#IreadDante: Italian Americans celebrate DanteDì, the official Dante Alighieri's day

The Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America is the oldest and most established organization supporting Americans of Italian descent in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1905 in New York by an Italian emigrant, Dr. Vincenzo Sellaro, OSDIA today has over 600,000 affiliates throughout North America.

In 2019, 115 years after its foundation, OSDIA constituted the first territorial unit outside the American continent. The Capitolo di Roma was founded by a group of entrepreneurs and professionals from throughout Italy to support Washington headquartersin fostering relations between the US Italian American community and its homeland.

Among the first significant cultural initiatives put in place by the OSDIA Capitolo di Roma, a live event dedicated to Dante Alighieri was organized to be held in the magnificent location of the Cappella degli Scozzesi, situated in Rome downtown, very close to Piazza Barberini.

Coronavirus outbreak, however, caused the cancellation of the live event but the members of the Rome Chapter did not get demoralized and still wanted to concretize the organizational work done and not give up an event that, even more because of the difficult moment that everyone is living, may represent an important moment of unification and sharing.

OSDIA Capitolo di Roma therefore decided to publish the same content prepared for the live show in podcast form and to launch a related DanteDì Facebok page on March 25th, the day that celebrates the father of the Italian language according to a decision of the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage.

The three podcasts have been produced with the contribution of the members on a selection of verses (florilegio) by Prof. Mario Donato Cosco. Exceptional voices were those of the American Clarissa Burt, a well-known face of TV much loved by the Italians, who was involved in the introduction in English and of the actor Emanuele Carucci Viterbi who masterfully interpreted the verses.

"In this difficult moment - declares Charter President of Capitolo di Roma, Carmelo Cutuli - we did not want to give up such an important initiative and we will still succeed, albeit in a different form thanks to the Internet, to give us a cultural moment that also becomes a symbol of hope and sharing. Dante Alighieri, the ‘Sommo Poeta’, is the greatest symbol of our literary culture and remembering him together will be a way to unite our country even more to the Italian communities in America and Canada".

Video-podcast of La Divina Commedia will be available starting March 25th at www.facebook.com/DanteDiPodcast

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