Italian: State Exam topics of Italian 2011

Italian: State Exam topics of Italian 2011

Higher Secondary Education - For all addresses: sorting and experimental

Carry out the test, choosing one of the four types proposed here.



Giuseppe Ungaretti, Lucca (from L'Allegria)
Edition: G. Ungaretti, Life of a man. All the poems, edited by C. Ossola, Mondadori, Milan 2009, p. 133

Giuseppe Ungaretti was born in Alexandria in Egypt in 1888, to parents who emigrated from Lucca and died in Milan in 1970. In 1912 he left Egypt forever. In Paris he deepened his literary preparation and personally knew important artists and writers. He participated in the world war as a simple soldier. The poems collected in Il Porto Sepolto, 1916 and then merged, along with others, in Allegria di Naufragi, 1919, date back to that time.

1. Overall understanding
After a first reading, summarize the informative content of the text.
2. Analysis of the text
2.1 Focus on the linguistic-lexical aspects of poetry and, in particular, on adjectives.
2.2Spiega the expression "My whole childhood I was amazed" (2).
2.3Individua the elements that characterize the city (3-5).
2.4 The poet evokes a discovery that terrifies him (7). What are the reasons of the "terror"?
2.5Il poet opposed to "mortal love" (18) "love as a guarantee of the species" (19). Explain the contrast.
2.6Esponi your observations in a personal comment of a sufficient area.
3. Overall Interpretation and insights
Based on the analysis conducted, propose your overall interpretation of the poetry and deepen it with appropriate links to other texts by Ungaretti or to texts by other authors. Alternatively, you can refer to the historical-cultural situation of the time or to situations of our time, developing the comparisons that interest you.


Drafting of a SHORT essay or newspaper article

(can choose one of the topics related to the four proposed areas)


It develops the chosen topic either in the form of a "short essay" or a "newspaper article", interpreting and comparing the documents and data provided.
If you choose the form of the "short essay", discuss your treatment, also with appropriate references to your knowledge and study experience.
He pressed to a coherent essay title and, if you want, break it up into paragraphs.
If you choose the form of "newspaper article," indicating the title of the article and the type of paper on which you think it should be published chel'articolo.
For both forms of writing not exceed five columns of half a protocol sheet.


TOPIC: Love, hate, passion.


"Among the other distinctions and privileges that had been granted to her, to compensate her for not being an abbess, there was also that of staying in a separate neighborhood. That side of the monastery was contiguous to a house inhabited by a young man, a villainous by profession, one of many, who, in those times, and with their minions, and with the alliances of other villains, could, up to a certain sign, laughing at the public force and the laws. Our manuscript appointed him Egidio, without speaking of the family. This man, from one of his windows overlooking a courtyard in that neighborhood, having seen Gertrude sometimes pass or stroll around there, for leisure, rather enticed that terrified by the dangers and impiety of the company, one day he dared to speak to her. The unfortunate replied. "

Alessandro MANZONI, The betrothed, 1840-42

"And he would have liked to tear his eyes not to see those of the she-wolf, which when they stuck in his own made him lose his soul and body. He did not know what to do to break free from the spell. He paid masses to the souls of Purgatory and went to ask the parish priest and the sergeant for help. At Easter he went to confession, and publicly made six palms of tongue on the cobblestones of the sacristy in front of the church, in penance, and then, as the she-wolf returned to tempt him:
- Look! he said, don't come to the farmyard anymore, because if you come back to find me, as God is, I'll kill you!
"Kill me," answered the she-wolf, because I don't care; but without you I don't want to be there.
And as he saw it from afar, in the midst of green seeds, he left the vineyard to hoe, and went to remove the ax from the elm. The she-wolf saw him coming, pale and bewildered, with the hat that shone in the sun, and did not step back, did not bow his eyes, went on to meet him, with his hands full of handfuls of red poppies, and eating it with his black eyes. - Ah! hurt your soul! Nanni stammered. "

