Italian Studies

How many times have you heard “She is so smart—she's fluent in Italian” or “Japanese” or “German”? The ability to speak, read, and understand more than one language is a sign of intelligence and a good education. In today’s world, it is also an ingredient for success, and Italian is an important language to learn.

When you hear the word “Italy,” you probably think about the country’s art, music, literature, history—and food. You may not realize that Italy now has one of the top ten economies in the world and is also a leader in modern design, fashion, manufacturing, and engineering. Moreover, in the third millennium, Italy is regaining its position as the crossroads of Mediterranean cultures and is quickly becoming a multicultural nation.

Learning Italian will give you access to all of this and more, because at Mount Holyoke we not only teach you a language, we teach you a whole culture. We are a small group of dedicated and creative teachers; we keep our courses small and try to create a warm, supportive community that welcomes all students interested in Italian culture.

We offer both a major and a minor in Italian and participate actively in Mount Holyoke’s Romance languages and European studies programs. We encourage our students to attend programs in Italy (usually in their junior year).

Italian professor Ombretta Frau.
Italian professor Ombretta Frau.