Course Details

Program dates


Travel dates


Course credits

ENVS 437K or UEPP 437

Total credits: 8

Gigi Berardi

Gigi Berardi at Goetheanum
Professor, Department of Environmental Studies and author, FoodWISE
AH 204

Chloe Unflat

Image of Chloe Unflat
Program Assistant

This multicultural and excursion-rich food business/planning program offers intensive study and numerous field trips in a major European business and architecture center—Florence, Italy and surrounding Tuscan countryside and marine parks. Study is in environmental, economic, and social movements (both classical and contemporary), as well as in sensory taste sciences (with University of Florence faculty) and agroecology. Students study food cultures and entrepreneurship – and experience a uniquely sustainable food economy at Camporbiano in the Tuscan countryside. Experience language and culture at the Istituto Galileo Galilei, as well as authentic regional cuisine and cooking in Florence. Includes excursions with recreational cycling to the Maremma regional park in Tuscany.

Please DO NOT make travel arrangements to travel to Italy until your program is confirmed for travel and you receive an official confirmation from the Education Abroad office. Plan to arrive on Sunday, June 23 for onsite orientation starting on Monday, June 24. Program instruction will begin Tuesday, June 25.

Photos from 2023Italy Map 2023—class highlights Credit: Chloe Unflat

Photos from 2022

Photos from 2017, 2018 

Photos from 2018 

Video from Summer 2018


Students Canoeing in Italy

Program Highlights

Dr. Gigi Berardi, Faculty Leader for this Global Learning Program, requires students to take a one-credit independent study with her during the Spring 2024 quarter to prepare for their time in Italy. Contact Dr. Berardi to arrange your independent study.

  • 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 (Florence) and Sovana (southern Tuscany) for their Etruscan sites and ruins
  • Visit San Gimignano in the Tuscan countryside
  • Picnic at Pratolino, the Renaissance Medici park 
  • Complete a course in Italian cooking (three separate days)
  • Enjoy guided tours and museum visits, e.g., Palazzo Vecchio and Uffizi
  • Practice sensory taste science of balsamic vinegars in Modena, Italy
  • Study natural animal breeding and biodynamic farming
  • Guest lectures from the University of Florence
  • Complete a program in language and culture at the Istituto Galileo
  • Enjoy a sketching tour of markets in Florence
  • Enjoy the “Camporbiano” experience in integrated farm and food economies
  • Visit the Mercato Centrale, and artisan food retailers
  • Enjoy three days in the Maremma Regional Park (agritourism, cycling, boating, swimming on the coast)
  • 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)


Students Cycling in Italy

Expectations of Participants

Course Structure and Evaluation: The format for this course is a 16-day intensive. The intensive consists of meetings (mostly by Zoom) prior to departure, two weeks in Florence, and three days in the Maremma regional park.

With or without reasonable accommodations, must be able to walk and or sit for one-two hours/day in museums and cultural sites, optional hiking. Weather is warm. In the Maremma National Park, several hours of cycling/day.

Refrigeration is available for the duration of the program.

Students must work with the WWU Disability Access Center, Wilson Library 170, (360) 650-3083, For service eligibility, a complete diagnostic description from a qualified professional is required. Specific accommodations or services are determined on an individual basis and are modified to meet the unique needs of the student and their academic experience. Accommodation policies and procedures are highly individualized and centered on self-advocacy, realistic self-appraisal, and student growth. Each quarter, students need to activate their approved accommodations for each class. Students choose which of their approved accommodations they want to activate for each class.

We strongly recommend that all students traveling on this Global Learning Program are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to maximize the safety of the student cohort. Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines remains the most important step to protect yourself and your community. 

Participants are expected to abide by all attendance policies of the program, including those for classes and excursions, and to adhere to the program schedule. Since the programs are academic in nature, parents, friends, partners, and families are not permitted on any part of the Global Learning Program. Personal travel must be outside of the course dates and not conflict with coursework or excursion schedules. Travel plans should be vetted by faculty beforehand to ensure personal plans do not interfere with meeting the learning objectives of the course.


Group of students in a kitchen in Italy