Skip to main content

Italian Landscapes in the World Heritage List

Tu/Th 11:00-12:15
Instructor: Prof. Serenella Iovino (

From plastic pollution to climate change, from mass extinction to deforestation, environmental issues occupy our conversations, concerns, and anticipations. How do the rich tradition of Italian culture and Italy itself mirror and reflect upon these predicaments? This course addresses these very issues by exploring the most significant voices and aspects of Italy’s cultural horizon.  We will focus on the many (often dissonant) landscapes, natures, and ecologies of Italy, meant both as a physical territory and as a terrain for cultural imagination. The Italian landscapes discussed in this course will go from the Arcadian dreams of rural perfection to the living nightmares of the ecomafia’s Triangle of Death; its natures will embrace medieval Bestiaria, Ortese’s mysterious iguanas, pumas and turtles, as well as the alien species “invading” our ecosystems; its ecologies will entail the uncontaminated Alpine regions as well as the Po Valley megalopolis and the “continuous cities” emerging every day from the thousands of hectares of agricultural land inexorably sacrificed to cement. We will explore these physical realities vis-à-vis modern classics (e.g. Calvino, Buzzati, Ortese), contemporary authors (Wu Ming, Fratus, Pusterla), film makers (Olmi, Rohrwacher, Frammartino), and playwrights (Paolini, Celestini).

No prerequisites
Fulfills North Atlantic World (NA) Gen Ed requirement
Counts as elective for Italian Major and Minor

Previously Offered: