Current PhD Students

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Sebastiano Bazzichetto
Laurea / Laurea Specialistica – Università degli Studi di Padova
Diploma Scuola Galileiana di Studi Superiori – Padova


Sebastiano Bazzichetto’s research mainly focuses on Italian Baroque poetry of the first half of the 17th century. He is also interested in Baroque theatre and melodramma and Decadent literature.   


Johnny L. Bertolio
Laurea / Laurea specialistica – Università degli Studi di Pisa
Diploma di Licenza Scuola Normale Superiore – Pisa

Johnny L. Bertolio graduated in Classics from the Scuola Normale Superiore (2012), with a dissertation on Leonardo Bruni’s translation of Plato’s Phaedrus, and from the University of Pisa (2011), with a dissertation on Bruni’s De interpretatione recta. His areas of research extend from early Humanism to the late Renaissance, and include a particular interest in Leopardi, as well as attention to the reception of classics in Italian literature.

Davide De Luca
HON BA / MA University of Toronto


Davide De Luca is a native of Toronto. His ancestral roots lie in Cosenza, Italy. Growing up in the same home as his dialectophone paternal grandmother, Davide became fluent in cosentino at a very young age and he quickly developed a passion for this dialect in particular and Italian (especially Southern Italian) dialects in general. This lifelong passion has also become the inspiration for Davide’s doctoral work. His research focuses specifically on the use and formation of the indicative past tense in Northern Calabria (i.e. the Province of Cosenza).

Francesca Facchi
Laurea / Laurea Specialistica – Università di Pavia
Diploma Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori – Pavia

Francesca Facchi’s areas of research are Italian popular literature in the Post-Unification period, and Twentieth Century Literature, both poetry and prose. She has worked extensively on Eugenio Montale’s correspondence, and she is currently researching on the origins of Italian Crime Fiction in the Nineteenth century, combining a philological approach with an interdisciplinary one.

Christina Vani 
BA Concordia University, Montréal / MA University of Toronto

christinaChristina graduated with great distinction from Concordia University in late 2009, where she majored in Italian and minored in Spanish and Professional Writing. Her studies included advanced courses in Translation (in Spanish and Italian), History of the Italian Language, and Italian Civilisation. She led an Italian conversation group and was the youth representative for the Giovani Laziali. Christina worked for one year in the field of medical publishing as a copyeditor in Montréal, Québec. In 2011, she spent two months volunteering with the Art Monastery Project, an American arts non-profit, in Labro, Italy. Upon her return, she began her MA at U of T, where she focussed on courses on the Italian language, such as Italian Dialectology and the Questione della Lingua; Registers and Subcodes; Italian Language after Unity; and Lexicography. When she completed the MA programme, Christina was offered a six-month contract to re-join the Art Monastery Project in the capacity of Assistant to the Executive Director, a position that she occupied from June to December 2012. Invigorated from her sojourn in Italy, Christina initiated the PhD programme at U of T in January 2013. She has yet to solidify her thesis topic; nevertheless, her research interests include Dialectology, Translation, Philology, Linguistics, and Pedagogy. She is a Jackman Junior Fellow and in the past was awarded the Carmine Di Michele Scholarship. Christina speaks English, French, and Spanish in addition to Italian and is passionate about writing, vegan cooking, live music, slam poetry, and meditation.