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 Italian Club is always looking for new leadership.  Please contact your Italian professor if you are interested.


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


February 21
event 2/21/2019

Yoga in Italiano

Booth Ferris South

Stretch and relax in Italian Please bring a yoga mat or a towel  

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February 27
event 2/27/2019

Patriots and Jews. Navigating the Challenges of Equality and...

Life Science 142 Bonchek Lecture Hall

Carlotta Ferrara degli Uberti,  University College London

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March 05
event 3/5/2019

Italian Coffee Hour

Writers House Reading Room

Join us for a fun conversation, games, coffee and sweets. Everyone's welcome.  

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Story 2/4/2019

The New Italy and the Jews: a new faculty publication.

Professor Scott Lerner has recently published The New Italy and the Jews: From Massimo D’Azeglio to Primo Levi 

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Story 11/9/2018

Italian hip hop artist visits F&M for classes and concert

Amir Issaa, Italian hip hop artist, activist, and educator, visited F&M for a series of class visits and conversations with students of Italian and an interactive rap concert on November 6, 2018.

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Story 10/28/2018

Taylor Long '19: Volunteering in Italy thanks to a Summer...

Thanks to a Summer Travel Award and the generosity of the Burnett Family, Taylor Long '19 was able to spend several weeks in Italy volunteering with local youth and working on her Italian. 

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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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