Benvenuta! Benvenuto!

Welcome to the Department of Italian at Columbia University. Drawing on a distinguished history initiated in 1825 by Lorenzo Da Ponte, celebrated librettist of Mozart's operas and first teacher of Italian at Columbia University, the department is known for providing broad coverage of Italian literature and boasts a faculty that represents a diverse spectrum of interests and critical approaches.

In addition, students are able to take advantage of the rich cultural and scholarly programs sponsored by the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America. The Paterno collection, housed in Butler Library, is a unique resource for the study of Italian literature.

John Nelson

We are saddened to report that long-time faculty member, John Nelson, passed away on December 23, 2014.  He was born in Rome on October 9, 1925 and died in Naples, Florida, where he spent his last year of life.  Prof. Nelson served on the faculty from 1962 - 1989 as a Renaissance specialist in the Italian Department
of Columbia University. Besides literature and philosophy, his passion was tennis, a sport he played successfully all his life with his beloved Bruna, to whom he was married...

Job Opening: Assistant Professor of Italian - Mediterranean Studies

The Department of Italian at Columbia University announces a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor specializing in Mediterranean Studies post-1700, to begin July 1, 2015. Screening of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled. We welcome applications from scholars whose formal training is in Italian literature, history, anthropology, or a related interdisciplinary field. Beyond teaching in the field of specialization, the successful...


Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 8:00pm to 10:00pm
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Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 8:00pm to 10:00pm
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Monday, March 30, 2015 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
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Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
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Italian language classes have seen record high demand in recent years. Our courses have limited enrollments and strict attendance policies. Registration will begin in April 2014 for continuing undergraduate students. Undergraduate degree candidates receive priority enrollment in sections. Please note carefully the section you wish to enroll in, and follow the registration procedures of your particular school. An additional registration period runs from June through August 2014. Classes start Tuesday, September 2, 2014. Although the University's Change of Program period runs until September 12, 2014, the Department of Italian will require all registration for language classes to be concluded by Monday, September 8, 2014. No new registration for Italian language classes will be permitted after Monday, September 8, 2014. Additionally no change of section will be permitted after that date. Any issues about enrollment after that point must be brought to the attention of the Department.

Attendance in language classes is mandatory. Students are advised to secure their space in the section for which they have registered; students are advised against "shopping around." Students are strongly advised to select the appropriate section early, attend that section and make a commitment to it. Additionally, swaps between students in different sections will not be honored by the Department. Failure to attend half the meetings of a section during the period Tuesday, September 2 - Monday, September 8, 2014 will jeopardize your grade and/or your enrollment status. Attendance at the first class meeting is mandatory. A student who is registered for one section but attends another cannot be guaranteed a spot on the roster of the desired section, and, given two absences, risks being dropped from the section in which that student is enrolled.

If  you are enrolling for a class higher than Elementary I, and are not continuing form another Columbia University Italian course in the previous semester, you are required to take the placement test.

Barnard students, please monitor your Registrar's website for updated information on Fall 2014 registration procedures.

If you are unable to register for a course because it is full please contact