Taught in English. If food “speaks” Italian, it carries added value. If a garment is made in Italy, it whispers of beauty, refined taste and sophistication. Both food and fashion have played a primary role in the construction of contemporary Italian identity and culture. As distinguishing marks of this country, they have become major components of Italy’s international image and creativity, developing into a global industry in the second half of the past century. The roots of this success can be found in the Renaissance when Italy began to establish norms for eating and dressing, and social performance was first institutionalized.
Through a selection of literary texts and essays, film clips and site visits, this course introduces students to contemporary Italy and its culture through the lens of literature by reading and discussing pages by some writers who have addressed these two topics at crucial moments in the history of the country. It will also briefly introduce them to the rich background that stands behind what appeals to today’s lovers of Italian food and clothing. Its final objective is to elicit a more rounded approach to two very popular Italian attractions.
This course offers students at different levels of Italian language competency the opportunity to be introduced to major features of Italian culture and its historical legacy in contemporary times.
Course-related fee: A fee will be charged to cover Florence site visits (2019 fee = $55).
Semesters: Fall, Spring