Explore the world through the lens of Italy

Few cultures can match the historic, artistic, and religious significance of Italy. For centuries, it was the veritable centerpiece of European civilization. Its language, cuisine, arts, and music have inspired thousands of cultures around the world.

Students who choose to study Italian at Franklin and Marshall immerse themselves in the rich humanistic tradition of Italian culture and reflect critically on Italy’s unique position in global society. Those who earn a major or minor in Italian attain proficiency in the language while gaining a solid knowledge of Italy’s contributions to literature, cinema, the arts, and politics. 

We feature small classes with a friendly, interactive atmosphere. Each semester there are many opportunities for socializing and gathering outside of class, including lectures, informal conversation hours, dinners, receptions, picnics and films.

Students have several opportunities to travel to Italy for study abroad, internships, or other applied language opportunities. Pre-approved study abroad programs are available in locations throughout Italy.  In addition, the Department offers its own faculty-led intensive language summer program in Tuscany.

In recent years, student research projects abroad have included studying the lifestyle of local fishermen in a picturesque coastal town, feminist reactions to Berlusconi’s two-decade political power, and examining the influence of patron saints on the personalities of Italian towns and villages.

Recent graduates of the Department have pursued careers in education and research, government and diplomatic service, music and art, travel and tourism.

Scheduling an Italian Language Placement Exam

The language placement exam allows us to determine your level of competency for your language courses. To schedule a placement exam, contact Prof. Giovanna Faleschini Lerner.


Study Abroad


F&M in Italy

F&M's Italian Summer Program in Vicchio del Mugello, Tuscany, offers six weeks of  full-immersion, intensive language-learning experience.   Next offered in summer 2019!

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Study Abroad in Italy

We encourage students to study abroad and to experience Italian culture and language first hand.  The point of departure should always be a conversation with an Italian professor about the program that best fits a student's interests.

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Summer Travel Award

Each year, the Department of Italian grants one Summer Travel Award to a sophomore who has declared an Italian minor and wants to pursue research or other learning opportunities in Italy.  

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Outside the classroom 

Italian Club 

The student-run Italian Club organizes cultural activities in association with the Italian Department. Traditional activities include film screenings, Sunday dinners, a Bocce tournament and International Women's Day.  Join the Italian Club on Facebook.


Like our Facebook Page to receive updates about news and events in the department.

GKA National Italian Honor Society

Franklin & Marshall hosts a chapter of Gamma Kappa Alpha, the National Italian Honor Society.  

The purpose of GKA is to acknowledge superior academic performance in the field of Italian language, literature and culture.

Each year, outstanding students of Italian are invited to become member of the Society during an induction ceremony held on campus.  Criteria for membership conform to the standards of the national organization.

For more information, contact Professor Giovanna Faleschini Lerner.


News and Events


November 06
event 11/6/2018

Amir Issaa Hip Hop Concert

Other Room Theater

"For This I Live" Amir Issaa in Concert 7-8:30pm The Other Room Theater 715 N. Pine St,...

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November 12
event 11/12/2018

Italian Coffee Hour

Writers House Reading Room

Italian Coffee Hour Food and conversation in Italian Everyone's welcome!  

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December 05
event 12/5/2018

The Tale of Tales

Stager 102 Stahr Auditorium

Tale of Tales (Italy, France, UK, dir. Matteo Garrone, 2015) What happens when desire becomes...

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January 30
event 1/30/2019

They Call me Jeeg

Stager 102 Stahr Auditorium

Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot (They Called Me Jeeg, Italy, dir. Gabriele Mainetti, 2015)  Enzo, an ex...

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Story 8/28/2018

Amelia Stargiotti '20: Exploring Italy and its Classical...

Thanks to the Italian Studies Summer Study Award, Italian minor Amelia Stargiotti '20 was able to combine her interests in Classics and Italian through a summer of study and research in Italy.

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Story 8/24/2018

Charlotte McAdams '20: Letter from Italy

This summer, Charlotte volunteered in Milan through Voluntaritaly for three weeks and worked in a farm in Umbria for a month. She is now preparing to spend a semester in India and one in the UK.

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Story 5/22/2018

Maya Hamilton '18 wins SITE fellowship to Italy for 2018-19

I have been on an incredible journey with the Italian department at F&M. My decision to pursue the study of Italian has changed my life and educational experience for the better. The support and...

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Story 5/22/2018

Graduate Spotlight: Brandon Federici '18: A Basketball Star...

Coming into college I always knew I wanted to study Italian to better my knowledge of the language and culture, as well as get to know my own heritage. My joint major in BOS and Italian allowed me to...

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Story 2/20/2018

Molto Bene! Italian Becomes A Major at F&M

After more than 50 years of just offering a minor in the language, F&M will provide a stronger connection to Italy’s language, culture and history with the introduction of a major in Italian starting...

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Story 10/6/2017

Mapping Italian Narratives

Professor Arianna Fognani brings her scholarship into the classroom by involving students in digital mapping and research. In Spring 2017, Professor Fognani developed a new interdisciplinary course...

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Story 3/2/2017

Freedom Without Borders and Other Events from Africa...

Abdellah Taïa, perhaps one of the only openly gay Moroccan writers and filmmakers, visits F&M this spring as  part of Africa Worldwide, a series of lectures, films, exhibits and student-led...

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Story 10/21/2016

Documentarian Looks at a Century of Italian Films Featuring...

“Salambô,” an Italian film made in 1914, starred Domenic Gaido, the first Italian black actor whose story director Fred Kudjo Kuwornu tells in his new documentary, “Blaxploitalian,” which screens Oct...

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Story 9/22/2016

Travel Award Takes Student to Italian Renaissance City

A departmental Summer Travel Award allows Preman Koshar '18, a Joint Major, to travel to Urbino, Italy for an immersion language program.  Here are his reflections on his experience.

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Story 9/20/2016

Lin Jaldati: Art is My Weapon

Jewlia Eisenberg and David Shneer               In 1934, at 22 years of age and one year after Hitler came to power in Nazi Germany, Lin Jaldati, the stage name for Rebekka Brilleslijper, gave her...

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Story 8/31/2016

Africana Studies Examines the Continent's Influence on the...

From an exhibit on North African women writers to a lecture on American Muslims to a film on "Blaxploitation" in Italian cinema, F&M's Africana Studies Program has organized a series of events for...

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