Wednesday, December 21, 2022

RENAISSANCE: THE AGE OF GENIUS - Hunua Rooms, Aotea Centre, Auckland 4 – 29 January 2023 10am – 5pm daily


Media Release: 
From the producers of The Art of Banksy and Michelangelo – A Different View comes the most immersive exhibition of the greatest Renaissance artists ever, in one room, in Auckland this January.
Direct from Europe, Renaissance: The Age of Genius brings to life about 500 works by unparalleled Renaissance artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Sandro Botticelli, Titian and Caravaggio.
These paintings from museums worldwide will be shown using specialist multimedia projection, transporting visitors along an awe-inspiring journey through the art of the 15th and 16th Centuries.
The scale of the projection will see the artworks at roughly twice human height, thrusting viewers into the atmosphere of the paintings and offering a rare insight into what was going through the minds of these geniuses hundreds of years ago.

Mysterious La Gioconda (Mona Lisa) by da Vinci, The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, flawless Madonnas by Raphael, terrifying Medusa by Caravaggio, Sistine Chapel frescoes by Michelangelo, mythological allegories, religious subjects, portraits of famous nobles and beauties of the Renaissance era – all these images will remain in everyone's memory as a unique range of impressions.

Created in the Ukraine by digital media pioneers, Front Pictures, the exhibition gives a new depth to the most famous Renaissance masterpieces by putting them in a modern immersive multimedia form while preserving the spirit of the paintings.

The Renaissance: The Age of Genius creative team sought not only to select the most famous masterpieces of the era but also to preserve the spirit of these canvases intact, giving them a new multimedia form.

New Zealand promoter Stewart Macpherson from The Stetson Group says he’s delighted to be bringing such an important exhibition to New Zealand.

“For most New Zealanders, this will be as close as they will ever get to experiencing works by the Renaissance Geniuses and we’re very proud to be able to offer this opportunity,” he says.

“We also know that from our past exhibitions, New Zealanders want to see this art up close. We’re bringing the Vatican and the Louvre to them!”

4 – 29 January 2023
10am – 5pm daily. Last entry 4pm
The multimedia sequence runs for 40 minutes.
People can come into the exhibition at any time and can stay longer if they want to see a repeat of any material.
General Admission - any day through the season.
Price pre midnight 24 December 2022 - $39*
From 25 December 2022 - $45*
Children under 12 – free (with an adult)
Purchase tickets online ( or at the Aotea Centre Box Office or at the exhibition.

*Service fees apply   

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Mercatino di Natale: grazie a tutti!

We had a wonderful Italian Xmas Market today, thank you all for coming, and thank you to our volunteers! Buone Feste a tutti!


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Mercatino di Natale - Italian Xmas Market, 17 Dicembre

Join us for our Italian Christmas Market and stock up on all your Italian gifts, Panettone, Pandoro, fine foods, decorations and much more! SATURDAY 17TH DECEMBER 10am-3pm at the Freemans Bay Community Centre (free entry!)


Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Monday, December 5, 2022

Dante Auckland's Operetta

 Wonderful evening with "L’Impresario", Mozart’s operetta adapted and directed by Matteo Telara.

👏 to our pianist David Kelly and to the actors and singers Thomas Røsholl, Te Ohorere Williams, Maeve Herd, and Matteo Telara.

After the operetta there was a refreshment, thank you to all the participants who brought food (especially Namir, who cooked a lot of food like polpette and melanzane Parmigiana!)
and Massimo's Italian cheeses for the mozzarella!

L'Operetta è stata realizzata grazie al generoso contributo della Sede Centrale della Società Dante Alighieri di Roma, che ringraziamo calorosamente!

Buon Natale a tutti!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Save the date! L’Impresario, Mozart’s operetta on stage

Sunday 4 December, 7:00 pm
Next month the Dante Alighieri Auckland, with the
support of the Dante Alighieri Society in Rome, is staging
Mozart’s operetta The Impresario, with the original
libretto of Gottlieb Stephanie adapted by Matteo Telara
to be half in English and half in Italian.

