Italian Literature: an Introduction II A

Academic year: 2023-24
Course: Foundation Course Humanities
Credits: 3
Period: second semester

Number of hours: 24

Teacher: Fiammetta Di Lorenzo (

Language of instruction: English

Learning outcomes


This course aims to provide an introduction and a broad overview of the Italian literature and culture from the 18th to the 19th century. From the Enlightenment on, we will focus on the role that literature played in the formation of a new Italian national identity. The analysis of texts from authors such as Foscolo, Leopardi, Manzoni, Nievo, and Verga, will also improve students’ knowledge of different literary genres (theatre, poetry, novel, novella).

Assessment criteria of knowledge

Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the course topics in a final oral discussion.


Students will be able to analyze literary and cultural objects in connection with the Italian nation-building process.  

Assessment criteria of skills

Throughout the course, students will have to discuss texts and literary topics both in written comments and in class meetings.


Students are expected to actively read all assigned readings before each lesson, and to contribute meaningfully to classroom discussions. While attendance is necessary to obtain a good class grade, presence alone does not constitute participation.


No prerequisites are required for this course.


  1. Introduction: What is Enlightenment?
  2. Goldoni and the Reform of Theatre

Italy as an Imagined Community:

  • Foscolo. Selected readings.
  • Leopardi. Selected readings.
  • Manzoni’s The Betrothed
  • Manzoni’s The Betrothed
  • Manzoni’s The Betrothed
  • The Age of Disillusionment: Verga’s Liberty
  • Making the Italians: De Amicis’ Cuore and Collodi’s Pinocchio


Peter Brand, Lino Pertile, The Cambridge History of the Italian Literature, Cambridge, CUP, 1999.

All other readings will be available in digital version on MS Teams

Assessment methods

Attendance and Participation            25 %

Final exam                                          75 %

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