May 18, 2024

The Italian American community in Washington DC mourns the passing of Cavaliere Ida Arcorace Dunham, who as founder of Allegro Tours built hundreds of bridges across the Atlantic to her native Calabria, her beloved hometown of Roccella Jonica, and all over Italy through musical and cultural programs — customized music, choral and orchestral tours for students of all ages, as well as art and culture tours and much more.

“Music, art and Italy have been the three great passions of my life,” she once said, a passion she demonstrated throughout her long career. Ida was a unique personality and a great judge of character, who shared her views freely. During her time here in Washington, DC., she often reminded us that those of us who promote Italy should place the interests of the community above our own interests and those of friends and acquaintances. Ida not only talked the talk, she also walked the walk. We will miss her.

The following obituary was published in the Washington Post:
Ida Arcorace Dunham (Age 76) died in her Washington, DC home on Wednesday May 26, 2021 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. She was a proud native of Roccella Jonica, Calabria, Italy who upon graduating from Liceo Scientifico ln Locri, ca1-abria, Italy, moved to MiIan to study law at the Universita degli Studl di Milano. While on a weekend getaway to the Italian Riviera in 1964, she met her future husband and the love of her life, Navy Ensign Royal Dunham, t: a discotheque in San Remo . After a few months of correspondence, they reunited In Naples, Italy to celebrate his promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade. They married In Milan the following year and the couple moved to Brooklyn, New York where they had two children, Giuliana and Christian.

While living in  New York Ida dedicated herself to mastering English, worked at Banca Commerciale Italiana and was a homemaker. In 1972 the family relocated to McLean, Virginia where Ida worked for the Italian Government In its nuclear regulatory office. In 1980 the family moved to Brookline, Massachusetts where Ida began a long career In the travel industry culminating In her opening Allegro Tours. Inc. In 2000, which specialized in customized group tours to Italy. She was especially proud of having Introduced hundreds of American tourists to the lesser-frequented region of Calabria, and, In particular, her native Ionian coast.
Although she resided In the United States, Ida remained politically and socially active in her beloved hometown of Roccella Jonica as well as In the Italian expatriate communities in New York, Boston and Washington, DC. While in Boston she was bestowed with the title of Cavaliere of the Italian Republic and was also elected the first president of the newly established chapter of Comites, the elected body dedicated to representing Italians living abroad.
Loyal, Intelligent, passionate, generous and loving, she Is survived bv her husband, Royal Dunham; daughter, Giuliana Dunham lrving (husband Michael lrving; son, Christian Dunham (wife Deirdre Dunham); granddaughters, Stella Dunham, Michela Irving, Sadie Dunham and Cora Dunham; and siblings, Pino Arcorace, Carolina Gallelli, Marisa Albergati and Rosalba Maccio.