The Fascinating History of Italy: 20th Century to Today

Take a closer look at Italy’s fascinating history and politics, from Fascist Italy under Mussolini, the left wing terrorist group the ‘Red Brigades’ in the 1970s and media tycoon Berlusconi, to the new ‘Five Star’ populist movement and its founder, the former Comedian Beppe Grillo. We will also explore Italy’s rich cultural life: films like Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’ and Michelangelo Antonioni’s ‘Identification of a Woman’, Italian music, the famous Italian design, to its celebrated wine & food.


  • Bosworth, R.J.B., Mussolini (London: Arnold, 2002);
  • Brose, Eric Dorn, A History of Europe in the Twentieth Century (New York, Oxford, Oxford University, 2005);
  • Duggan, Christopher, A Concise History of Italy (New York, Cambridge University Press, 2014);
  • Eco, Umberto Numero Zero (London: Harvill Secker, 2015);


  • Introduction: Italy in the 20th Century
  • Italy in World War I & Fascist Italy under Mussolini
  • Italy after 1945 & 'Red Brigades'
  • Italy’s rich cultural life
  • Review & Outlook

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Develop a better understanding of Italy’s history, politics and culture from the early Twentieth Century until today;
  2. Gain an awareness of the variety of ways historians approach the past.