The School of Italian Language and Literature was founded in 1961.
Greece has maintained close ties with Italy for many centuries and there has been constant cultural exchange between the two countries. The Italian influence is evident not only in language and literature, but also in town planning, architecture, etc., mainly in southern Greece and the Greek islands.
In all degree courses the Italian language is taught by native speakers, with the aim of helping students enhance their knowledge and skills.
The School also aims to provide students with a firm grounding in linguistics, along with the theoretical tools necessary for analyzing language and communication.
Literature courses cover topics ranging from the Middles Ages to the present. Some courses focus on the history of Italian literature in conjunction with the development of various genres, issues of literary criticism and other specialized topics, depending on the specialization of the professor who teaches the course. Other courses focus on critical readings of literary texts, also touching upon methodological issues. Students are also provided with the background knowledge (of history, politics, geography, art, ideologies, manners and customs) required to attend classes at the School.
The School also provides students with theoretical and practical training in linguistic mediation, qualifying them for employment in translation and interpreting.
Despite the fact that several of the School alumni members have gone into various professions (translation, interpreting, commerce, diplomacy, banking, etc.), sometimes having also been awarded a degree from another School, it is clear that the vast majority work as teachers of Italian in private and public schools. Thus, the School offers a variety of teacher-training courses to meet the needs of students, focusing on traditional as well as computer-assisted teaching methods.
The graduate studies programme has been in operation since September 2009, offering specialization in three areas (Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Translation, Interpretation and Communication, and Literature and Culture) and leading to MA and PhD degrees. The School has also participated in various interdepartmental graduate programmes.
Looking to the future, the School favors the founding of a School of Italian and Spanish Language and Literature to cover the need for Hispanic studies in northern Greece.