From Rome to Florence

Exploring Italian History, Culture, Food, & Wine

May 11, 2022 - May 24, 2022


Faculty Director: Dr. Michael Barrett

GEN 302 International Experience in Agriculture – 3 Credits 

Can serve as an elective for the HMT degree and the DWB Certificate


To apply to go:

Italy holds a special place in Western history and development of Western culture.  In addition, Americans love Italian foods and wines (we import more wine from Italy than any other country).   While this course has a focus on Italian wine, especially the wines of Tuscany, to fully appreciate the wines of a place you need to understand the context of the place.  This includes the history, culture and the food.   We will use our time in Rome to explore some Roman history and culture, time in Florence to learn about the importance of the Italian city-state and the fabulous contributions to art that it spawned, and we will visit Siena to learn about a city impacted by previous pandemic, the Black Plague.  In addition, we will use our time in the Tuscan countryside to learn about Italian food production and cooking as well as the major wine areas and types of Tuscan wines.  Sampling of the food and wine will be, of course, part of this too!  Course activities will also give students insight into modern Italian life and culture to compare to those in the United States.  Rudimentary Italian language lessons will help students be comfortable interacting with Italians in shops, restaurants and wineries.


  • See and experience the iconic Italian cities of Rome, Florence and Siena with comparisons between the cultures of Italy and the United States
  • While in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, learn how some of the staples of Italian food, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cheese and pasta are produced including your own Italian cooking lesson.
  • Explain the basics of wine grape growing and wine making
  • Describe the major wine producing areas of Italy including the grapes grown and the wines made in each
  • Evaluate wines through guided tastings