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Beginners Course

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Summer Preparation: Beginners Italian

Language work

A comprehensive description of preparatory language work and resources can be found on the 'Italian in Year 1 - Beginning Italian (Option A)' page.

Literature and Culture: Preparatory Reading

A. General introductory and background material for paper ITA3: ‘Texts and Contexts’.

  • The Cambridge History of Italian Literature, ed. Peter Brand and Lino Pertile (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996; 2nd rev. edn 1999)
  • Oxford Short History of Italy, general editor John Davis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 7 vols, 2000-2004)
  • Italian Cultural Studies: An Introduction, ed. by David Forgacs and Robert Lumley (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996)

B. Set texts for the first-year course ‘Texts and Contexts’ (ITA3)

Before arriving in Cambridge, you can best prepare for this course by getting to know some or all of the core texts, in translation or in the original:

  • Giotto (early 14th century)
  • Dante Alighieri, Commedia (early 14th century; selected canti only: Inferno 5, 33, Purgartorio 11, Paradiso 33)
  • Fellini, La dolce vita
  • Shirin Ramzanali Fazel, Lontano da Mogadiscio (1994 and later editions)
  • Linguistics. *Course material will be provided in lectures

For each of the first four texts students will be provided with a course handbook (handbooks contain contextual material, further reading and suggestions for supervision work).