College of Liberal and Fine Arts



UTSA students visit the Colosseum in Rome

Why study Italian?

  • Italian is spoken on five continents, and is the official language of six countries, including Italy, of course, Switzerland, Ethiopia, Somalia, Croatia and Slovenia. Italy is one of the centers of Western civilization, and knowledge of Italian is essential for the study of history, art history, music, literature and political science. From the 13th through the 16th centuries, the Italian peninsula led Europe in banking, science, philosophy, and as such is recognized as the birthplace of Western Culture.

  • Visit Italy and choose from 45 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

  • Italy ranks seventh in the world in terms of its Gross Domestic Product, $1.7 trillion, and is a founding member of the European Union.

  • If you are interested in: architecture, art, music, fashion, cinema, the hospitality industry or food and food-service, knowledge of Italian language will catch the attention of potential employers.

  • Have the chance of studying abroad!

The College of Liberal and Fine Arts at UTSA offers a spring semester program abroad in Urbino, Italy, a thriving and beautiful Renaissance hill town located in northeastern Italy. Students experience first-hand the art, culture, architecture and history of Urbino and travel with experienced UTSA faculty to cities such as Venice, Rome, Florence and Siena.

(For detailed information, see and contact Dr. Molly ZaldivarDr. Bridget Drinka or




Studying Italian will also allow you to make great connections with people through the weekly Italian Conversation and culture table: "La Tavola Italiana," and by participating in all events organized by the Italian Cultural Society or "Circolo Italiano"!


Is Italian difficult?

Italian is a romance language, derived from Latin and similar in structure to Spanish and French. Perhaps the most attractive part about learning Italian: it is a phonetic language. You pronounce every syllable! Italian is the language of music and art. Introductory Italian language courses at UTSA require no prior knowledge of Italian or Italian culture! So everyone is welcome.


How does Italian fit in with any other coursework?

UTSA offers two and a half-years of Italian language sequence and literature and culture courses with varied topics such as the literature and art of the Renaissance, Medieval to contemporary Italian literature, Italian Cinema and modern Italian culture. Italian language proficiency can give you an advantage in disciplines such as architecture, art, art history, music, history, philosophy, literature and business.

Italian Courses Offered at UTSA

ITL 1014 Elementary Italian I, 4 hours credit. 

Students learn the fundamentals of Italian language and develop listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. Introduction to Italian culture.

ITL 1024 Elementary Italian II, 4 hours credit. Prerequisite: ITL 1014, the equivalent, an appropriate placement test score, or consent of the instructor.

Students continue to develop listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. Students continue to explore Italian culture.

ITL 2013 Intermediate Italian I, 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ITL 1024, the equivalent, an appropriate test score, or consent of instructor.

Students examine intermediate level language topics in Italian, in particular idioms, while continuing to develop listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. Students continue to explore Italian culture.

ITL 2023 Intermediate Italian Language II, 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ITL 2013, the equivalent, an appropriate placement test score, or consent of instructor.

Students continue to develop intermediate to advanced skills listening, reading, speaking and writing in Italian. Students continue to explore Italian culture.

ITL 2333 Survey of Italian Literature in English Translation, 3 hours credit.

 Major works of Italian literature across time, genres and movements.

ITL 3023 Advanced Language Skills,  3 Credit Hours. Prerequisite: ITL 2023, the equivalent, the appropriate placement test score, or consent of instructor.

Offers the opportunity to develop advanced-level oral and written communication skills in the Italian language, along with enhanced comprehension skills in listening and reading. 

Also offered:

Courses on Italian cinema, civilization, culture and literature.

More courses on Mafia culture, literature and film and Italians in Hollywood.


What are the requirements for a minor in Italian?

Italian minors complete intermediate level language courses (ITL 2013, 2023, 3023), an upper division language course and three additional Italian-related courses, two of which must be taken at the upper division level. Students are encouraged to complete upper division courses in a study-abroad program in Italy.



For detailed information regarding Italian at UTSA, contact Dr. Molly Zaldivar.



Dr. Molly Zaldivar teaches Italian at UTSA.

Dr. Grazia Fachechi teaches Art History at University of Urbino. 

photos courtesy of UTSA Dept of Modern Languages & Literatures and wikimedia commons


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