Dante Alighieri, Excursion & Student Achievements


On Wednesday, 7th June, a group of 43 students from Years 9 to 12 who are currently studying Italian participated in the Dante Alighieri Poetry Recitation Competition at the University of Melbourne. This year 42 schools are taking part in the competition with a total of 1413 participants.

This legendary poetry competition has been running since 1961 and presents students in Years 9-12 with the opportunity to learn and recite an Italian poem - ranging from excerpts of Dante’s Comedy to those of contemporary Italian poets. The poems must be memorised and recited in front of a judge who will award certificates and prizes according to the standard at which the poems are performed.

The students also visited the Italian Museum at CO.AS.IT Carlton and heard a talk about the experiences of Italians who immigrated and settled in cities such as Melbourne and regions like Victoria. The troughs and peaks that these pioneers experienced significantly shaped the history of last century Australian society, and their influence continues today. Students were fascinated to learn how post war Italian migration has impacted their daily lives with the introduction of olive oil for cooking, coffee, pasta and garlic to name a few products.

Lastly, students visited Brunetti Carlton. They listened to a descendant about the history of this iconic Pasticceria. Students were then treated to a hot beverage, and mignon. To continue the experience, there was time to enjoy all things Italian like sampling foods, recording for a videoblog task, and conversing in Italian with friendly retailers and locals along the iconic Lygon street.

Ultimately, a fun day was had by all. We look forward in anticipation for the next round of the Dante competition.

Rita Stangherlin
Year 8 Team Leader & Italian Teacher

We visited Co As It, where we learned about the history of Italian migration pre and post war. It was perfect for the year 10s as it aligned with our current unit on Italian migration. We are so appreciative of the Italian cuisine and the migrants who smuggled in vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, basil and other Italian herbs.
Isabella T & Sedora T, 10A
The Dante Alighieri Poetry Competition was an insightful experience and a great opportunity for Italian students to practice speaking the language. Speaking Italian throughout Lygon St was a great way to practice the language and talk to the owners of stores. Rowena, Sarah and I explored Italian stores including DOC Delicatessen, where speaking Italian got us a free traditional Italian chocolate. We enjoyed the opportunity to walk around and discover all the Italian things around us in Lygon St. Where everyone spoke Italian to us as if we were in Italy. The culture we experienced all around Carlton really showed how everyone has embraced Italian traditions.
Alyssia D, 10C Rowena D, 10C and Sarah B, 11A
Our time at Brunetti's was a truly unforgettable experience! The cakes there were beautifully decorated, and they tasted exquisite.
Maria B and Aley P, 10A
On the 7th of June, the year 9 Italian class went to compete in the Dante Alighieri Poetry Competition at the University of Melbourne. After reciting our poems, we visited CO.AS.IT, an Italian museum, where we learnt about the Italian culture in Melbourne, and learnt interesting facts such as the Italians hiding tomato seeds in their shoes to bring to Australia. We also went to Brunetti, a famous Pasticceria, where we had a drinks and cake, as well as other shops along Lygon Street. We took photos and videos of the experience, and had loads of fun throughout the whole day. My favourite part was going to Brunetti for the first time and trying their famous cakes, learning more about Carltons Italian heritage, and exploring the shops on Lygon street.
Charlotte D, 9C
We all had a lot of fun at the Dante poem recitation and Lygon Street. At the poetry competition, we were split into groups and taken to separate rooms to perform it to a judge. It had taken so long to memorise our poems but it paid off to be able to recite them. We then went to CO.AS.IT to learn more about Italian culture in Melbourne and especially Carlton. We learnt about Italian migration to Australia and the reasons why they left Italy. We then went to Brunetti’s and learnt more about the business and enjoyed some drinks and cakes. After that, we were able to walk around Lygon Street and explore some of the different Italian shops. Overall, the whole day was really fun, and it was interesting to learn more about Italian culture in Melbourne.
Amelie E, 9C


From the 41 students who participated; 9 have been selected as Finalists; seven students in Year 9 and two students in Year 12 have been selected as finalists.

These students will need to participate in the finals which are run as a knockout round robin; students may have to recite their poem several times as part of this process.

The Year 12 students are:

  • Anna Maria D’O
  • Sienna P-Q

The Year 9 students are:

  • Maisha B
  • Astha B
  • Amelie E
  • Alessia M
  • Alana P
  • Alanah S
  • Sylvie S