Food Studies in Italy

This program is designed for undergraduate students interested in the relationship between food, gender, and sustainability in the context of Italy. During this short-term program, you spend four weeks traveling in Italy exploring the distribution, production, and consumption of food. You will participate in local site visits at restaurants, food production sites, agritourism farm, food markets, cooking classes, etc. You will experience Italian cuisine and the gendered systems that produce it. These culinary experiences will be supplemented with other cultural activities. 

This program is based in Florence and includes travel to Bologna. Florence is the ideal setting to spend the summer exploring one of the most historic, cultural and beautiful cities in the world. The city is filled with cobblestone streets, open-air markets, unique food experiences, artistic masterpieces, stunning architecture, etc.

All the excursions and activities are COVID-19 restrictions permitting and are subject to change.

Please note that while application for this program is now open, PittGEO will continue to evaluate COVID-19 conditions in each country, as well as CDC and U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings until April 1, 2021, at which time the decision to proceed with academic travel or transition to a fully virtual experience will be made.

 

What You'll Accomplish: 
As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to:
  • Discuss how gender, history, geography, and the marketplace impact food preferences, ethics, and availability
  • Analyze food ethics and sustainability 
  • Develop awareness of the social, economic and environmental aspects of our global food system, and the various ways in which individuals and societies interact with and experience food
  • Make connections between eating and cultural identities and beliefs
 

Florence, Italy is the capital city of the Firenze province and Tuscany region. It is surrounded by the picturesque rolling hills of Tuscany. Florence is a majestic city that is visually stunning, culturally rich and has a storied past. Florence was founded as a Roman Military colony around the 1st Century BC. The city’s population began to grow due to its location in the fertile, farmable hills. Its location also was perfect for economic development in the region.

Florence became a haven for an ever-growing immigrant population that still exists today. Florence has its strong Italian roots but is also very much a multi-cultural city. Due to the growing economy and influx of immigrants it became the perfect location for merchants and artists. This in part, led to the Renaissance period in the 14th to 16th centuries. Many of the most influential artists of that time period flocked to the city to work on their art including Michelangelo, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and Leonardo da Vinci. They left behind masterpieces in the forms of frescoes, sculptures, paintings and architecture that are still visible throughout the city today Despite its pivotal role in the history of civilization and its significance as an artistic and cultural center, Florence retains the bustle and charm of a small town in a bygone age. Ancient, medieval, renaissance, cosmopolitan, yet with all modern conveniences, Florence, perhaps more than any other city, is a tapestry displaying Europe's emergence from the Dark Ages through to the 21st century.

 

Where You'll Live: 

You will live like a Florentine during your program abroad. Housing placements are scattered throughout the city-center and location depends on availability and housing option. Exact addresses are provided closer to departure. Regardless of the option you choose, nothing is ever far from you in Florence. The city is a very flat, pedestrian friendly, and walkable city.

Like the streets of Florence, no two apartments on the Pitt in Florence program are alike in terms of design, but all will give you a comfortable place to call home in Italy.  Most apartments are located within an hour commute to the CAPA Center, either on foot or by bus. Apartments are still within what is considered the city-center. 

  • Shared bedrooms (2 students/bedroom)
  • There are typically up to six students in each apartment
  • A fully equipped kitchen
  • En-suite bathroom
  • Shared living area
  • Washing machine(s) in the building (Italian apartments typically do not have dryers).  
  • Meals aren’t included, so plan on learning to cook with local ingredients or budget money to eat out.

We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions. 

 

 

What You'll Study: 

You will take 2 courses for 6 credits. The Politics of Gender and Food course is cross-listed between GSWS and ANTH departments, so you will be enrolled in either GSWS 1180 or ANTH 1716. In addition, you will take ANTH 1752.

 
If you are seeking to count these courses towards a major, minor or certificate requirement, please meet with your respective advisor to discuss the program and what the courses will fulfill for you. 
 
