Majoring in Italian Studies


As an Italian studies major, you go beyond standard impressions of Italy and explore the country's vital role in the transnational development of culture. You study language and culture in introductory courses, and in more advanced courses learn to use criticism and theory to explore literature, film and history. Our goal is to sharpen your critical appreciation of Italy and also your own native culture -- and to prepare you for a career in an increasingly global landscape. We encourage you to think broadly and pursue independent studies. Recent students have gone abroad to research a variety of issues, including the emergence of feminist centers in Italy and how China's expanding market is threatening the stability of the Italian fashion industry. Other students have secured internships in Italy to study such topics as the promotion of alternative energy in Italy.

International opportunities and study abroad

We encourage you to spend either a semester or a year in Venice, Bologna, Florence, Siena, Perugia, Rome or Palermo. You might also travel abroad with classmates and Connecticut College professors for a semester in Italy through the College's Study Away Teach Away program.

Special opportunities

We want you to follow your passions. Students have combined Italian studies with interests in film, art, art history, architecture, fashion, design, literature, music, international politics, economics, history, sociology, gender studies, religion and anthropology. You can also pursue a certificate from the College's interdisciplinary Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts or our museum studies program.

What can you do with a majorcertificate in Italian Studies?

Here are some of the positions our graduates have gone on to hold:

  • Vice President for Global Communications, Assouline Publishing Inc.
  • International Marketing Associate, CAS Medical Systems Inc.
  • Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher, Scuola Steineriana M. Garagnani
  • Press Officer, Camron PR
  • Purchasing Analyst, Pratt & Whitney
  • Appraiser, Assouline Publishing Inc.
  • Attorney, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
  • Teacher, Trevor Day School
  • Visual Operations Manager, Prada USA
  • Buyer, Nine West Turkey
  • Scout for European Market, Cantaloupe Systems
  • Recruitment Manager for Asia Pacific, Oliver Wyman
  • Architect, Miller Hull Partnership
  • Group Sales Assistant, Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Asset Management, WOOD & Co. Financial Services, a.s.
  • Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Kansas
  • Student Administrator, Umbria Institute in Perugia
  • Pastry Sous Chef, Bolo Restaurant & Bar
  • Associate Creative Director, HarperCollins
  • Director of International Sales, Michael Aram Inc.


Frida Morelli, Lecturer in Italian Frida Morelli, Lecturer in Italian

Frida Morelli, Lecturer in Italian
Linguistics • Italian language • Translation

Robert E. Proctor, Joanne Toor Cummings '50 Professor of Italian Robert E. Proctor, Joanne Toor Cummings '50 Professor of Italian

Robert E. Proctor, Joanne Toor Cummings '50 Professor of Italian
Petrarch • Italian Renaissance humanism • History of the humanities • History of the liberal arts • Italian language and culture

Paola Sica, Associate Professor of Italian, Chair of the Italian Studies Department 2014-2015 Paola Sica, Associate Professor of Italian, Chair of the Italian Studies Department 2014-2015

Paola Sica, Associate Professor of Italian, Chair of the Italian Studies Department 2014-2015
Italian culture in comparative context (especially literary and visual representations from late 19th century through the contemporary era, with emphasis on modernism and avant garde) • Gender studies • Critical theory • Translation and transculturation • Language pedagogy

Student profile

Starla Coffee Starla Coffee

Italian studies, German studies

Q: Why Connecticut College?
A: I liked that I could explore a variety of disciplines before committing to any one area of study. I also liked the idea of a broad and global education, made possible by multiple international programs. And I wanted a more specialized, personalized education, so I appreciated the low student-faculty ratio and the faculty's genuine interest in students.

Q: Will you study abroad?
A: I will be going abroad my entire junior year. As an Italian studies and German studies double major, I'll spend the fall in Perugia and the spring in Baden-Württemberg.

Q: What role has CELS, the College's career development and internship program, played for you?
A: My CELS counselor has helped me recognize and explore the opportunities available to me. I have an unlimited number of paths – applying to Fulbright scholarship programs, finding work or pursuing graduate studies.

Selected courses

  • Intermediate Italian
  • Adesso Scriviamo! Writing in Italian
  • Contemporary Italian Literature and Film
  • Attualità in Italia: Conversazione
  • Modernisms and Modernity
  • The Renaissance in Italy
  • Dante
  • The Cities of Italy: Rome, Florence, and Venice
  • The Late Renaissance: Art, Science, and Religion


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