The History of the International Society
The Dante Alighieri Society was founded in 1889 "to safeguard the Italian spirit beyond the national frontiers." In 1926 headquarters were officially set up in Rome.
From its very beginning, the Society received an enthusiastic welcome, particularly among the many Italian communities that had established themselves throughout the world. Article One of the Society's consitution states that the aim of the "Dante Alighieri" is to safeguard the Italian language and culture, to promote the Italian identity in the world, to revive the spiritual ties between expatriates and the mother country, and to develop among non Italians a knowledge and appreciation of Italian civilization.
There are currently 450 "Dante Societies" around the world with the number continuing to grow. Each chapter promotes the mission as prescribed by the Society, yet is operated autonomously, electing its own officers, managing its own budget, and organizing its own programs.
The Society was given its name in honor of Dante Alighieri, one of the greatest writers and poets in Italian history, who was born in Florence in 1265. It was through the powerful and experimental verses of Dante's Divine Comedy that Tuscan became the literary language of Italy.
History of the Santa Cruz Chapter