Giovanni VERGA, La Lupa, in Life of the Fields, 1880

«She seemed struck by the unusual sound of Giorgio's voice; and a vague bewilderment began to invade.
- Come on!
And he approached her with outstretched hands. Quickly he grabbed her by the wrists, dragged her for a small stretch; then he hugged her in his arms, with a leap, trying to bend her towards the abyss.
- No, no, no ...
With an angry effort she resisted, broke free, managed to free herself, jumped back yearning and trembling.
- You are crazy? He shouted with anger in his throat. - You are crazy?
But, as if she saw him come again without speaking, as she felt seized with a more bitter violence and still dragged towards danger, she understood everything in a great sinister flash that dazzled her soul with terror.
- No, no, Giorgio! Leave me! Leave me! One minute more! Listen! Listen! A minute! I want to tell you...
She pleaded, mad with terror, struggling. He hoped to hold him back, to pity him.
- A minute! Listen! I love you! Forgive me! Forgive me!
She stammered incoherent words, desperate, feeling overcome, losing ground, seeing death.
- Murderer! - then he shouted angry.
And he defended himself with his nails, with his bites, like a fair.
- Murderer! - he screamed feeling himself grabbed by the hair, falling to the ground on the edge of the abyss, lost.
The dog was struggling against the tangle.
It was a brief and ferocious struggle as between relentless enemies who had harbored up to that hour in the depths of their soul a supreme hatred.
And they plunged into death. "
Gabriele D’ANNUNZIO, The Triumph of Death, 1894
«Emilio was able to experience how important the possession of a long desired woman is. On that memorable evening, he could think of having changed twice its inner nature. The disconsolate inertia that had driven him to seek Angiolina was gone, but the enthusiasm that had made him sob with happiness and sadness had also been canceled. The male was now satisfied but, other than that satisfaction, he really had not heard any more. He had owned the woman he hated, not the one he loved. Oh, deceiver! It was neither the first, nor - as he wanted him to understand - the second time she passed through a bed of love. It wasn't worth getting angry because he had known about it for a long time. But possession had given him great freedom to judge the woman who submitted to him. "I will never dream again," he thought as he left the house. And shortly after, looking at her, illuminated by pale lunar reflections: - Maybe I'll never go back. - It wasn't a decision. Why would he take it? It all lacked importance. "

Italo SVEVO, Senilità, 19272 (1st ed. 1898)


TOPIC: Are we what we eat?


"" The scientific evidence published in the last year leaves no doubt - says Massimo Volpe, president of Siprec (Italian Society for Cardiovascular Prevention) - sedentary life is a risk for the heart. If we add to this that we often eat badly, the general picture worsens. We commit too many sins of gluttony, neglect the Mediterranean diet and the pivotal foods of a healthy diet. Very few really know how to judge the wholesomeness of a food, many feed themselves in a disorganized way ". 95%, continues the expert, declares that lunch is the most important meal, but then 80% chooses a very seasoned pasta accompanied by bread. One in two Italians eat lean meat, but there is a good 20 percent who choose fatty meats several times a week; 45 percent consume cheeses at least three times a week. One in three, then, eat fish just once a week, while it should be consumed at least two, three times. “We have to change our habits - says the cardiologist - and realize that heart health is built brick by brick, just like a house. Both the doctor and the patient can learn to do prevention. "»

Adele SARNO, Eight hours seated? The heart risks double. Here comes the self-test for prevention, "the Republic" - April 1, 2011

"Wednesday 17 November 2010. The fifth session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee [...] has included the Mediterranean Diet in the prestigious list (sc. Of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity). [...] The Mediterranean diet is a set of skills, knowledge, practices and traditions ranging from the landscape to the table, including the crops, harvesting, fishing, conservation, processing, preparation and, in particular, food consumption. The Mediterranean Diet is characterized by a nutritional model that has remained constant over time and space, consisting mainly of olive oil, cereals, fresh or dried fruit, and vegetables, a moderate amount of fish, dairy products and meat, and many condiments and spices, all it accompanied by wine or infusions, always respecting the traditions of each community. However, the Mediterranean Diet (from the Greek diaita, or lifestyle) is much more than a simple food. It promotes social interaction, since the shared meal is the basis of the social customs and holidays shared by a given community, and has given rise to a considerable body of knowledge, songs, maxims, stories and legends. The Diet is founded on respect for the territory and biodiversity, and guarantees the conservation and development of traditional activities and trades related to fishing and agriculture in Mediterranean communities. "

