Pitt in Rome

Study and live in the Eternal City of Rome, Italy. Students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Italian conversations while discovering the rich Italian way of life, la dolce vita. This six-week, 8-credit program is designed for students of all majors interested in Italian Language, Culture and Modern Italy. Students will take a language course based on their prior level of Italian language. No previous Italian language is necessary. Rome is a great place to begin your Italian language studies and then return to Pitt to continue. You will also take an Modern Italy Italian Culture Course and an excursions-based course.

This program also offers you the opportunity to experience the city first hand as part of your coursework. The city becomes your classroom via local excursions in and around Rome. Previous cultural activities and site visits have included: Tivoli-Villa d'Este, Coloseum, Vatican, Museums and more.


What You'll Accomplish: 

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:

  • Italian language skills from Beginner-Intermediate level courses that will help you interact with the local community
  • A greater appreciation and understanding of Italian society, culture, history and art
  • Understanding of cultural themes and historical significance of various sites in Rome and the surrounding region


Rome, the "Eternal City", is the capital and largest city of Italy and located in the Lazio region. It's the famed city of the Roman Empire, the Seven Hills, La Dolce Vita (sweet life), Vatican City and more. Rome, has been a long-standing city for over 2,500 years and is known for power, culture, religion, and innovation. It is not just a city, but it is home to one of the world’s most influential civilizations.

The Historic Center of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With wonderful palaces, millennium-old churches and basilicas, grand romantic ruins, opulent monuments, ornate statues and graceful fountains, Rome has an immensely rich historical heritage and cosmopolitan atmosphere, making it one of Europe's and the world's most visited cities. Rome is a modern, cutting edge city still surrounded with masterpieces of art, architecture an culture. Although Rome is heavily trafficked by tourists, it is still easy to find the authentic side of Rome. With so many sights, things to do, and culturally-diverse people, Rome can truly be classified a "global city".

Temperatures and precipitation vary based on the season. In May, the temperatures are pretty mild can average 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit at night. The old stone buildings across the city are designed to make sure they are never too hot, nor too cold. It is important though to be prepared with a variety of clothes that you can layer with during your program. It’s also a good idea to bring a comfortable pair of slippers for walking around your apartments.


Where You'll Live: 

Students will live like Romans during their time abroad. Housing placements are in the Trastevere neighborhood. Final location depends on availability and housing options. Exact addresses are provided closer to departure. Like the streets of Rome, no two apartments on the Rome program are alike in terms of design, but all will give you a comfortable place to call home in Italy.  Most apartments are located within  45 commute to the Italiaidea School, either on foot or by bus. Apartments are still within what is considered the city-center.

You can expect the following at your accommodations:

  • a shared bedroom
  • 4-6 students per apartment
  • fully equipped kitchen
  • En-suite bathroom
  • Shared living area
  • Washing machine(s) in the building (Italian apartments typically do not have dryers)
  • Drying Rack
  • Bed linens and towels are included
  • Meals aren’t included, so plan on learning to cook with local ingredients or budget money to eat out

We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions. 


What You'll Study: 

You'll earn a total of 8 credits on the Pitt in Rome program. All students will take ITAL 1089: Modern Italy (3 credits) & ITAL 1902: History and Culture of Rome (1 credit). In addition, you will take an Italian Language course (4 credits) that best fits your previous Italian Studies. If you have not taken Italian at the college level, you will take beginner Italian 0101. Two of the language courses will be taught by Melissa Demos, who was previously a Masters student in the French and Italian Department, but currently a professor at Hamilton College. The other courses will be taught by local faculty at the Italian Language School. The courses will be comprised of lectures, guest speakers, city tours, and cultural activities. Students will participate in personal research, debates and field investigations to understand modern Italy. You will also write a weekly cultural journal describing your experiences at site visits. In these courses you will study:

  • Beginner-intermediate level Italian language
  • Important historical and cultural aspects of Italy during the 20th and 21st centuries
  • Cultural themes at various sites in Rome and the surrounding region

If you are seeking to count these courses towards a major, minor or certificate, please meet with your academic advisor to discuss this program and what the courses will fulfill for you.

Information about how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found here.


Italian: Here and Now (4 credits) - Rome (ITAL0101)

An introduction to the Italian language, including basic grammar, vocabulary and speech patterns. Primary goal is to achieve competence in the spoken language, along with basic skills in reading and writing. Face-to-face lesson meetings consist of communicative activities in which students practiced learned structures and vocabulary.  Students will watch/listen/read lectures, complete exercises related to grammar and vocabulary. This instructional approach is designed to allow for maximum interaction in the classroom environment, so that students can receive extensive feedback on their progress. 

Italian: There and Then (4 credits) - Rome (ITAL0102)

This course is designed to teach you the basic vocabulary and grammar you need to navigate Italian culture, history, and society. This innovative class consists of face-to-face class meetings in which students practice their Italian in communicative activities.  In addition, students will watch/listen/read lectures, complete exercises to hone their Italian linguistic skills. Students will also  learn about Italian culture, including Italian fashion and design, travel destinations, popular culture, and contemporary literature.  Primary goal is to achieve competence in the spoken language, along with basic skills in reading and writing.

