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  • Locations: Bellingham, Washington, United States; Florence, Italy;
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2017 05/30/2017 ** Rolling Admission 06/11/2017 07/09/2017

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Global Learning Faculty-led
Language of Instruction:
English, Italian
Language Prerequisite: No
Fields of Study:
Agriculture, Agronomy, Sustainability
Housing Options: Homestay
Minimum GPA:
Program Description:
WWU Global Learning Programs Program Details Instructor Cost
Italy Group Dining

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Global Learning

Florence, Italy: Ecogastronomy and Food Cultures of Italy 

ENVS 497K: Ecogastronomy and Food Cultures of Italy (8 credits)

Syllabus: Syllabus Italy.pdf

Pre-departure session dates: June 11-14, 2017
Travel dates:

  • Optional Switzerland excursion: June 15 – 17, 2017
  • Florence: June 18 - July 9, 2017

Learn more about this program:

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Program Details

This food studies program begins with culinary intensives in Bellingham, then moves to Florence, Italy, where students study heritage food cultures. Students also study in the prestigious University of Florence sensory taste sciences department, with the renowned gastronomy/sensory taste scientists, Caterina Dinnella and Erminio Monteleone.  Italian family home stays, Tuscan countryside excursions, cultural tours, and hikes. Museum visits included. 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.

Additional credits are available through independent study.

Enrollment is limited to 11. 

Brief powerpoint

Photos from Florence Trip

Program Highlights:

  • 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 Gimingiano (Tuscan countryside)
  • Visit Il Palagio (Tuscan countryside)
  • Italian cooking classes
  • Museum visits included, e.g., The Uffizi (the Louvre of Italy)
  • Study sensory taste science with European experts at the University of Florence (4 days)
  • Study natural animal breeding and biodynamic farming
  • Observe cheesemaking
  • Participate in carbon-offsetting at "Inspiration Farm" in Whatcom County (optional)
  • 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

ItineraryBrief travel itinerary 2017.docx

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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
Phone: (360) 650-2106
Office: AH 204

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Please click the budget sheet for program cost and payment information.


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Gigi's blog

Good 4 U: Student Blog


Program Ratings:
Academic Experience:
1 2 3 4
Program Value:
1 2 3 4
Housing Experience:
1 2 3 4 5
Cultural Immersion:
1 2 3 4 5
Program Administration:
1 2 3 4
Overall Experience:
1 2 3 4 5