Academic Programs

Benvenuti e bentornati alla Scuola Italiana!

       The 2018 session of the Scuola Italiana will be held again at Mills College in California and the program’s commitment to high academic standards and to offering a wide range of challenging courses continue.

       This summer the Italian School will offer many new courses, performances, trips, workshops and the unique opportunity to meet distinguished artists and writers.

       We will also offer concerts by Cosimo Colazzo, two recitals by Soprano Patrizia Zanardi, and many other cultural and academic events.  

       A special feature, besides the conversation sessions, will be a six-week diction workshop for all of the language classes with Emlio Ceruti. The program will also offer evening workshops to develop an appreciation of the language and its culture. For all students in the language courses we will offer a theatrical workshop conducted by Giulia Tellini, which will be opened to both students and faculty. The special theatrical workshop is designed to help undergraduates improve their diction while learning new idiomatic expressions outside of the traditional classroom setting. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the biweekly club meetings on various Italian cultural topics. Our language courses are based on new, updated lessons, involving language activities and interactive exercises, with a broad variety of original lesson plans that include class participations, writing and reading.

       We also offer a unique revised fourth level to prepare students for the graduate program. This course is an introduction to Italian literary texts illustrating the cultural and socio-political history of Italy. Students will acquire knowledge of how Italian literary texts reflect in a profound way Italy’s social, cultural, economic and political history.

       This summer the courses designed for new students in the Master's Program offer a broad view of Italian culture and literature. For returning students, we have maintained high standards and a wide variety of courses on linguistic, music, cinema, pedagogy, and literature. We have also added new courses on the culture, and civilization of Italy in order to give graduate students, the possibility to specialize in Italian Studies at the graduate level, a unique opportunity in the United States and in the world.

       Our program offers six different specializations in Italian and one in Italian-American Studies. Students may enroll in the Master or the DML programs and pursue a specialization of their choice, working with some of the leading specialists in the field and choosing courses specially designed for these various specializations.

       We offer a course sequence in in all the specializations and many of our courses fulfill more than one concentration. Our program also offers the unique opportunity to work with artists, scholars, writers, musicians, and specialists in their fields who can offer students different approaches and firsthand experience. Few colleges and universities in North America offer such intellectual diversity in academic programming for Italian Studies, Pedagogy, Linguistics, Globalization, Cinematography, Methodology, in addition to courses on Italian composers, and numerous workshops conducted by world renowned artists Patrizia Zanardi and Cosimo Colazzo, writers Carmine Abate and Mavie Parisi and world renowned mafia specialist as Antonio Nicaso.

        This summer we will have a new course in Mediterranean Studies which can also be chosen for the literature and culture requirement. In addition, we have new courses on Italian American Studies, one of the specializations offered for the Master Program.

       At the graduate level, a new core course (IT 6503 Written and Spoken Italian) will teach grammar and stylistics, emphasizing culture, writing and reading comprehension. Advanced culture and civilization courses, as well as graduate literature courses, will focus on a wide range of topics through various periods of Italian civilization: Commedia all’Italiana, Multicultural and Interfaith Dialogue in the Mediterranean: The Situation in Italy, Modern and Contemporary Italian Literature and Culture, Languages and Dialects of Italy, Verdi: Opera of the 19th Century, Made in Italy: Cuisine, Fashion and Design, The Revolution of Renaissance: the Foundation of Modern Art and Science, Vocal Techniques Italian Opera, A Rereading od the Unification of Italy, Italian Novels of the 18th and the Early 19th Century, and The Mediterranean Signature of Dante’s Commedia. A pedagogy course, including a practicum, will be dedicated to the use of technology in the classroom and methodology for second language instruction. The school is proud to announce that Carmine Abate and Mavie Parisi will be our artists in residence and Cataldo Perri, known for his personalized and virtuosic style of playing the "chitarra battente," a traditional Calabrian folk technique of guitar playing.

       The School will also offer weekly meetings with our Chef Angelo who will lead students thorough a culinary trip across the Italian peninsula to discover the rich variety of the Italian diet. We will also have workshops on Italian wines to better understand the role that wine has played through the centuries in shaping Italian culture. Both students and faculty will benefit greatly from the many contributions that all the instructors and students will bring to the cultural life of the Italian School during their stay at Mills.

       What makes the Middlebury experience so unique is its long-standing observance of the Language Pledge, a written commitment made by each student to exclusively use the Italian language for the duration of the summer session. In spite of the considerable demand this formal pledge places on all, generations of students consider it a most valid and effective learning tool. Adherence to this rule is, therefore, strictly enforced at all times.

       To conclude I would like to emphasize that the success of the summer session is largely due to the fact that students and faculty live under the same roof and take part in all of the cultural and social activities sponsored by the School: film screenings, lectures, concerts, plays, dinners, parties, club meetings and workshops. All of this contributes to creating a cordial and collegial atmosphere that promotes language acquisition and academic success and is unlikely to be duplicated elsewhere.

       Over the course of the summer we will take advantage of Italian-American cultural sites, stores and museums located in nearby San Francisco. Visits to the following sites will be organized:  

Visit to Little Italy in SF

Visit to two wineries in Sonoma Valley

Trip to Muir Woods

Visit to the Murals in the Mission District

We will attend Italian Opera productions in SF

       With such an ample variety of academic offerings and cultural and social activities planned, I am confident that the 2018 summer school will be a memorable learning experience for all students and professors. I count on all of us to do our best to make this a most successful and fruitful period of study at Mills.

Spero di avere il piacere di avervi con noi.

A questa estate dunque! Non dimenticate di sfruttare al massimo ogni evento e di parlare sempre e soltanto in italiano!

For more information on the summer program and the courses, contact the Director at

Mille grazie e a presto,

Antonio Vitti


All students who enroll in the Italian School for the summer 2018 session will study at our West Coast site at Mills College, in Oakland, California. Application and financial aid processes are identical to those for the Middlebury campus.  For more information on Middlebury at Mills, please click here.

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The Italian School

Sunderland Language Center
Middlebury College
P: 802.443.5874
F: 802.443.2075

Mailing address
Italian School
14 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT  05753

Joe Tamagni, Coordinator