CNI-UNESCO, The Mediterranean Diet is an intangible heritage of humanity,

"Food policy [...] must be based on the concept that the primary energy of life is food. If food is energy then we must take note that the current food production system is bankrupt. [...] The real problem is that on one hand there is a centralized view of agriculture, made up of monocultures and intensive livestock farms unsustainable, and the other was completely rejected the holistic approach, which should be inherent in agriculture, for marry logical mechanistic and reductionist. A mechanistic view ends up reducing the value of food to a mere commodity, a simple commodity. This is why as far as food is concerned, we have now lost the perception of the difference between value and price: we all pay close attention to what it costs, but no longer to its profound meaning. [...] Exchanging the price of food with its value has destroyed our soul. If food is a commodity it doesn't matter if we waste it. In a consumer society, everything is thrown and everything can be replaced, indeed, must be replaced. But the food does not work that way. "
Carlo PETRINI in Petrini-Rifkin. The new pact for nature, "the Republic" - June 9, 2010
«Eating while reading mail, playing games or working on the PC can have serious consequences for our physical fitness. [...] According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, who eats doing other tasks, be it surfing the internet or on friends' profiles on Facebook, is more inclined to overdo the quantity as it has no sense of calories that really is introducing and also has more craving for sweets. [...] So although it is increasingly common to eat while remaining "connected" with the world around us, for those who care not to put on extra pounds, better avoid distractions during meals and focus attention on what is being consumed. "

Silvia MAGLIONI, Eating in front of the computer is bad for the line,


TOPIC: Right and left.


"If I am granted that the relevant criterion for distinguishing the right and the left is the different attitude towards the ideal of equality, and the relevant criterion for distinguishing the moderate and the extremist wing, both in the right and in the left, is the different attitude towards freedom, we can schematically divide the spectrum in which political doctrines and movements are located, in these four parts: a) on the far left are the movements that are both egalitarian and authoritarian, of which the most important historical example, so much that it has become an abstract category applicable, and effectively applied, to different historical periods and situations is Jacobinism; b) at the center-left, doctrines and movements that are both egalitarian and libertarian, for which we could today use the expression "liberal socialism", to include all the social democratic parties, despite their different political practices; c) at the center-right, doctrines and movements that are both libertarian and inequalitarian, within which conservative parties fall, which are distinguished from the reactionary right wing by their loyalty to the democratic method, but, compared to the ideal of equality, stand and stop on equality before the law, which only implies the duty of the court to apply the law impartially; d) on the far right, anti-liberal and anti-egalitarian doctrines and movements, of which I believe it is superfluous to indicate well-known historical examples such as fascism and Nazism. "

Norberto Bobbio, Right and Left. Reasons and meanings of a political distinction, Donzelli publisher, Rome 1994

"If left and right don't exist, you have to invent them. This seems to be the crucial precept of politics in our day. Whether you think in liberal terms or in illiberal terms. In the first sense, in fact, the reference model is always of the bipolar type. Labor and conservatives, Democrats or Republicans, socialists or Gaullists, Liberal Democrats or Social Democrats: the binary of the political structure in the Western liberal democracies seems an established fact. So the choice of right- or left-handed, between center-right and center-left is invoked as the inevitable evolution of each system. But even critical thinking towards the liberal model has always been carried out under the banner of invoking a dualism that follows the terms of the right and left. Marxism is based on the class struggle and the conflict between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, capitalism-socialism or progressive democracy, and reactionary regime. And it risks regenerating itself in the bipolarity between the north and south of the world, between the West and poor and proletarian countries. But the doctrines of nationalism, the classic right and not only can be recognized along the axis marked by Schmitt in the opposition between friend and foe. Politics was born from that conflict. Here the Catholic matrix has tempered both positions, Marxist and nationalist, but has also tempered liberal bipolarism. The "center" as a place for mediating and purifying the conflict arises from us within the framework of a Catholic, ecumenical vision, founded on age and not on aut aut. But secularization, the de-Christianization of Italian society, leads to two opposite effects: the strong recovery of the bipolarity between right and left or the neutralization of politics and therefore of conflict, through a new place of mediation and weakening of the categories of right and left. This new place of depoliticization is represented by pragmatic and technocratic centralism. Currently our democracy is open to both hypotheses. "

Marcello Veneziani, Left and Right. Answer to Norberto Bobbio, Vallecchi Editore, Florence 1995

