From antiquity well beyond the Renaissance, the Italian peninsula was widely considered to be at the center of Western culture. Now, in the 21st century, Italy continues to influence our understanding of the human experience thanks to a tradition of prolific cultural production and intellectual thought.
The first class in Italian at UW-Madison was offered in the 1850s, and Italian language courses became a regular part of UW-Madison curriculum in academic year 1887-88. Italian at UW-Madison remains one of the oldest and most important Italian programs in the world.
UW-Madison students of Italian develop their proficiency in the language while discovering the region's history, literature, art, architecture and film in one of the largest and most successful Italian programs in the US. Italian faculty are worldly-renowned experts in literature, culture, history, film, and art, from the Middle Ages to the present. A combination of dynamic course offerings, on-campus immersion opportunities, study abroad and a variety of outreach events in Madison make the study of Italian a constantly evolving and enriching experience.