Italian Language and Culture
For many centuries, the Italian of Dante, Petrarca and Boccacio held together a country that was otherwise fragmented into many states of varying sizes, from the republic of Venice to the kingdom of Naples. Each state had its own government, culture and dialect, a differentiation which, to some extent, still exists today, and can be observed in the many differences between North and South Italy. Following the zenith of Humanism and the Renaissance, Italian literature entered another blossoming period in the course of the nineteenth century. A blossoming which continues still, as reflected in the many translations of recent Italian literary works into Dutch.
The Bachelor’s Programme
Studying Italian in Leiden implies total submersion into the language, literature and culture of Italy. In the course of the first year, students are introduced to the four major tracks of the programme: literature, sociology, linguistics (language history and language structure) and language proficiency. The focus in the first year is mainly on language proficiency, i.e. learning both to speak and to write in Italian. In the second and third year, students are free to specialise in one of the four areas of study.
The Leiden programme also includes a compulsory six-month stay at an Italian university, which is the best way to bring students into direct contact with the country and its inhabitants.
See for more information the department website (in Dutch) or the timetables (partly in English)
Following the basic programme, the Italian Language and Culture programme can be combined with one of the 'practical studies' or PraktijkStudies (International Management & Culture, European Union Studies, Journalism and the New Media, Book and Publishing or the Educational minor) or with other options and, possibly, an internship.