Italian is one of the Romance languages, a group of languages derived from Latin which includes Portuguese, Spanish, French, Romanian, Catalan and Romantch.
There are approximately 60 million speakers of Italian. Besides being spoken in Italy (as well as the Holy See, Monaco and San Marino), Italian is one of the four official languages of Switzerland. Sizable Italian communities and other speakers of Italian can be found in the United States, Brazil, Argentina Canada, France, Slovenia and Somalia.
Knowing Italian will give you access to the enormous wealth of literature, art and culture of this country. Italian is the language of art and architecture, literature, music, fashion, design, and cuisine; it is the language of Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio, Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi, Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco and Elsa Morante, Gae Aulenti and Renzo Piano, Enrico Fermi and Rita Levi Montalcini, Donatella Versace and Giorgio Armani, Federico Fellini and Lina Wertmuller, Luciano Pavarotti and Renata Tebaldi... The list of notable Italians is endless.
It is possible to both major and minor in Italian at UT. All lower-division (first- and second-year language) courses are offered every semester. A variety of upper-division courses and workshops in language, literature, opera, cinema and culture are also offered in the Fall and Spring semesters. Students of Italian at UT also have the opportunity of studying in Rome while earning UT credit with the Rome Study Program every summer.