 
Anthropology of Food (ANTH1752)
Food is a basic human need; however, beyond biological functions, food also has rich cultural significance. Taste, preference, ritual, tradition, gender, social class, and nationality all influence food choices and behaviors. In addition, economic and environmental factors, globalization, localization, and social movements all affect our access and attitudes toward food. In this course, we will examine how food behaviors are shaped by culture, and what anthropology can offer to the study of food and nutrition.
Politics of Gender and Food (ANTH1716)
Food is sustenance and absolutely essential to life. But food is never simply about nutrition. Because it is fundamental to the human experience, food is also a medium for the expression of culture and social identity. Moreover, food relays complex social messages about gender, sexuality, and family. Consequently, food is also a means for expressing the social and symbolic use of power and control in which social inequalities are expressed in culinary forms. This course will examine food from the vantage point of gendered systems of production, distribution, and consumption as we consider: How does your food come to your table (or not) and what are the political implications of personal tastes? By the end of this course, students will be able to: 1) apply anthropological and feminist theories to food and eating in a cross-cultural perspective; 2) understand how gender, race and class influence our access to and perspective on food; 3) make connections between eating and cultural identities and beliefs; and 4) use writing (and rewriting) as a process for developing understanding, exploring alternative points of view, considering their audience, and entering into an academic conversation.
Politics of Gender and Food  (GSWS1180)

Food is sustenance and absolutely essential to life. But food is never simply about nutrition. Because it is fundamental to the human experience, food is also a medium for the expression of culture and social identity. Moreover, food relays complex social messages about gender, sexuality, and family. Consequently, food is also a means for expressing the social and symbolic use of power and control in which social inequalities are expressed in culinary forms. This course will examine food from the vantage point of gendered systems of production, distribution, and consumption as we consider: How does your food come to your table (or not) and what are the political implications of personal tastes? By the end of this course, students will be able to: 1) apply anthropological and feminist theories to food and eating in a cross-cultural perspective; 2) understand how gender, race and class influence our access to and perspective on food; 3) make connections between eating and cultural identities and beliefs; and 4) use writing (and rewriting) as a process for developing understanding, exploring alternative points of view, considering their audience, and entering into an academic conversation.

The University of Pittsburgh partners with the CAPA the Global Education Network for this program. For more than 45 years CAPA: The Global Education Network has worked with institutions of higher education to build programs that meet their goals for learning abroad. CAPA operates education centers in Global Cities and have developed distinct academic offerings, support frameworks, and oversight structures for students and visiting faculty.

The CAPA Florence Center is housed in Palazzo Galli-Tassi, a 15th century palace in the Santa Croce neighborhood. The CAPA Florence team is available throughout your program to assist and support you 24/7 with any urgent situations.

 

 

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Nazir Noori

Salam! I’m Nazir and I'm your Study Abroad Program Manager. I was born and raised abroad and went to schools in Afghanistan, Iran, and the U.S. I also took classes in India and United Arab Emirates. I worked for the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and German Foreign Office for over ten years before moving to Pittsburgh in 2014. At the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, I assisted Afghan students to study in the U.S., and now I'm glad I have the opportunity to help you study abroad.

Schedule a Zoom appointment with me below or get in touch with me through email to discuss study abroad options.

 
 

Schedule an appointment

Schedule an appointment with me using Pathways!

  • Log in to Pathways or use the Navigate app
  • Select Appointments > Schedule an Appointment
  • Select Pitt Global as the appointment type
  • Select General Study Abroad as the School/Unit
  • Select Study Abroad Program Specific Questions as the service
  • Select Study Abroad Virtual Advising as the Location
  • Select my name and find a time that works for you

Don't see a time that works for you? Just send me an email!

Your In-Country Contacts: 

Frayda Cohen

 Frayda Cohen is a Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Adviser for the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program. She is a cultural anthropologist whose research interests are on children and adoption, gender, food, and transnationalism. She has spent several years working in China and was also previously the Director for the summer 6-week study abroad program, Pitt in China. More recently, she has traveled to Italy and is developing a project on emerging Chinese communities in Italy. She regularly teaches courses on gender and food, global feminisms, gendered bodies, and popular culture, and feminist theory. 
 

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $4,656 $4,856
Program Fee $1,043 $1,043
Study Abroad Fee $300 $300
Total Billed by Pitt $5,999 $6,199

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Airfare ~ $1,400
Meals and Personal Expenses ~ $1,000

 

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad. Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

 

What's Included: 

As a part of your Food Studies program fee, the following are included:

  • Tuition for 6 credits
  • Shared accommodations through the program
  • Excursions and cultural activities 
  • On-site transportation  
  • Class related activities such as tours of markets, food farms, and cooking class
  • International travel health insurance
  • Airport transfers
What Else You Need to Know: 

Please note that while application for this program is now open, PittGEO will continue to evaluate COVID-19 conditions in each country, as well as CDC and U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings until April 1, 2021, at which time the decision to proceed with academic travel or transition to a fully virtual experience will be made.