In 1949 Countess Lillian Dandini, Mrs. Dobbins D’Anneo and Mrs. Louis Piccirillo had several conversations about the desirability of forming a non-profit, not-political organization to promote a broader and deeper understanding and appreciation of Italian contributions to art, literature and culture. It was their hope that these objectives might be achieved through the presentation of lectures, concerts, exhibits, and receptions honoring distinguished persons.
The first formal event was held on May 9, 1951, when the Society sent out invitations to members and potential members to view an exhibit of Italian handicrafts at the De Young Museum. This was followed on July 22, 1951 with a concert at the De Young, which presented the Minetti Student Symphony Orchestra, directed by Giulio Minetti.
Thus began a distinguished history of a unique organization. Many wonderful events have been presented over the years, generally on a monthly basis.
The Society was incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of California on July 25, 1951. Several years later, the Society was granted 501 (c)(3) status as a charitable and educational organization under the Internal Revenue Code, thereby achieving income tax deductibility for all contributions to the Society.