Italian: What If (4 credits) - Rome (ITAL0103)

Learn Italian in a comfortable and interactive classroom environment! This course is designed to teach you the vocabulary and grammar you need to navigate Italian culture, history, and society. This course consists of face-to-face class meetings in which students practice their Italian in communicative activities. Students will also watch/listen/read lectures, complete exercises to hone their linguistic skills to better their Italian. In addition, students will learn about Italian culture, including current events, Italian politics, and contemporary literature and cinema. Emphasis continues to be placed on the oral-aural skills, but the reading and writing skills become increasingly stressed.

Special Topics: Modern Italy - Rome (3 credits) (ITAL1089)

This culture course will be taught in English.  The course examines some of the most important historical and cultural aspects of Italy during the twentieth and twenty-first century. Students are required to participate actively in the development of the academic program through personal research, debates, and field investigations. The course is divided into four main sections: Rome in Literature, Italy from Fascism until today, Italian emigration and immigration, and the mafia.

Special Topics: History and Culture of Rome (1 credit) (ITAL1902)

This 1 credit course gives you the opportunity to better understand and appreciate Italian society, culture, history and art. Lessons are conducted entirely in Italian on various sites around Italy.

The University of Pittsburgh partners with Italiaidea on this program. Italiaidea is an Italian Language and Culture School that was founded in 1984 and was accredited by American Universities since 1985. They offer organizational support to American Universities to help facilitate and carry out study abroad programs in Rome.

Italiaidea has am academic center in the heart of the city center. Italiaidea maintains and staffs the center year-round. In addition to your faculty member, the staff is a resource for you. Whether it’s an academic issue, question about your housing or assistance with independent travel, the staff is here for you. They offer support 24/7 for any emergency circumstance. You will commute to the center daily for your courses.

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Nazir Noori

Salam! I’m Nazir and I'm your Study Abroad Program Manager. I was born and raised abroad and went to schools in Afghanistan, Iran, and the U.S. I also took classes in India and United Arab Emirates. I worked for the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and German Foreign Office for over ten years before moving to Pittsburgh in 2014. At the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, I assisted Afghan students to study in the U.S., and now I'm glad I have the opportunity to help you study abroad.

Schedule a Zoom appointment with me below or get in touch with me through email to discuss study abroad options.


Schedule an appointment

Schedule an appointment with me using Pathways!

  • Log in to Pathways or use the Navigate app
  • Select Appointments > Schedule an Appointment
  • Select Pitt Global as the appointment type
  • Select General Study Abroad as the School/Unit
  • Select Study Abroad Program Specific Questions as the service
  • Select Study Abroad Virtual Advising as the Location
  • Select my name and find a time that works for you

Don't see a time that works for you? Just send me an email!

Your In-Country Contacts: 

Melissa Demos

Professor Demos is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Italian at Hamilton College. She completed her MA in Italian Language and Literature from the University of Pittsburgh, and received her PhD in Italian Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to that time, she resided for twelve years in Florence, Italy, attending the Università degli Studi di Firenze, and working with international study abroad institutes, as well as travel-study programs.  Her research interests include Art History, particularly the Italian Renaissance and Baroque eras, Dante Studies, Early Modern Women Writers, and Social Issues in Contemporary Italy. She currently teaches Italian language and culture at Hamilton College in New York.​


Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $5,432 $5,632
Program Fee $467 $467
Study Abroad Fee $300 $300
Total Billed by Pitt $6,199 $6,399

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Airfare ~1,300
Meals and Personal Expenses $1000 - $1,500


Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad. Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

The amounts above are for the 2019-2020 academic year and should be used as estimates only. Pricing for 2020-2021 will be posted and announced in the fall term.

What's Included: 

As a part of your Rome program fee, the following are included in the program:

  • Tuition for 8 credits
  • Shared accommodations while in Rome for the six weeks
  • International travel health insurance
  • Walking tour of Rome
  • Day trip to another Italian city
  • Local excursions in and around Rome have previously included: Tivoli-Villa d'Este, Coloseum, Vatican, Museums
  • Other cultural activities related to coursework will also be included. These activities will be finalized at a later date.


When You'll Go: 

Dates for the 2020-2021 academic year will be posted in the fall!

What Else You Need to Know: 
  • Due to the nature of the program, the schedule is subject to change. There may be instances where a guest speaker or visit needs to be rescheduled. We ask for your patience and understanding in advance.
  • Remember that this is an academic program and that you should expect to invest the same amount of time and effort on your courses abroad as you would on a course at Pitt. 
  • There are required excursions and activities outside of normal scheduled classes.
  • Mandatory weekend trips.
  • Independent travel cannot conflict with any scheduled or rescheduled events/activities