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CODE 61321
SEMESTER 2° Semester


The course deals with Italian literature and culture and is reserved for foreign students, i.e. those who have not obtained a high school diploma in Italy. The course is part of the basic training activities of the Modern Languages and Cultures course of study and gives 9 CFU, corresponding to 54 hours of classroom teaching activity. The course aims to provide students with a knowledge of modern and contemporary Italian culture by means of in-class reading and analysis of texts in prose and verse by Italy's most significant writers, on which linguistic and lexical analysis will be carried out. 



This course is aimed at giving non-mother tongue Italian students with at least a sufficient command of Italian an introduction to Italian Literature and Culture (art, music, theatre) and to their own historical/geographical backgrounds.


The course aims to enable foreign students to acquire a level of linguistic competence comparable to B2 (with particular attention to vocaboulary, grammatical and syntactical structures) through the knowledge of literary texts documenting the most significant aspects in the development of Italian society and customs. At the end of the course the student will be able to:

  • Communicate in the Italian language with a competence comparable to B2, expounding and discussing the topics covered in written and oral form with clarity and propriety of language;
  • Orient themselves within the developmental framework of Italian literature;
  • Interpret and comment on an Italian literary text, placing it in its historical context and using the appropriate formal tools.


A knowledge of the initial language (i.e. at the time the course starts) of at least CEFR level A2 is required for access to the course.

The course has a monitored frequency. Those who have not attended at least 50% of the lessons must contact the teacher ( in due time to agree on a programme for non-attenders. Only foreign students who have not obtained a higher education qualification in Italy may enrol in this course.


The course includes lectures supported by multimedia tools and materials. During the lectures, there will be guided readings of literary excerpts and in-depth discussions on the cultural context of the presented works. Some lessons will be dedicated to reviewing and strengthening language skills. The instructor will make available to students all slides and materials used in class (and, if necessary, other supplementary or supportive study materials).

Attendance is not mandatory but is highly recommended. Students will actively participate in classwork, and intermediate exercises are planned during the lessons. Students will be encouraged to present, in groups, other cases of cinematic adaptations of important novels selected in consultation with the instructor. Students who cannot attend at least 50% of the lessons (i.e., at least 27 out of 54 hours of classroom teaching) must contact the instructor ( to arrange an alternative examination program. During the first lessons, the course syllabus, the schedule of exercises, and the examination regulations will be presented. Therefore, the first lessons are particularly important, and all students are invited to attend.


From Page to Screen: Italian Literature in Cinema

During the course, we will analyze some works of Italian literature from the 14th to the 20th century and their film adaptations, examining both the original texts and the films to understand their different narrative methods and cultural contexts.

We will focus particularly on Giovanni Boccaccio's "Decameron," Giovan Battista Basile's "Lo Cunto de li Cunti," Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's "Il Gattopardo," and Leonardo Sciascia's "Il giorno della civetta," along with their significant cinematic adaptations by directors such as Pasolini, Garrone, Visconti, and Damiani.

Students will be encouraged to present, in groups, other cases of cinematic reworking of important novels selected in consultation with the teacher. During the lessons, students will be invited to actively participate in the analysis of excerpts, drawing from their own literary background and demonstrating knowledge and use of the main tools of literary analysis. Some lessons will be dedicated to language enhancement, with intermediate exercises. All materials will be uploaded to Aulaweb.


The readings will be primarily drawn from:

  • Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron, edited by Amedeo Quondam, Maurizio Fiorilla, and Giancarlo Alfano, Milano, BUR-Rizzoli, 2013
  • Giovan Battista Basile, Lo cunto de li cunti, edited by Carolina Stromboli, 2 vols., Roma, Salerno, 2013
  • Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Il Gattopardo, Milano, Feltrinelli
  • Leonardo Sciascia, Il giorno della civetta, Milano, Adelphi

Texts and handouts provided by the instructor will be available to all on Aulaweb. Non-attending students are invited to contact the teacher ( to arrange the syllabus and exam bibliography.


Exam Board




February 2025



For students who have attended at least 50% of the classes, the exam consists of an oral interview based on the material covered in class. The final grade will take into account the evaluations of the exercises carried out during the year and the possible presentation of a case of the cinematic adaptation of an Italian literary work. For non-attending students, the exam consists of an oral interview based on the program agreed upon with the instructor.

There are six exam sessions each year (two for each examination period), with additional extraordinary sessions primarily for out-of-course students. To participate in the exams, students must register at least five days before the exam date on the website:


The oral examination consists of an interview on the topics included in the examination programme, and aims to assess the ability to

  • express themselves in Italian with skills comparable to level B2;
  • paraphrase and summarise a literary passage;
  • to contextualise the works studied from a historical and cultural point of view;
  • make connections and comparisons between the topics covered in the course.


Enrolment for the examination is by electronic means: enrolments sent after the deadline or via e-mail sent to the lecturer will not be accepted.

All students, whether attending or not, are requested to register for the course on AulaWeb 2022 in order to receive communications and notices concerning the course.