WWU Global Learning Program:
Ecogastronomy and Food Cultures of Italy
Course: ENVS 437K: Ecogastronomy and Food Cultures of Italy (8 credits)
Syllabus Italy 2018.pdf
Course Pre-Reqs: ENVS 110 The Art and Science of Food, ENVS 201 (Human Geography), and ENVS 410 Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture OR permission of instructor
June 17 - July 15, 2018
Switzerland (Optional, for additional cost): June 18 - 24, 2018
Italy: June 24 - July 15, 2018
This food studies program begins with culinary intensives in Bellingham, then moves to Florence, Italy, where students study traditional food cultures. The program includes full cultural immersion with an Italian family home stay, Tuscan countryside excursions, cultural tours, cooking classes, and hikes. Museum visits include The Academia (where Michaelangelo’s David is housed), Uffizi art galleries, and the Boboli Gardens. The cost of this program provides all breakfasts and dinners in Italy, including country and palazzo-dining in the Tuscan countryside, as well as most lunches (approx. 50 meals), as well as conversational Italian at the Istituto Galileo Galilei and introductory art history as part of the food culture experience. Additional meals and instruction are provided based on student interest. A central part of the course is focused study at an economic collective and farm cooperative at Camporbiano, in the Tuscan countryside. The Camporbiano project is a unique study in a holistic and integrated farm. Students will have the opportunity to work with biodynamic agriculture and other projects.
Additional credits are available through independent study.
Enrollment is limited to 13.
- Experience Italian farm- and home-cooking with Italian families and in hands-on culinary intensives in Italy, the home of the “Slow Food” movement
- Visit Fiesole (with its Etruscan sites and ruins)
- Visit San Gimignano (with its medieval architecture and towers in the Tuscan countryside)
- Visit Il Palagio (premier dining on the grounds of Tuscan countryside)
- Complete a course in Italian cooking (three separate evenings)
- Enjoy guided tours and museum visits, e.g., The Uffizi (the Louvre of Italy), and Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens
- Study natural animal breeding and biodynamic farming
- Observe cheesemaking
- Complete a program in language and culture at the Istituto Galileo
- Enjoy the “Camporbiano” experience in integrated farm and food economies
- The cost of this program provides most meals in Italy, including country and palazzo-dining in the Tuscan countryside, as well as conversational Italian and introductory art history as part of the food culture experience
- Consider excursions to performances of dance, opera, and music in the palaces and courtyards and centuries-old amphitheaters (optional)
- Participate in carbon-offsetting at "Inspiration Farm" in Whatcom County (optional)
- YouTube Video
- Good 4 U Gastronomy Blog - Resilient Farms Nourishing Foods Blog - Facebook Group
Gigi Berardi, Huxley professor, received her B.A. in Biology from John Muir College, University of California San Diego and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Natural Resources, Policy, and Planning from Cornell University. She holds an M.A. in dance from UCLA.
Gigi has held four tenure-track positions and has taught at over a dozen colleges and universities – but she has saved the best for last: Western Washington University. Gigi’s research focus is on community vulnerabilities and food. In addition, she is an avid cook, gardener, student-of-languages, and fitness/dance enthusiast!
Gigi co-founded and served as interim director of the Resilience Institute at Huxley and currently serves as Resilient Farms Project co-director. Her current book projects are entitled Food! and A Cultivated Life.
Visit Gigi's departmental profile page
for more about Gigi and read more about past adventures
Gigi Berardi, Ph.D.
Professor, Huxley College of the Environment
See the Budget Sheet
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