia, bringing our Italian language and culture into local schools.

Divina Commedia reading club
Thanks to Ciro Pipolo for organising and leading the reading of “Purgatorio” throughout the year. The reading and discussion sessions will resume next year.
Social events
19th November – ‘Il Menu’ Italiano’, special opening night dinner at the new restaurant ‘Coccobello’. We continue to support “La Settimana della Cucina Italiana nel Mondo” now in its third edition, promoted by the Italian Consulate of Adelaide.
I would like to thank my husband, Gianluca Orru, for making this event possible, for helping in the overall organization and throughout the night. Thanks also to Coccobello for supporting us and for accommodating any request and a special thanks to our vice president, Natasha Marona, for the always excellent organization before and during the event.

21st November – Award and Exhibition night for this year’s school competition organized together with SAATI on the occasion of the second Week of the Italian Cuisine in the World. The winning students, teachers and schools from Reception to Y9 received their awards from the Italian Consul for SA, Roberta Ronzitti, and the Director of the Italian Educational and Cultural Office, Anna Rita Tamponi, during the festivities at the Marche Community Club.

Thanks to the South Australian Association of Teachers of Italian (SAATI), the Consulate and the Marche Club for the cooperation and for the successful outcomes. Also, thanks to all teachers and students who participated in the competition.

1st December – “Befana Down Under”, free event for children aged 2-12 and families at the Marche Club grounds to celebrate the Italian Christmas folklore tradition of “La Befana”. The event, which was sold out within two weeks of advertising, offered a day of free entertainment for children, including a bilingual theatrical performance by the students of Norwood Morialta High School. You will read more details about the event in the article below.I would like to thank SAATI for the planning and support and Campbelltown City Council Community Grants program which proudly supported the initiative. Thanks also to Norwood Morialta High School for their ongoing cooperation with our association and to Radio Italia Uno Adelaide for broadcasting the event live.

A special thanks to all sponsors, to the sub-committee volunteers and all other volunteers who dedicated their time and energy to ensure the success of such a major event.

Throughout the year, we have also collaborated on many occasions with both Italian local radio stations, sharing information and delivering programs.
What next?
Our role in South Australia’s schools and in the Italian community is consolidated and we look forward to further strengthening our collaboration with clubs, associations and other communities.We will continue to offer a wide range of quality events, programs and services to promote our Italian culture at all levels. At the same time, we will continue to support and promote the teaching of the Italian language and culture in schools in South Australia and through our association.

We wish to continue this wonderful journey ensuring that our beautiful language and the many aspects of the Italian culture stay alive and kicking in South Australia for present and future generations. This journey can only continue with the help and support of the Dante Committee volunteers, our families and members. Thank you.

I would also like to say thank you to all our supporters and sponsors. All donations for our events have been much appreciated. We need your support, the support of the entire Italian community.

We look forward to new members joining and invite you to read our news and to continue to follow and like our page Dante Alighieri Society of SA Inc. on Facebook.

Looking forward to another exciting year, stay tuned!
Buon Natale e Felice 2019,
Silvia De Cesare
Past Events

On Saturday, December 1st, the Dante Alighieri Society, in conjunction with the South Australian Association of Teachers of Italian (SAATI), put on “La Befana Downunder” at the Marche Club at Paradise.

Proudly supported by the Campbelltown City Council Community Grants program and our other sponsors, the event celebrated the Italian folklore tradition of “La Befana”, the mythical kind-hearted old lady who delivers presents to children flying on her broomstick! The day was only made possible through the help of many volunteers from both Dante and SAATI, and by working together collaboratively the event proved to be a resounding success.

The day began a little after 10am with the opening addresses from our President, Silvia De Cesare, and the President of SAATI, Maria Kitching (both dressed in “befana” costumes). Then the children and audience were treated to two well-choreographed theatrical performances from the students of Norwood Morialta High School depicting La Befana.

A sincere thanks to teachers Nicola Primaro and Helen Toulou for putting the entertaining performance together.

Armed with their educational resource booklets, the children then had plenty of activities to keep them busy and to work towards earning their “calza” (the Christmas stocking) on the “Percorso Della Befana” (The Befana Pathway).

Activities on the day included storytelling and singing, colouring in, mask making, mix & match and cut & paste, all with a Befana theme. As the kids completed each activity along the yellow brick road of the Befana, they received stamps on their journey in their booklets, before being treated to a beautiful handmade stocking from long-life Dante Alighieri volunteer Maria Russo, filled with treats!

Other attractions on the day included a jumping castle, petting farm and face painting, while the large crowds were kept well fed with a sausage sizzle from the Lions Club International Adelaide Italian and coffee and sweets from Rob Minicozzi of Red Mill Bakery, Hectorville.
The day concluded at around 4pm just beating the predicted rainfall.Throughout the day over 150 children aged 2 to 12 enjoyed all the diverse activities, with the help of their parents and the guidance of our volunteers.

The successful event demonstrated how celebrating the Italian culture and language in the local community in fun and different ways can reach new audiences involving children and families from any language and cultural background.
Well done to everyone involved and a special thank you to all our volunteers, to our event sponsors and proud promoters of Italian language and culture. Thanks also to the Campbelltown City Council Community Grants program, Marche Club, Joe Designs, Lions Club International Adelaide Italian and Norwood Morialta High School. We also thank Galipo Foods, Rosanne Vignogna and Cosimo Cirocco for their generous donations towards our sausage sizzle.
Congratulazioni a tutti e buona befana!
Left picture: children at Befana Down Under event
Right Picture: the Norwood Morialta High School student during the performance



Coccobello Dinner
The Menu
Left picture: Dante Alighieri SA Committee
Right Picture: guests at Coccobello Restaurant


The Mediterranean diet is based on traditional food and drinks of countries that surround the Mediterranean sea, such as Italy, Greece, Spain and Albania. It is not an actual diet that allow people to lose weight, rather a lifestyle choice that includes, in addition to food and wine, activities with family and friends and exercise. This has been proven by countless scientific studies that confirm its ability to improve the health of the people who follow its principles.

