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Week of Italian Language in the World 2023



The Week of Italian Language will be dedicated to the theme “Italian Language and Sustainability” with a specific focus on the work of Italian writer Italo Calvino, celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth.


The Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago and the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago, announce a series of initiatives that will take place starting on October 6 and will continue for the entire month, presented on the occasion of the Week of Italian Language in the World, a yearly worldwide celebration of Italian language and creativity.

The initiative was born in 2001 in cooperation with the Accademia della Crusca. It is organized during the third week of October by the Embassies, Consulates, and Italian Cultural Institutes, with the support of the Ministry of Culture (MiC), the Ministry of University and Research (MUR), the Government of Switzerland and all of the main partners for the promotion of the Italian language. This year’s program will be dedicated to the theme “Italian Language and Sustainability.” 

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Italo Calvino (1923-1985), the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago, in collaboration with the Department of Modern Languages, Italian Program, at DePaul University, presents the series of lectures Italo Calvino’s Universe, a lecture series on literature, ecology, art and ethics, that will explore exemplary and less known themes, from the vast body of work of the Italian author, between fantastic elements and historical issues.

The series will open on Friday, October 6th with a lecture by Serenella Iovino, Professor of Italian Studies and Environmental Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who will present the recently published Italian edition of Italo Calvino’s Animals: Anthropocene Stories. All conversations will be moderated by Caterina Mongiat Farina, Associate Professor and Italian Program Director at DePaul University.

From October 19th through December 15th, the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago will also host the art exhibition Italian Excellence: Illustrations for Italo Calvino curated by Giannino Stoppani. The exhibition showcases a group of international illustrators, who were selected among the five hundred plus participants to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair Contest dedicated to the theme “Illustrated Calvino.” This exhibition offers a valuable opportunity to engage with writings conceived by Italo Calvino for young readers, and fairy tales that provide an opportunity for shared adult/children reading time. It is also a significant medium for presenting children’s publishing to the world, a research-led space full of high-quality offerings, vital to the education of future generations.

The Week of Italian Language will also include two film screenings at the Italian Cultural Institute. On Monday, October 16th, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago, the Institute will host the screening of 40 and Climbing, directed by Bindu De Stoppani (2021), a story of three estranged friends who are entrusted to scatter their friend’s ashes in the mountains. A film that explores female solidarity against the background of beautiful views of the Alps.

Closing the week on October 21st, will be the screening of The Nonexistent Knight directed by Pino Zac, inspired by the homonymous novel by Italo Calvino. Shot in 1971, the film combines animation and actors through the stop motion technique, recreating the fantastic world of Calvino in an extravagant story, full of fantasy and humor, equally enjoyable by adults and children alike.