Italian cinema represents a foundational experience in Western cinema, and contemporary directors all over the world have built upon its legacy. In this course we will explore masterpieces of Italian cinema, from the silent era to the most recent wave of new directors who have won international reputation, such as Sorrentino and Garrone. We will investigate how Italian cinema has developed throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, focusing particularly on masters such as Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti, Fellini, Antonioni, Pasolini, Cavani, Bertolucci, Germi, Giordana e Benigni. The style of these most famous auteurs will be studied in detail in their masterpieces, analyzing different genres and movements, from the epic to neorealism, from comedy Italian style to political cinema. A history of Italian cinema will be traced in relation to its cultural and socio-political context.