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Courses from The Dante Alighieri Society of Santa Cruz

The Dante Alighieri Society is pleased to offer the following Fall 2019 courses:
Beginning Italian
Intermediate Italian
Advanced Italian
Conversational Italian
About the instructors


Please note that in order to receive the members' discount on class tuition, you must be a member in good standing for the year in which you will be taking the class. In other words, for the 2019 classes listed, you must have paid the appropriate membership (regular adult, senior, family or business) for 2019.

Beginning Italian
12 Tuesday evenings
Jan. 29 to April 16
6:00-7:30 pm
Instructor: Mirella Savegnago
Cost: $180 members, $215 non members (Join Dante for 2019: $30 individuals, $25 Senior; membership good until Dec 31, 2019)
See payment process in note below class descriptions
Live Oak Senior Center
1777 Capitola Road
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

This beginning course is recommended for students who have no or minimal grasp of the Italian language. Great for travelers to Italy. Beginning grammar, conversation, reading, and other areas of interest to the students will be covered. Book to be used: A Self-teaching Guide by Edoardo Lébano LIMIT: 15 PEOPLE

Intermediate Italian
12 Monday evenings
Jan. 28 to April 22 (no class Feb. 18, Presidents' Day)
6:00-7:30 pm
Instructor: Mirella Savegnago
Cost: $180 members, $215 non members (Join Dante for 2019: $30 individuals, $25 Senior; membership good until Dec 31, 2019
See payment process in note below class descriptions
Live Oak Senior Center
1777 Capitola Road
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

This course is a continuation of the beginners class. Its objective is to further develop students' competency in writing and oral communication. It will help them refine their use of verbs, grammar and idiomatic expressions, enrich their vocabulary and express themselves with greater confidence. Book to be used: A Self-teaching Guide by Edoardo Lébano LIMIT: 15 PEOPLE

Advanced Italian
12 Thursday evenings
Jan. 31 to April 18
6:00-7:30 pm
Instructor: Carollyn Rudesill
Cost: $180 members, $215 non members (Join Dante for 2019: $30 individuals, $25 Senior; membership good until Dec 31, 2019
See payment process in note below class descriptions
Live Oak Senior Center
1777 Capitola Road
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

The objective of this advanced class is to improve the writing and communication skills of the students, their ability to understand with ease what they hear or read in Italian so that they can summarize information from different spoken and written forms and express themselves clearly and spontaneously. A basic knowledge of grammar is necessary in order to attend this class. LIMIT 15 PEOPLE

Conversational Italian (THIS IS THE MOST ADVANCED CLASS OFFERED)
10 Tuesday evenings
Jan. 29 to April 2
6:00-7:30 pm
Instructor: Irene Bargetto
Cost: $150 members, $185 non members (Join Dante for 2019: $30 individuals, $25 Senior; membership good until Dec 31, 2019)
See payment process in note below class descriptions
Simpkins Family Swim Center, Rooms A or B
979 17th Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

This conversation course is recommended for students who have a good grasp of the Italian language. Idiomatic expressions, specific vocabulary, and revisions of grammatical points are used to improve speaking skills and fluency. There will be various topics for discussion including articles from Italian magazines and readings from Italian literature. LIMIT 15 PEOPLE


These classes fill quickly; there is a maximum. There is also a minimum and classes may not be held if that isn’t reached. If you want to ensure a position in the class and that the class has enough enrollment to be held, please do the following:

1. Send an email to dantesantacruz1265@gmail.com with the following information: class you want to sign up for, name, address, phone number, email address, senior or non senior, member or not.
2. Pay the appropriate amount through PayPal or by writing a check and mailing it to: Dante Alighieri Society, P.O. Box 4253, Santa Cruz, CA 95063. Class sign up in advance requires payment in advance. Only payment received guarantees a spot in the class.

Note to members: All memberships need to be renewed at the beginning of the calendar year.

Note to non-members: Please see our Membership page to become a Dante member now! You will then immediately be able to enroll in this and future courses during the coming year at the member rate! It's a great value!
(Membership, which is only good until the end of the current calendar year, may also be paid through PayPal or by check. Fees: $30 individual adult, $25 senior/full time student, $50 family.)

PLEASE FILL OUT THE CLASS REGISTRATION FORM AVAILABLE AT THIS LINK AND MAIL IT IN WITH PAYMENT. (IF PAYING BY PAYPAL THE FORM MAY BE BROUGHT TO THE INSTRUCTOR ON THE FIRST NIGHT OF CLASS, BUT EACH STUDENT NEEDS TO HAVE A SIGNED FORM ON FILE TO COMPLETE THE ENROLLMENT PROCESS.)

No prorated funds or refund for withdrawal from classes

About the instructors

IRENE BARGETTO has been teaching the Dante Conversational Italian class since 2009. Irene was born and raised in Chieri, Piemonte, Italy, where she graduated with a degree in Accounting. She also speaks French and Spanish. Irene returns to Italy every year to visit her family and to keep well connected to her Italian heritage. Over the years, Irene has enjoyed tutoring family members and friends in Italian. She lives in Soquel with her husband, Peter, and their two bilingual children, Simone and Sabrina. Irene is the Business Manager for Santa Cruz Ear, Nose and Throat Medical Group in Santa Cruz and also helps her husband with their business, Soquel Vineyards. If students have concerns about ability levels feel free to contact this instructor at irenescent@hotmail.com.

CAROLLYN RUDESILL learned Italian at age 15 when she went to live in Italy for the final three years of high school. Later, she earned a master’s degree in Italian from Middlebury College while living in Florence, Italy. After earning her master’s degree, she returned to live in Florence for an additional year, teaching history in a small private school. Carollyn taught Italian Conversation classes in Harvard Extension, has taught all levels of Italian at Cabrillo College since 1996, and won the Floyd Younger Excellence in Teaching Award during her experience there. Carolina has organized several academic trips to Italy for Cabrillo, taking groups of students to both Napoli and Sicilia, and enjoys working with students to help them gain fluency. If students have concerns about ability levels feel free to contact this instructor at csrudesill@gmail.com or (831)359-5759.

MIRELLA SAVEGNAGO was born and raised in Italy and is a graduate in education and psychology from Catholic University, Milan, and is qualified as a teacher in Italy. She has spent many years in marketing and management world-wide, but since she arrived in California has been teaching Italian, both to groups and individuals, as well as Italian cooking. She is currently teaching beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes for Dante. She is fluent in English and has studied French and Mandarin. She travels to Italy several times a year where she and her husband Francesco have a home, where her son lives. Her daughter is a student at UC Davis. If students have concerns about ability levels feel free to contact this instructor at mirellasavegnago@hotmail.com

You can pay online with Paypal:

Course Member PriceNon-Member Price
Beginning Italian

$180

$215

Intermediate Italian

$180

$215

Advanced Italian

$180

$215

Conversational Italian

$150

$185

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