Italian History

Ref: C2227882

This course is aimed at people with an interest in "Everything Italian". There is so much history so this is an overview of the Renaissance period, the historical "Risorgimento" (Unification). Post-unification will include Italy's place in the world wars, Mussolini and the Fascist era, post-war and modern day politics and will include some geography and modern culture. The course will also include a weekly fun quiz aimed at revisiting the main points covered in the previous week.

Course aim

This course will give you a brief introduction to Italian History and culture from the Renaissance period to Modern Italy, including the period of the Unification.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • A love of learning about Italy's fascinating history and culture and a light hearted look at the geography of a truly beautiful country.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Discuss elements of the Renaissance period and some of the more colourful and important contributors.
  • Describe how the three main architects of the Unification were successful in bringing together the disparate regions of Italy.
  • Describe who Mussolini was, his reign as "Il Duce" and the Fascist era.
  • Compare geographical and cultural differences between each of the regions.
  • Describe some aspects of modern politics, post WW2, including some of the most important Prime Ministers.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • a short, multiple choice quiz each week

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit:
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • Nothing else is needed
  • A love of Italy and a wish to learn more about this fascinating country.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

Italian History


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

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