One of the first researchers that became aware of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet was an American nutritionist and biologist, Ancel Keys, who after arriving in Southern Italy in 1945 became aware of how the population of the Mediterranean basin was less susceptible to some pathologies, compared to Americans.

From his observations, he established that the Mediterranean diet was able to increase the longevity of those who followed it, stating that the most important factors for this diet were: exercise, eating vegetables, legumes, fruits, olive oil and seafood. According to Ancel Keys, all of the diet principles represented, and still represent today, the best defence and prevention against illnesses such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, strokes, diabetes, tumours etc.

In 1993, Oldways, an American non-profit food and education organisation, in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health and the World Health Organisation, created a “Mediterranean Diet Pyramid” that included all the best characteristics of this complete and enjoyable diet.


In Term 4, Dante Kids has focused on new topics introduced to the children. Much of the learning has been centred around animals in the Savanah, with the reading of books and songs to help the kids associate the names of the animals and the sounds they make in Italian.

This has been reinforced with fun educational activities such as matching animal toys with animal pictures and making lion masks with paper plates, pasta and paint! The aim of which is to develop the children’s creative and artistic abilities.

Pamela has also been reading the story of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, which goes through the life cycle of the caterpillar, and again introducing songs and fun educational activities to help consolidate this learning.
To work on the kids’ gross motor skills, there have also been physical activities such as obstacle courses and a basketball game so that the children could learn instructions and body parts (in Italian).
It certainly has been a packed and busy year for the Italian playgroup, which continues to go from strength to strength.Thanks to everyone for their support throughout this year and we hope to see you next year at Dante Kids bigger and better than ever!

For enquiries, please contact 0417 862 469 or Email: info@ladantesa.com

Antonio Mercorella


Anche quest’anno si è conclusa un’esperienza molto positiva di collaborazione fra il MAECI (Ministero degli Affari Esteri e Commercio Internazionale, nella veste di finanziatore) e la Società Dante Alighieri del Sud Australia (con funzione di Ente Gestore) per l’invio di assistenti linguistici madrelingua in alcune scuole primarie e secondarie locali a supporto dell’insegnamento della lingua italiana.

Il progetto è ormai giunto al suo sesto anno e comincia ormai a entrare nella sua fase di maturità. In base ai fondi disponibili, quest’anno sei assistenti – uno dei quali arrivato appositamente dall’Università di Perugia, con cui la Dante ha stipulato un accordo di collaborazione da alcuni anni – sono stati inviati in dieci scuole pubbliche e cattoliche di Adelaide per un centinaio di ore in ogni scuola durante il secondo e il terzo trimestre.

Ben 2800 studenti (500 in più rispetto al 2017) hanno avuto l’opportunità di lavorare con gli assistenti linguistici, che in coordinamento con gli insegnanti hanno creato risorse e lezioni mirate a portare in classe l’italiano corrente.

Nel workshop conclusivo tenutosi alla fine di novembre, gli insegnanti all’unanimità hanno espresso il loro apprezzamento per il progetto, per il lavoro svolto dagli assistenti, e per l’ottimo spirito di collaborazione che si è creato.

Inoltre, dare agli studenti l’opportunità di un contatto non mediato con la lingua e cultura italiana è stato ritenuto da tutti un beneficio di grandissimo valore didattico.

Durante l’anno si è anche riscontrato un eccellente livello di sinergie fra la Dante Aligheri, il DECD, il Catholic Education Office e il SAATI (South Australian Association of Teachers of Italian).

Quanto alle proposte di miglioramento, “dateci gli assistenti per un numero maggiore di ore”, hanno chiesto ripetutamente gli insegnanti.

Speriamo di poterli accontentare nel 2019! Le ragioni per spingere non mancano.
L’italiano resta una delle lingue straniere più popolari nelle scuole del Sud Australia: si tratta di un patrimonio da non dilapidare, un potenziale enorme su cui è fondamentale lavorare con grande attenzione per spingere un numero maggiore di studenti a continuarne l’apprendimento a livello universitario.

Lo studio a livello avanzato di una lingua straniera in una società multiculturale come quella australiana non è solo auspicabile, ma necessario per il suo funzionamento.

Stefano Bona

Our Plida courses

There will be a free information evening on Monday 11 February 2018 at 6pm, at our premises at 262 Carrington St., where you can meet us, take a short entry level test, and ask any further questions.
Please RSVP via email info@ladantesa.com

The motto of the Dante Alighieri Society is “Il mondo in italiano” and promoting the Italian language is at the heart of the Adelaide branch of the Dante Alighieri.

Our Italian classes for adults have gone from strength to strength over the years, with 4 of the Common European Framework levels being offered in 2018: A1 (Beginner), A2 (Elementary), B1 (Low Intermediate), B2 (Upper Intermediate).

Our branch is also the only official Australian centre for the PLIDA (Progetto Lingua Italiana Dante Alighieri) Certificate exams, which students have the option of sitting in order to obtain an internationally recognised certificate attesting their level of Italian.

Our students have achieved an almost 100% pass rate in the PLIDA exams and we proudly congratulate Rino Marrone who scored 100% in all sections (Ascoltare, Leggere, Parlare, Scrivere) of the A1 PLIDA exam in December 2017.

Bravissimo, Rino!