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Study in Italy: Language & Culture

Feb 1, 2024

Language in Italy

Due its strong history of regional patriotism, while Italian is the official language in Italy there remains a strong presence of regional dialects peppered throughout the country, especially in the Southern parts of the country. Furthermore, minority languages like German, French, Slovene, and Ladino are also spoken in Italy's northern border regions.

Part of your study abroad experience in Italy could be to study the Italian language, which is a great way to understand the local customs, meet new people and explore the culture in Italy in the most authentic and immersive way possible. There are significant and important benefits to learning a new language, and according to some studies it can even lessen your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease!

Contacts at your university’s International Office, and many younger students in Italy are fluent in English but be aware that English is not necessarily widely spoken in Italy, especially amongst older people. Learning the local language is the best way to gain new insights into the Italian language first-hand, and Italians will appreciate you making the effort to pick up even some basics of their language. If you’re studying in or travelling to parts of Italy outside of the main urban centers in Italy, be prepared to flex your linguistic Italian muscles!

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Culture in Italy

In general, Italian culture is as brightly flavored as the country’s world-renowned cuisine.

Given Italy’s rich and complex history, Italian culture is made up of a massive and diverse array of art, architecture, religion, fashion, family and of course, food!

From Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo, Thomas Aquinas, and many more Italians has played a central role in the various waves of philosophy, fine arts and literature emanating from Central and Southern Europe. Some of Italy’s most famous landmarks like the Colosseum, the leaning tower of Pisa, and the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City represent Italy’s intertwined history with the Catholic Church. Also, some people trace opera’s roots to Italy, and famous operas like Aida, and La Traviata are still performed today around the world!

Family has traditionally been at the center of the Italian social structure, and extended family gatherings are a common occurrence in cities and rural areas alike. Recurrent gatherings to eat, catch-up, and spend time with family means that Italian families tend to be very close-knit well after children have left the nest.  Italians’ food-obsession doesn’t hold for every Italian, but the rumors are true, and living it Italy will mean gaining a whole new understanding of what authentic Italian food really means.

Many of the fashion world’s most famous brands like Gucci, Prada and Versace can be found in Italy. Whether you’re looking to pursue fashion studies in Milan, or just an aficionado for finding the right look, Italy’s fashion heritage will surely be an inspiration for your closet.

Once you’ve picked up some basic Italian, you’ll learn that when it comes to communicating in Italy gesticulation is the name of the game! Effusive communication is how many Italians drive their point home, and as you pick up the Italian language you’ll learn the language of Italian hand gestures simultaneously!

Overview of Italy

Over 30,000 international students choose Italy as their study abroad destination every year. Click here to learn why.

Education System

Want to learn about how the higher education system works in Italy? Italy is a popular destination for a variety of international students, given its diverse programs, high quality education, and its culture and history. Take a minute to find out more about the structure of the education system in Italy!

Student Visas

Do you need a visa to enter Italy to study? Learn more about the student visa process, and what you need to enter the country, depending on if you're an EU national or not. Discover what you need to stay in Italy to study abroad!

Housing & Living Costs

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as an international student in Italy.

Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in Italy may vary. Both international and domestic students are expected to pay tuition fees in Italy. To cover the rest of the costs, there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available.

Application Process

All countries have specific admissions requirements for students to gain acceptance into a university. Learn more about the ins and outs of admission to programs in Italy, and what you need to apply, depending on your citizenship.


Ready to look at education in Italy? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in Italy today!

Keystone Team


The Keystone Team is comprised of experienced educators and advisors dedicated to providing valuable resources and advice to students all over the world.