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  • Locations: Bellingham, Washington, United States; Dornach, Switzerland; Florence, Italy;
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Global Learning Faculty-led Language Prerequisite: No
Click here for a definition of this term Fields of Study: Agriculture, Business, Culinary Arts, Sociology, Sustainability Housing Options: Homestay
Click here for a definition of this term Minimum GPA: 2.5
Program Description:
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WWU Global Learning Program: 
Ecogastronomy and Food Cultures of Italy

Italy - Gigi
Course: ENVS 437K: Ecogastronomy and Food Cultures of Italy (8 credits)
Syllabus Italy June 2019.pdf

Course Pre-Reqs: Most students seek permission of instructor, otherwise recommended are: ENVS 110 The Art and Science of Food, ENVS 201 (Human Geography), and ENVS 410 Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture; no language requirements

Program Dates:

June 18 - July 14, 2019

Travel Dates:

Program Description:

This food studies program begins with culinary intensives in Bellingham, then moves to Florence, Italy, where students study traditional food cultures. Students also study in the prestigious University of Florence sensory taste sciences department, with the renowned scholars Caterina Dinnella and Erminio Monteleone. 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 available 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 resilient 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 15. 

2018 Program Photos
Pictures of Switzerland 

Course 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 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 sensory taste science with renowned faculty at the University of Florence
  • 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 (approximately 50) 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)

Expectations of Participants:

Some Spanish desirable, but not necessary. 
With or without reasonable accommodations, must be able to walk for 1-2 hours, and/or sit for 2 hours, 1-2 days of mild hiking.
Refrigeration is accessible.

Learn More:

YouTube Video       - YouTube Video A Summer Abroad    - 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
Phone: (360) 650-2106
Office: AH 204

Program Cost:

See the Budget Sheet.


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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

This program is currently not accepting applications.