Introduction to Italian Studies

Academic year
Subject Area
Italian Culture
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

Classes follow a theoretical-practical standard recurring whenever necessary to the reading, analysis and comment of texts from the literary works inserted in the main bibliography or from other titles considered relevant to the teaching of the items belonging to the program. Some sessions are also foreseen to direct students when they are involved in the composition of written essays, to discuss the theme, structure and, of course, their development. Besides, a weekly timetable is also foreseen to attend students, so that they can present and clarify their doubts.

Learning Outcomes

After a small introduction to contemporary Italy, as well of the Italian cultural and literary periods and movements, this course is planned to study one of its most important historical period, fundamental for the understanding of today reality. Often, references are made to artistic manifestations, as well to literary works of the considered period.

Work Placement(s)



After the introduction of the Italian Peninsula, by its geographical, political and linguistic description, through its regions and their specificities, the periodization of Italian culture and literature is delineated schematically, showing its different periods and movements, as well its most relevant features. Then, preference is given to the decline of the Middle Ages, through the characterization of medieval society, the formation of the urban bourgeoisie and the world of merchants, as well the constitution of municipalities and the subsequent cultural flowering. In this context are mentioned yet the struggles between the Empire and Papacy, and between Guelphs and Ghibellines. Out of the cultural view of the time, it is pointed out the establishment of universities, the assertion of the vernacular, highlighting works as the “Commedia” of Dante, and “Decameron”, by Boccaccio. Finally, it is introduced the dawn of the Renaissance humanism, stressing the crucial role of Petrarca.

Head Lecturer(s)

Manuel Simplício Geraldo Ferro

Assessment Methods

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%


Alighieri, D. (2017). De Vulgari Eloquentia. Milano: Mondadori.

Alighieri, D. (2006). A Divina Comedia. Trad. V. G. Moura. Lisboa: Bertrand.

Boccaccio, G. (2014). Decameron. Torino: Einaudi [Trad. Urbano Tavares Rodrigues. Lisboa: Relógio d’Água.

Ceserani, R.; De Federicis, L. (1981). ll Materiale e l'Immaginario. La Società Urbana. Torino: Loescher.

D’Assisi, S. F. (1995). Gli scritti e la Legenda. Roma: Salerno [Trad. Thaddée Matura. Escritos. Editorial Franciscana].

D’Assisi, S. F. (2009). I Fioretti. Milano: San Paolo Edizioni [Trad. M. F. Gonçalves de Azevedo. Florilégio. Estampa].

D’Assisi, S. F. (2014). Il Cantico di frate Sole. Arezzo: Helicon.

Petrarca, F. (2004). Canzoniere. Roma: Donizelli [Trad. V. G. Moura. As Rimas. Quetzal].

Polo, M. (2019). Il Milione. Milano: Mondadori [Trad. A. Osório]. As Viagens. Lisboa: Assírio & Alvim.