Direction and adaptation: Matteo Telara
Pianist: David Kelly
Actors/singers: Thomas Røsholl, Te Ohorere Williams,
Maeve Herd, Matteo Telara
After the operetta there will be a refreshment, and a
Christmas Function to celebrate the end of another year
together at the Dante!
Sunday 4 December 2022, 7.00 pm
Theatre of the Freemans Bay Community Centre
1st Floor, 52 Hepburn Street, Auckland

Monday, November 21, 2022

An Italian language immersion programme for everyone!

5 Day Summer Italian Intensive Course

Wednesday 25 – Sunday 29 January 2023

Suitable to all levels of Italian, from absolute beginners to advanced speakers
Freeman’s Bay Primary School, 95 Wellington Street, Freemans Bay, Auckland
Course Fee: $280
Times: Wed to Sat 9:30am – 12:30pm, with Italian movie on Thursday afternoon (2pm)
Sun 10:00am – 1.30pm with lunch
This programme combines formal lessons with conversation and activities.
The course fees include: all lessons and activities, morning coffee, Sunday lunch, and Italian movie on Thursday afternoon.
Places are limited, please see the enrolment form for booking and deposit.


Tuesday, November 15, 2022



Ciao a tutti!

As you might already know, this year, Dante is putting together an operetta: “The Impresario”, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!

The operetta will take place on the 4th of December at 7:00 pm, in our Auditorium, and it will be followed by food and drinks. It will be our Christmas function! (You are welcome to bring a plate, btw) 😊

This year operetta will be in both English and Italian, so both Italian and English speakers, and both the Italian and Kiwi community will able to attend, enjoy and understand it!!!

Here is a list of props we might need.

If you have any of these items and want to contribute to the success of this year's operetta, please contact Matteo by email:

It will be much appreciated!

  • 2 sedie da salotto o 2 poltrone o/e 1 divano          

  (2 lounge chairs or 2 easy chairs or/and 1 sofa)

  • 1 tavolinetto (1 coffee table)

  • 1 attaccapanni a stelo

(1 hatstand)

  • 1 specchio

(1 standing mirror)

Monday, November 14, 2022

Photos of Festival Italiano 2022


Bellissimo Festival Italiano ❤️🇮🇹 thank you to the organisers Festival Italiano - Auckland Newmarketnz Only Events, to all our Dante Auckland friends who volonteered at out stand 🇮🇹, to La Marzocco NZ for the coffee 🙌☕️ and everyone who attended. You can find the Dante FB photo album by clicking here.

#festivalitalianoauckland #festivalitalianonz

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Dante Auckland Stand at the Festival Italiano Kent St, Newmarket, 13 November 2022, 11am - 5pm

Come and say ciao at our Dante stand at the Festival Italiano! This year, in addition to the usual info about language classes and Italian activities, on our stand we will have the much loved ‘Buongiorno Kiwi’ merchandise for sale: T-shirts, aprons and tea towels. Plus there will be Alessandra’s cookbook at the special Festival price of $20 (usually $35) and coffee made with La Marzocco! All profits to the Dante School! Vi aspettiamo al Festival!


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Un giorno con Pier Paolo Pasolini - a talk with Bruno Ferraro e Matteo Telara, followed by movie.

Tuesday 4 October at the Dante School, FreemansBay Community Centre, 52 Hepburn St, Freemans Bay, Auckland
Talk 10am-12pm - Lunch break and then, from 1.30pm to 3.30pm, movie screening. All welcome!!

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Dante School News


The school open day of Dante Alighieri Society of Auckland will be on Thursday 13th October 5pm to 7pm at the Freemans Bay Community Centre, a great opportunity to meet and chat with our teachers. 

