he Società Dante Alighieri, a non profit organization, was founded in 1889 by a group of intellectuals led by  Giosuè Carducci, a prominent Italian poet, who drew up a programme that was then signed by 159 important personalities from the political and cultural milieu.

New branches were opened both in Italy and abroad and the Institute adapted its activities to the new social reality of Italy. Relations with other Italian cultural associations overseas were also formalised between 1973 and 1988.

Today the Società Dante Alighieri is involved in Cultural and Language Commissions set up by various Italian ministries to cater for language and cultural requirements both nationally and in the international sphere and is also on the board of the Italian National Committee for the promotion of Italian culture abroad.

With over two hundred thousand students, the organisation is located in 60 countries and manages almost 3,300 schools and institutes.

A first Maltese Committee was established in Malta in 1920 with a more effective and active organisation coming to life again in 1959.

Language and culture Courses

Today the Valletta Committee organises a wide range of language and culture courses and activities for the autumn and summer periods,  for groups and individuals alike. Starting from first experiences for under tens  up to ‘O’ and ‘A’ level. Special language courses are also offered in different sectors, including commerce, finance, law, tourism, travelling and the entertainment industries, retail outlet communication, call centre survival kits, industry and translations. Very sought after are individual adult conversation,

orthography and full immersion courses aimed at improving different aspects of the language, held regularly on request by both local and foreign adults. Tailor-made courses are organised and held at client’s premises where logistics and other conditions allow. Latin language courses are also offered. The SDA is responsible for the Italian language competence certification on behalf of the MTA (Malta Tourism Authority) for local guides; Examination Centre for ICON (Italian Universities Consortium) and for the Università per Stranieri of Siena (DITALS Exams).


We have also produced a tailor made course on Tourism for the PLIDA certification which is currently being discussed in Rome. Translation services are also offered. The SDA has deposited the current President’s signature at the Malta Foreign Office for the authentatication and validation of translated documents.  We also do on-the-spot assessment of Italian language skills on behalf of companies, institutions and individuals to gauge suitability of job or course applicants. Dante Malta is also involved in intercultural dialogue with courses in Arabic language and culture and International Conferences held in Malta. Other initiatives include training for Cinema related professions and Traditional Handicrafts like Fusion Glass, gastronomy classes, Arts and Design, etc.

The Società Dante Alighieri also offers the PLIDA (Progetto Lingua Italiana Dante Alighieri) Certification in language competence.The Malta Committee of Dante Alighieri Society is an Official Examination Centre  (licence no. 011701) for the PLIDA. The SDA is also registered as an Informal Training Centre with the Education Department (SLC 11744).

The PLIDA certificate, member of the CLIQ Association (Quality Certification of Italian language), is an official diploma issued by the Dante Alighieri Society through a formal agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (n. 1903 of Nov. 4, 1993) and with the scientific approval of the University “La Sapienza” of Rome (June 29, 2004). PLIDA is also recognized by the Ministry of Employment and Welfare (decree of October 18, 2002) and by the Ministry of Education, University and Research, M.I.U.R. (February 11, 2004). The Certificate is also recognised in Malta according to the requisites of the National Qualifications Framework.

The Certificate attests competence in Italian as a foreign language according to a scale of six levels, corresponding to six phases in the progression of learning. The levels advance from A1 to C2 in progression of difficulty and correspond to the levels established by the Council of Europe (Common European Framework for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment. Modern Languages Division, Strasbourg, 2001).

As from 2014, the Dante Alighieri has also introduced the ADA Attendance Certification. Students following courses based on the the curriculum parameters established by the Scientific Committee of the SDA, are awarded this Certification according to the Level they would have attended pursuant to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

The Società Dante Alighieri is also an M.I.U.R. accredited Institution for the training of Italian language teachers. (Directive n. 90/03 art. 1 comma 2).   (03/2009). The SDA is also a member of the EUNIC, the Association of EU National Institutes for Culture.