«And yet, even in the Italian case, so jagged and fragmented, it would be possible to recognize, for those willing to observe things with a minimum of objectivity, the same divisions of values ​​that are present in many other democracies. If right and left mean something, in fact, they indicate different positions on two problems: economic freedoms and civil rights. As for the economic issue, the right normally prefers freedom over equality and the left equality over freedom: the right is, in economic matters, more "liberal" and the left more "socialist". In terms of civil rights, however, the parties are reversed: the left is more "libertarian" (whether it is marriages between homosexuals or concessions of rights to immigrants) and the right is more "traditionalist". This division between a liberal and traditionalist right and a socialist and libertarian left is found everywhere in the western world. Variously declined depending on the historical specificities of each country. "

Angelo PANEBIANCO, The arguments of others, "Corriere della Sera" - 17 April 2011

"The clear distinction and contrast between left and right was a characteristic of Republican Italy until 1992 (with the not secondary exception of consociativism), a characteristic inherited from the conflict between fascism and anti-fascism; while in liberal Italy it manifested itself in a radical way in a few critical cases: in the conflict between Cavour and Garibaldi and in the immediately following years, in the crisis at the end of the century, in the first post-war period. To these cases must be added the four times (1878, 1892, 1901, 1911) in which leftist ministries were formed opposed to the right. But as a rule, the opposition failed because it exalted the political struggle that instead the liberal holders of power almost always wanted to contain or cancel. It is true that with socialism a class left emerged which, as such, was intrinsically opposed to the right. But the class and, in the intentions, revolutionary nature of socialism and then of communism never constituted a real alternative of power. Both left and right have almost always been weak and have become confused with each other in the parliamentary majority, according to the physiology of the political system in which it was governed by being at the center, and often according to its transformative degenerations. Sometimes the right and left are confused in the same person: characteristic, but not unique, is the case of Giolitti, especially between 1903 and 1909, made its customary left-wing politics, the enlargement of the social bases of the state, using tools right wing, that is, the conservative moods, normally prevalent in its majority of government, and the bureaucracy, conservative almost by definition. In some cases, the confusion between left and right has acquired a different character, it has been achieved with the use that the former has made of the latter, to widen the hegemony and consolidate power. The two most important cases were to Crispi that he used, along with the transformation inherited from Depretis, Garibaldi's tradition, and that of Mussolini who used his training and his revolutionary temperament. When this happened, the left gave the right a particularly aggressive character (evident in fascism) because, deprived of the humanistic ideals that constituted and constitute its essence, it survived only in its variously subversive behaviors. "

Giampiero CAROCCI, Right and left in the history of Italy, Laterza, Rome-Bari 2002


TOPIC: Enrico Fermi, physicist.


"Two data allow us to evaluate the importance of the research field opened by Enrico Fermi with his work. The first concerns Nobel prizes, a rough but effective measure of the importance of a particular sector of scientific research and the progress achieved in it: more than ten Nobel Prizes for physics have been attributed to discoveries related to weak interactions. If Fermi had not obtained the Nobel for his research on neutrons, he would have deserved one for discovering weak interactions. A second assessment of the importance of Enrico Fermi's discovery can be deduced from the fact that over half of the experiments currently underway or in preparation with particle accelerators - at CERN in Geneva, at Fermilab in Chicago, at Stanford as at Frascati as at Tsukuba in Japan or Novosibirsk in Russia - they are dedicated to studying various aspects of weak interactions. The same prevalence of studies on weak interactions is found in the experimental programs of large underground laboratories, such as the Italian one of the Gran Sasso, the Japanese one of Kamioka, and others in Canada and the United States. The Fermi theory of weak interactions is now merged into the more general theory of elementary particles that goes by the name of "Standard Model." […] However, it is important to remember that Fermi's theory still maintains its value today, both for the validity of the proposed solutions and as a stimulus for a series of researches that have engaged physicists for almost seventy years, and which will still engage them in the decades to come. This theory reflects the greatness of Fermi, the signature of a great master. »

Nicola CABIBBO, The weak interactions, in Carlo BERNARDINI - Luisa BONOLIS (edited by), Conoscere Ferminel centenary of the birth 29 September 1901 - 2001, Editrice Compositori, Bologna 2001