 The new term for the adult classes will start on Monday the 17th of October. You can find all the info here. If you are unsure of your level of Italian, you can join us on the open day so the teachers can assist you in choosing the right class. If you are unable to come, then please do not hesitate to send us an email and we can provide you with the information you need: 

We have also attached the enrolment form for the Tuesday children class starting on the 18th of October and the Playgroup which will start on Thursday the 20th of October. 


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

New book release in October

Tales from the wood’s edge - a memoir

by Wilma Giordano Laryn

In a reversal of the usual ‘Tuscan Dream’, a small Italian family of parents, daughter and dog, move to New Zealand in search of adventure. Here are their stories, as well as memories of life in Italy and Japan, of holidays in Kenya, Turkey and other.This is also a woman’s personal story of emigrating to a new country and integrating with the local way of life, something many will identify with. They will recognize their own efforts to meet new challenges while maintaining their core personalities as defined by their country of origin and their personal and collective memories.Inquisitive readers will find the book’s themes stimulating and the style engaging. They will immerse themselves in a tapestry of people, animals, places, landscapes, colours, buildings, music, wine, food.

“… unless we make things personal, they may not really matter in the end and fade away.
These tales are as personal as storytelling can be, yet they have something to say for
everybody – beautifully and painfully true to life as they are to the author’s life.”

Marco Sonzogni
Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington




About the author

Wilma spent the first half of her life in Italy, then moved to New Zealand in 1996. In Christchurch Wilma has worked with the Dante Society as a committee member for 22 years and was president for 6. She has started the Christchurch Dante Language School and the Festival Ciao Italia. She has run a radio programme, Cartolina, and a TV cooking series; she has coached the opera chorus and taught Italian for Musicians at the Canterbury University. 
She has been a member of the ComItEs in 2015, besides working as Marketing Manager for the family wine business. Wilma received from the Italian Government a civil knighthood, the “Star of the Italian Solidarity”, for her activity as a journalist and teacher, and a gold medal from the Dante Alighieri headquarters. After retiring and moving to Auckland in 2018, she finally completed her book of memoirs. No surprise that it counts some 400 pages!


Category: non fiction, life in Italy, life in New Zealand, wine-making 
Pages: 400 - Size: 6" x 9" - softback ISBN: 978-0-473-65322-4 
Kindle edition ISBN 978-0-473-65325-5 
Publication date: October 2022 
Publisher: Wilma Giordano Laryn 
Distributor: Nationwide Book Distributors

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Newsletter di Settembre, e addio Luigi Rocca

La newsletter della Dante Auckland è in rete. Per gli italiani di Auckland: a pagina 4 ricordiamo il carissimo Luigi Rocca, scomparso il 7 agosto a 87 anni. Addio Luigi, che ti sia lieve la terra. 
Cliccare qui per leggere la newsletter

Luigi con la moglie Dawn


Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Colazione and talk by architect Riccardo Lucignani: A walk around the historic port of Civitavecchia

Cari amici


Join us this Saturday for colazione and to enjoy a talk by architect Riccardo Lucignani.


The topic will be A walk around the historic port of Civitavecchia: Forte Michelangelo park, an informal discussion on the architectural works of the port of Rome and the design challenges in honouring the spirit of a historic site in developing a park around forte Michelangelo. The talk will be both in Italian and English.


Everyone is welcome.


Vi aspettiamo!

Dante Rooms

Freemans Bay Community Centre

52 Hepburn St, Freemans Bay


Saturday 20 August 10:00-12:00pm


Thursday, August 11, 2022

Il Cantastorie di agosto


Il Cantastorie - incontro per bambini 5-8 anni che parlano italiano.
domenica 28 agosto, 10 am - 12.00 pm
Per prenotarsi mandare un’email a
ed effettuare il pagamento di $10.00 online
a/c: 020192-0309263-00, with ref: bambini

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Newsletter di agosto

 La newsletter di agosto è in rete, cliccare qui - Our August Newsletter is online, click here.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Dante in Ravenna

Ravenna is mostly famous for its stunning 5th and 6th century mosaics (many in Unesco sites around the city), but it is also considered Dante's city (Dante died in Ravenna) as much as Florence (where Dante was born) is.

