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. Scott 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!

Read More

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.

Learn More

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.  

Apply Now

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 Scott Lerner.


News and Events

September 30
event 9/30/2020

Great Books and Pandemics

Virtual Event

There is a wealth of literature chronicling pandemics of years past, and across cultures. Join us...

Read More
October 01
event 10/1/2020

Faculty Lecture by Prof. Stefania Benini, "Italian Women...

Virtual Event

Until a few years ago, the number of Italian women filmmakers counted only a few names, almost...

Read More
October 15
event 10/15/2020

Federico Fellini at 100 - Film Retrospective

Virtual Event

Federico Fellini, Amarcord, Italy 1973, 123 mins This carnivalesque portrait of...

Read More
November 12
event 11/12/2020

Federico Fellini at 100 - Film Retrospective

Virtual Event

Federico Fellini, 8 1/2, Italy 1963, 139 mins. Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido...

Read More
November 18
event 11/18/2020

Italian Book Club - Clash of Civilizations for an Elevator...

Virtual Event

The Department of Italian Studies and Hebrew proposes a book reading group, open to all students of...

Read More
Story 7/28/2020

Scholarly Spotlight - Languages

 Scholarly Spotlight features the work of faculty on a regular basis. Here’s a sampling of recent publications by members of several languages departments.

Read More
Story 7/1/2019

Franklin Research Grant allows Professor Mackenzie to...

Professor Mackenzie writes from Italy about her research and plans to bring it back into the F&M classroom.  

Read More
Story 5/1/2019

Alumni Profile: Brandon Federici '18

Letter from Fossombrone

Read More
Story 4/23/2019

Congratulations to the Class of 2019

Congratulations to the members of the class of 2019 who completed a minor or a joint major in Italian! Here are their stories...

Read More
Story 4/12/2019

Senior Spotlight: Marie Frazer '19 on Studying Abroad in...

After three years of Italian coursework on campus, Marie was well prepared for the challenge of taking courses alongside Italian students at the University of Padova and living with an Italian host...

Read More
Story 3/19/2019

Mystery Uncovered in NEH Research on Modern Italy and Jews

His research on the experience of Italian Jews as a way of understanding Italian modernization in the 19th century took him from Florence in the Tuscan region to Rome and the Holy See’s secret...

Read More
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 

Read More
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.

Read More