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.
Outside the classroom
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.
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
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.Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
“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...Read More
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.Read More
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...Read More