"Enrico Fermi was born in Rome in 1901. His scientific production began in 1921 and ended with his death in 1954. At the beginning of his activity, physics knew only two fundamental forces of nature, gravitation and electromagnetism, and only two elementary particles making up matter, the hydrogen nuclei (protons) and electrons. In the mid-fifties the fundamental forces have become four, with the addition of the strong and weak nuclear interactions, and notes building blocks are now in their thirties. In just under thirty years the conception of matter undergoes a radical and unusual change so as to make this period, due to the speed and quantity of knowledge acquired, perhaps unique in the history of Western scientific thought. Fermi's research deeply marked this thirty years, not only for the quantity and importance of the results obtained but above all for their historical role. In fact, there are scientific achievements of enormous value that come to the end of long and patient research and which crown a well-defined initial project, but there are also apparently less extraordinary discoveries that oblige unexpected reorganizations of the knowledge acquired, undermine methodological principles and unanimously accepted knowledge and they give research new and completely unexpected directions. In his career as a scientist [...] Fermi achieved both objectives. "

Giuseppe BRUZZANITI, Enrico Fermi. The obedient genius, Einaudi, Turin 2007

"From reading the newspapers a few weeks ago you probably have figured out what kind of work we are dedicated in recent years. It was a work of considerable scientific interest and having contributed to ending a war that threatened to go on for months or years was undoubtedly a reason for some satisfaction. We all hope that the future use of these new inventions will be on a reasonable basis and will do something better than make international relations even more difficult than they have been so far. Newspapers have published a number of details on the work of recent years and these details, of course, they are no longer secret. It will interest you to know, if you do not already know from the Italian newspapers, that towards the end of 1942 we built the first machine in Chicago to produce a chain reaction with uranium and graphite. It became commonly used to call these machines "sets". After the first experimental pile many more were built of great power. From a physics point of view, as you can imagine, these batteries represent an ideal neutron source that we have used for many nuclear physics experiences and that will probably be used even more for this purpose now that the war is over . "

Letter from Enrico Fermi Edoardo Amaldi of August 28, 1945 (in Edoardo Amaldi, From Panisperna America, Editori Riuniti, Rome 1997)

«I would like to discuss with you the crisis that science has been going through for two years now. To a large extent this crisis is due to the sudden awareness, on the part of public opinion and the government, of the tremendous role that science can play in human affairs. The importance of this role was already known. But the dramatic impact brought by the construction of the atomic bomb has brought him into public awareness so vividly that scientists have found themselves, unexpectedly and sometimes against their will, to be in the spotlight […] There is a great shortage of well-trained men of science [...] Now the enrollments of students in the scientific departments have returned to be abundant. I hope very few of these students are attracted to the new charm that science has acquired. The profile of the researcher must return to its tradition of research for the love of discovering new truths. Since in all directions we are surrounded by the unknown and the vocation of the man of science is to move the frontiers of our knowledge forward in all directions, not only in those that promise more immediate compensation or applause. "

Speech given by Enrico Fermi in 1947 (in Giulio MALTESE, Return to Chicago: Enrico Fermi and the birth of high energy physics in the post-war period (1946-1954), in Proceedings of the XXI National Congress of History of Physics and Astronomy, Department Physics, University of Calabria, Arcavacata Rende (CS), 6, 7 and 8 June 2001)



Historian Eric J. Hobsbawm defines the years from the explosion of the First World War to the collapse of the USSR as a short century. In his opinion, “the structure of the short century appears to be like that of a triptych or a historical sandwich. A Golden Age of the catastrophe, from 1914 up to the aftermath of World War II, was followed thirty years of extraordinary economic growth and social transformation, they have probably changed human society more profoundly than any other period similar brevity. Looking back, those years can be considered as a kind of Golden Age, and so they were seen as soon as they came to an end in the early 70s. The last part of the century was a new era of decomposition, uncertainty and crisis - and even, for large parts of the world such as Africa, the former USSR and the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe, Golden Age of catastrophe ".
The candidate critically evaluates the periodization proposed by Hobsbawm and focuses on the events that in his opinion characterize the 70s of the twentieth century.



«In the future everyone will be famous in the world for fifteen minutes».
Taking the cue from Andy Warhol's "prediction", the candidate analyzes the value assigned to "fame" (ephemeral or not) in today's society and reflects on the concept of "fame" proposed by the television industry (Reality and Talent show) or spread by social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Weblog, etc.).

Maximum duration of the test: 6 hours.
Only the use of the Italian dictionary is allowed.
It is not allowed to leave the Institute before 3 hours have elapsed from the dictation of the topic.

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