Grand Canal in Venice, Italy.


The fourth most studied in the world, Italian is one of the official languages of the European Union, as well as the language of great writers such as Dante and Machiavelli, artistic geniuses like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, exceptional musicians such as Giuseppe Verdi, and world-renowned film directors like Federico Fellini.

Italy is not only its glorious past. This beautiful country is as vibrant and relevant today as it ever was: a nation celebrated worldwide for its rich cultural heritage, its accomplishments in fashion, gourmet cuisine and design, and for its state-of-the-art architecture and automotive industry.


The RLL Italian program—the only Italian program offering both a major and a minor in the Western NY area—fosters a dynamic environment that allows students to enrich their worldview. Undergraduate students may fulfill the UB Curriculum Global Pathway: Language and Culture Track in Italian by starting at their current level of proficiency, from introductory to advanced intermediate (course names begin with ITA), and taking nine credit hours.

The program offers a wide variety of language classes, from elementary to advanced. Our content classes range from Dante’s Divine Comedy to the Renaissance, and from 18th century novels to the 20th century and contemporary authors. Our commitment to an interdisciplinary perspective is reflected in the opportunity to explore Italy and its culture through literature, films, works of art and history and cultural studies. Students take part in a variety of events focused on Italian culture, such as a conversation club, film screenings, seminars on Italian food, art and music, and academic symposia.

Did You Know?

Italian can open the door to numerous career fields, including academics, travel and tourism, business and import/ export, arts management and conservation, translation, interpretation and linguistics, fashion, engineering, international affairs, politics and law.

Italian Literature and Culture Faculty