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Welcome to the english homepage of the Department of the Italian Language and Literature!

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens was the first higher education institution in Greece to show interest in offering courses in Italian Language and Literature, in the early 20th century. Greece has had traditional ties with Italy and a long-lasting collaboration in education and culture. The School of Philosophy at the University of Athens first showed interest in the field of Italian Literature in 1933, assigning its teaching to Vincenzo Biagi, Assistant Professor at the University of Pisa. The same year, the University of Rome “La Sapienza” introduced the course “Modern Greek Literature” in an effort to strengthen the reciprocal relations between Greece and Italy. The course was assigned to the late Professor George Zoras, a leading figure in promoting the educational and cultural cooperation between the two countries. The systematic efforts of Professor George Zoras led to the institution of a Lectorate of Italian Language at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 1958.

Later on, the University invited as a visitor professor Salvatore Battaglia, by the time Professor at the University of Naples. Until 1989, invited directors or professors as well as scholars from the Italian Institute taught at the University of Athens. In 1990, the course “Italian Literature” was integrated into the newly-founded “General Faculty of Foreign Cultures” of the School of Philosophy. Its program of studies included Italian and Spanish among other languages. This General Faculty operated for nine years and, with the increasing interest of students in Italian and Spanish, it evolved into the Department of Italian and Spanish Language and Literature during the academic year 1999-2000. Since 2010-2011 two independent departments operate within the School of Philosophy: the Department of Italian Language and Literature and the Department of Spanish Language and Literature.

The Department of Italian Language and Literature has as its mission to promote the study of the great classics as well as to provide a window into an increasingly complex and diverse contemporary Italian culture. Furthermore, it promotes the study of the Italian language through an excellent and rigorous language training program aiming to prepare its graduates for teaching Italian Language in Greek Secondary Education. The Department is currently served by 11 Faculty members, two teaching Fellows, and one technical personnel.