Please join the ASU School of International Letters and Cultures, the Institute for Humanities Research, and the Environmental Humanities Initiative for this dynamic series of discussions with four innovative Italian scholars and writers grappling with questions of culture, geography, sustainability and resilience.

Four Conversations

  • “Nutty Logic: Listening to the Hazelnuts in Pavese and Fenoglio," Prof. Enrico Cesaretti, University of Virginia: January 28, 2021 @4:30pm (Zoom) - Watch here 


  • “Venice's Natures: A Conversation with Serenella Iovino," Prof. Serenella Iovino, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: April 13, 2021 @4:30pm (Zoom).


The Italian program  will provide you with opportunities to get an insight into Italian culture and society. It will be the key to appreciating a unique historical and artistic heritage. Knowing Italian is also the first step toward knowing another Romance Language and becoming a multilingual individual in a short amount of time. What an advantage in this multicultural society!

 In the Italian program, you will study areas such as:

  • Language and culture
  • Literature
  • Business and professions
  • Pop culture
  • Italian cinema
  • Romance language mutual understanding
  • Cultural awareness prior to studying abroad

In today's global economy, the ability to communicate is key, and as more companies expand internationally, the ability to communicate in another language has become a significant advantage in the workforce. Knowing Italian is synonymous with an open and curious mind, willingness to explore another culture, good listening and communication skills, which make you a great teammate, productive, and collaborative. It is a gateway to many professional options.

Looking at the future, some career paths benefiting from the knowledge of Italian are:

  • teaching and translation;
  • marketing and business,
  • graphic design,
  • international law,
  • real estate,
  • journalism,
  • performing arts,
  • museums and tourism,
  • culinary industry, and more!

The Italian program at ASU offers major, minor and concurrent degrees in Italian language and culture. Great degree combinations are with all Liberal Arts and Science degrees, but for dynamic career options, our students have paired their Italian studies with:

  • Business,
  • Design and Arts,
  • Journalism,
  • Interdisciplinary studies,
  • Law,
  • Sustainability,
  • Education,
  • or Nursing/Health. 

Coupling our robust Italian program with another ASU field can only benefit you personally and your future career! Contact our advisors today to find out how you can learn Italian!

Juliann Vitullo
Assoc Professor, Italian

Vitullo is researching the history and culture of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle in Italy, strategies used for maintaining it in Italian communities, and possible ways to adapt to it to our local food system.

Serena Ferrando
Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities and Italian

Dr. Ferrando researches water in modern and contemporary Italian poetry and environmental and experimental noisescapes. She founded and directs the Navigli Project, an eco-digital interactive map of Milan's waterways.

Chiara Dal Martello
Principal Lecturer, MY, Italian

Italian by birth and passionate about the language and culture of her native country, Dal Martello has been teaching Italian language and culture courses at Arizona State since 1996.

Enrico Minardi
Lecturer Sr, MY, Italian

Originally from Italy, he completed his undergraduate studies in Florence, and his graduate studies in France and the US. Besides ASU, he has taught at Duke University and Truman State.

Sandra Palaich
Lecturer Sr, Italian

Palaich teaches all levels of language and culture courses in the Italian field.

Antonella Dell'Anna
Instructor, Italian

Dell’Anna has been teaching Italian at ASU since 2005. Her areas of teaching and research include teaching Italian language through literature, Italian mass media communication, and pedagogy in language teaching.

Gina Pietrantoni
Instructor, Italian

Pietrantoni is interested in the development of language and cultural proficiency and the development of instructional materials.

Christopher Livesay, is an award-winning foreign correspondent and producer based in Rome. His recent work focuses on Middle East conflict, Europe's refugee crisis, and the threat ISIS poses to the West. He has reported for the prestigious documentary series PBS FRONTLINE on veteran exploitation in the United States; for NPR on underground rock music in Iran; and for VICE News on mafia blood feuds in Italy. For three years Livesay was a staff reporter and editor at ANSA, the leading Italian news agency, where he was part of the team that broke the story of Pope Benedict XVI’s shocking abdication, and the election of Pope Francis. In 2016 he was among the first reporters to arrive during the aftermath of a deadly earthquake that ripped through central Italy, where he filed live dispatches, reports and analysis for NPR and PBS. He holds a master’s degree (highest honors) from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. He is currently directing a documentary on clandestine groups fighting ISIS
Regan O’Kon graduated from ASU’s School of International Letters and Cultures in 2002 with a degree in Italian Studies and a minor in French. After receiving her Master’s degree, she returned to teach at SILC for five years and now works as a trade marketing manager for Campari America.
When it came time to choose his major at ASU, Jeff Root looked to his deeply-rooted Italian heritage for guidance. When Root began at SILC, he was encouraged by his professors to push his abilities further, both through the study abroad program and the study of literature. Plus, Root said, a 16th century quote from an Emperor also helped affirm his decision to pursue a future in Italian: “I speak French to the King, Spanish to God and German to horses – but I speak Italian to women.”
Among many endeavors, Amanda Prahl graduated in 2011 with degrees in English Literature and Political Science. Through SILC, Prahl embraced the simple joy of learning a second language and connecting to her own Italian heritage. In her own professional writing, she has applied the detailed approach learned at ASU. "Getting to explore a whole new language - and meet some wonderful people along the way - was a true joy."


ASU "Italian Club":  provides a space where students and faculty can meet in a friendly environment and have all language level conversations, watch movies, cooking lessons and experience Italian culture. Contact:  Facebook | Twitter 


Italian Film Festival at ASU: Local event of the Italian Film Festival USA, it premiers new critically acclaimed Italian movies. Sponsored by the National Italian American Foundation, Italian Cultural Institute, and the School of International Languages and Cultures.

Student Night at the Opera: in partnership with Arizona Opera students of Italian can enjoy an Opera in Italian or by Italian composers or librettists. The event is preceded by a brief presentation of the opera on campus.

Italian Picnic: we celebrate spring and our students and faculty collaboration by enjoying the nice weather, eating pizza and playing bocce ball!

Study Abroad

Approximately 30,000 American students study abroad in Italy, making it the second most popular study abroad destination. The wealth of opportunities to explore this rich and vibrant country with its varied landscape, mild climate and healthy diet, makes Italy a great place to study abroad.

Check out our study abroad trips in SILC.


The ability to speak another language opens up more opporutunities for scholarships and fellowships. Take a look at our SILC scholarshipsASU also offers an extensive database for you to search through and find the right ones to apply for. Here is a list of a few scholarships specific for language:

Fulbright | Boren | Benjamin A Gilman International Scholarship | USAC Study Abroad Scholarship | Stohl International Undergraduate Research Scholarships

Italian award for outstanding students: 

Every year the Italian program recognizes our outstanding language students and offers scholarships to fund the study abroad programs. The program also presents several national and international scholarships offered by the Italian Government as well as private Italian Associations, and private sponsors.