Italy is a land of passions: sounds, colors and perfumes; books, art and music; and nature and landscapes. Many are the opportunities for visitors to enjoy the very lifestyle that has made Italy famous throughout the world.

History, culture, art and knowledge in many forms, fun, relaxation and wellbeing all live within a social setting that knows no rivals – blissful fusion between innovation and tradition, territorial roots and cosmopolitan callings.

Italy and Italians have an historic love affair with music, a centuries-old tradition that is internationally-appreciated. It is a legacy that the orchestras and opera houses of the Bel Paese have bestowed upon the culture. Today, not only operas, but music festivals continue to fulfill this grand legacy, resounding in harmony from north to south, twelve months out of the year.

The Italy of sport, then – in part consequence of the kingmakers of speed, Nuvolari and the Red Ferrari – cultivates the passion for motors, both on the speedway and in the museum. The Italy of soccer magnifies its feats of glory with feats of architecture, the stadiums, and the Italy of green pitch and golf greens, dispersed up and down the Peninsula, narrates the love of competition and team spirit, and will to continuously beat personal records. 

Of course, the Italy of fine wine goes without saying, but who doesn’t love a good visit to one of the vineyards gracing every corner of the Boot, especially when tastings are involved? Whether of ancient or new linage, the gamut of wine producers invite guests to learn a thing or two about their grapes and vintages, experience a harvest, and work their way toward connoisseurship, pairing reds and whites with the right tastes and flavors. After all, Italy is nothing if not the Italy of Taste, a feast for the senses, and one of the best ways to understand a people, their history and traditions.

Language Institutes in Italy

Centro Studi Italiani, Urbania (PU) Italia (Italian Language Courses)
International Summer Camp for Juniors (11-16 years) in English or Italian

The Italian Academy, Syracuse, Sicily
For more information, please contact StudyWesternEurope EU <- click for e-mail

Education in Italy

Education in Italy is compulsory from 6 to 16 years of age, and is divided into five stages: kindergarten (scuola dell'infanzia), primary school (scuola primaria), lower secondary school (scuola secondaria di primo grado), upper secondary school (scuola secondaria di secondo grado) and university (università). Italy has both public and private education systems.

Secondary education

Secondary education is divided in two stages: Scuola secondaria di primo grado (Lower secondary school), also known as Scuola media, which corresponds to the Middle School grades, and Scuola secondaria di secondo grado (Upper secondary school), which corresponds to the high-school level.

Scuola secondaria di primo grado.

The Scuola secondaria di primo grado lasts three years (roughly from age 11 to 13), and provides further education on the subjects studied at the scuola primaria, with the addition of Technology and a language other than English (typically French, Spanish or German). The curriculum is the same for all schools. At the end of the third year students sit an exam which enables them to continue their education. 

The Scuola secondaria di secondo grado lasts five years (even though some istituti professionali might offer a diploma after only three years). Every tier involves an exam at the end of the final year, called Esame di Maturità, required to gain a diploma and have access to further education.

The secondary school situation varies, since there are several types of schools differentiated by subjects and activities. The main division is between the Liceo, the Istituto Tecnico and the Istituto Professionale. Any kind of secondary school that lasts 5 years grants access to the final exam, calledEsame di Stato conclusivo del corso di studio di Istruzione Secondaria Superiore or Esame di Maturità. This exam takes place every year between June and July and grants access to University.

The "Liceo" concept was created by Gentile, and in 1923 indicated a specific type of secondary school; today, it rather refers to a class of secondary schools oriented towards the study of the arts and sciences. All of the Licei have many subjects in common, such as Italian Literature, or Mathematics, while other subjects are peculiar to a particular type of Liceo (i.e. Ancient Greek in the Liceo Classico, pedagogy in the Liceo delle Scienze Umane orscenography in the Liceo Artistico).

Higher education

The Superior Graduate School (Grandes écoles) or Scuola Superiore Universitaria offer recognized national and international titles, including the Diploma di Perfezionamento equivalent to a Doctorate, Dottorato di Ricerca i.e. Research Doctorate or Doctor Philosophiae i.e. Ph.D. and are recognized by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (Italy) as fully autonomous. Some of them also organize courses Master's degree, individually, or jointly with the universities with whom they work.

There are three Superior Graduate Schools with "university status", three institutes with the status of Doctoral Colleges, which function at graduate and post-graduate level. Nine further schools are direct offshoots of the universities (i.e. do not have their own 'university status').