Dante is omnipresent in Ravenna, the city where he lived the last years of his life. in 2021 the city celebrated the 700th anniversary of his death with many artistic and cultural initiatives, which are still active today.  Also, along the city streets, there are several interactive tags with verses from the Divine Comedy.

When Dante died in Ravenna, in 1321, his tomb was a simple sarcophagus just outside the Church of San Francesco. Then Guido Novello da Polenta, lord of Ravenna, asked for the construction of a chapel just for Dante's Tomb. In 1483, Bernardo Bembo, who ruled the city on account of the Republic of Venice, decided to restore the sarcophagus and commissioned the sculptor Pietro Lombardo a marble bass relief portraying Dante’s face, visible today inside Dante's Mausoleum. 

Dante's Tomb in Ravenna

Dante's spoils have been contended between Ravenna and Florence for a long time, and between the 16th and the 18th century, the remains went missing, hidden by the Franciscan friars in a small wooden chest, so that Florence couldn’t get them. 

The current mausoleum was built between 1780 and 1782. It was ordered by Cardinal Luigi Valenti Gonzaga (1725 – 1808) and designed by the Ravenna architect Camillo Morigia (1743-1795), who created a little Neoclassical temple made of simple lines and sombre decorations. The rests were recovered and placed in the new mausoleum until 1810, when Napoleon ordered the confiscation of monastic property, and the friars were forced to leave, but first they made sure to hide again the chest with the remains.

The majestic oak next to the mausoleum was planted by poet Giosuè Carducci at the beginning of the 20th century. The Mausoleum's doors close in the evening.

On May 25th 1865, during some maintenance works at the monastery beside the tomb, a bricklayer accidentally found  a wooden chest in a wall of the Quadrarco di Braccioforte. Luckily, a young student, Anastasio Matteuggi, saved the box from destruction.

The chest had a script saying “Dantis ossa a me Fra Antonio Sancti hic posita anno 1677 die 18 octobris”, which means “These bones of Dante placed by me on the date of 18 October 1677”. It was the original wooden chest where the friars kept the Poet's remains.

On that occasion, the remains were reassembled and put on display in a crystal urn for a few months. The crystal urn, without glass, is now displayed in the Dante Museum (see photo below), and so is the Franciscan friars' wooden chest.

The crystal urn, without glass, where Dante's remains were reassembled and put on display
for a few months in 1865

Since then, besides the transfers that occurred during the Second World War in order to avoid destruction, (see photo below) the spoils haven’t been moved again

Inside the mausoleum we can see the bass relief by sculptor Pietro Lombardo, on the sepulchre’s top is engraved a Latin epitaph written by poet Bernardo Canaccio in 1327.

At the centre of the little room, a votive lamp burns with the oil donated by Tuscany. Every year, on the second Sunday of September, the city of Florence sends a delegation and offers the oil to commemorate their most famous citizen, who died in exile. 

The mausoleum with open doors. 

Near the Tomb there is the Dante Museum and Dante House.  The museum features several rooms with  relics and historical objects, and modern and engaging multimedia rooms about the Poet's life, legacy, and work (especially the Divine Comedy).

Our Dante Auckland member Alessandra in one of the multimedia rooms at the Dante Museum in Ravenna

After touring the Museum you can check out the library (in the same building) which holds everything that has been written by and about Dante, including some very ancient tomes. 

Near the Museum, and accessible with the same ticket, there is Casa Dante, hosting art pieces about Dante and the Divine Comedy. This includes a long-term exhibition with some very important works loaned by the Uffizi Galleries in Florence: check out this painting of star crossed lovers Paolo and Francesca!

For more Dante's experiences in Ravenna visit this site