Skip to Content
Programs : Brochure
This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
* WWU Global Learning Program: Summer, Italy- Study food this summer
Dornach, Switzerland; Florence, Italy (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Global Learning Faculty-led
Program Description:
WWU Global Learning Programs Program Details Instructor Cost

WWU logo

Global Learning

Florence, Italy: Study food this summer in Italy

ENVS 437L: Ecogastronomy Intensive (Food Cultures of Italy) (10 credits)

Pre-departure session dates: June 14-15, 2015
Travel dates: June 21–July 5, 2015
Optional excursion - Switzerland: June 17–June 21, 2015
Return session dates: (July and August field trips – optional, individual meetings with Gigi, class reunion in October)

Note: Course readings are completed (and students are examined) before the Italy portion; Course work is due in August

This food course begins with a culinary intensive in Bellingham, also available online, then moves to Florence, Italy, where students study Italian and food culture of Italy. Students also study at the prestigious University of Florence sensory taste sciences department.

Optional excursion: Switzerland
Click here for more information

Learn more about this program:

Back up to Top arrow
Back to top

Program Details

This food course begins with a culinary intensive in Bellingham, also available online, then moves to Florence, Italy, where students study Italian and food cultures of Italy. Students also study at the prestigious University of Florence sensory taste sciences department.

Study in the renowned sensory taste science laboratory of Caterina Dinella and Erminio Monteleone of the University of Florence and Johannes Wirz (Natural Sciences section of the Goetheanum, Switzerland excursion) as well as with Western professor, Gigi Berardi.

Enrollment is limited to 20. Register now to reserve your place!

You can also receive graduate credits for this program. Additional credits are available through independent study. This program can be repeated for credit. Those without pre-requisites can enroll in the program; all you need to do is contact Gigi.

Brief powerpoint

Photos from Florence Trip
Photos from Switzerland 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 picturesque, hilltop settings.
  • Study sensory taste science with European experts at the University of Florence.
  • 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.

Click here to download a detailed, printable itinerary.

ENVS 437L: Ecogastronomy Intensive (10 credits)
Click Here to View Course Syllabus


Back up to Top arrow
Back to top


Gigi Berardi 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
Read more about past adventures.

Gigi Berardi, Ph.D.
Professor, Huxley College of the Environment
Phone: (360) 650-3284 or (360) 650-2106
Office: Huxley


Back up to Top arrow
Back to top


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


Like Us!


Watch Us!

Gigi's blog

Good 4 U: Student Blog


Program Ratings:
Academic Experience: 1 2 3 4 5
Program Value: 1 2 3 4 5
Housing Experience: 1 2 3 4 5
Cultural Immersion: 1 2 3 4 5
Program Administration: 1 2 3 4 5
Overall Experience: 1 2 3 4 5
What elements of the program did you find the most rewarding?
A few elements of the program I found extremely beneficial above all else were the host family speaking only italian, the Italian Way reading before the trip and the language course. One of the experiences I will value the most was living with a family who did not speak english. This forces us, the students, to emerge in the culture and actually learn the language. learning to communicate through physical motions and each day having a new word, was challenging and exciting. The language that we did not learn in the language course, we learned at the house by hearing the host family speak it. Being surrounded by the language helped me learn accents and words.
A second element I appreciate was the knowledge gained from the reading, The Italian Way: food and social life by Douglas Harper and Patricia Faccioli. This book allowed for me to get a sence of what eating is like in Italy. It gave me a basic knowledge as to what I should expect becasue before the book, I had no idea. Although the meals and food I actually enjoyed while in Florence was different from the book at times, I always had something to compare my real life experience with. Reading this book allowed for me to constantly contrast and compare while I was eating. Noting these differences solidified my thoughts and criticisms on the way things actually are and the way one can percieve what they think is "normal" through a reading.
The third element I found enriching to the experience was the language lessons. Everyday I came out of the class with a new phrase and multiple verbs. Even though I heard Paolo and Gianna (my host family memebers) speak everyday, without the language course, I would have had no idea what they were saying. This lesson everyday was a necessary touch for the course. Without the language, one is in complete isolation of the culture.
     — Lindsey Gard, Summer 2014
Read what others have said about this program.
This program is currently not accepting applications.