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  • Locations: Florence, Italy
  • Program Terms: Spring - Short Term
  • Restrictions: SU applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:

NSD 452/652: Mediterranean Food and Culture: an Italian Experience (3 credits)

Taught in Syracuse during the Spring 2017 semester (Tuesday, 5:15-8:00pm) and in Italy, May 16-May 30, 2017

Italy Horacek market

This course will provide you with an opportunity to experience one of the most renowned cuisines in the world. What is the Mediterranean diet and why do people eat this way? How many ways can we really define the Mediterranean diet, based upon regional and cultural differences? We will investigate the historic, geographic, and socio-economic underpinnings of the Mediterranean diet. We will critique the health benefits and implications of following a Mediterranean diet. We will discuss the current dietary habits of people surrounding the Mediterranean to determine just how closely the Mediterranean diet is being followed. Once in Italy, we will experience the current Mediterranean diet from farm to table by exploring small artisan producers for cheese, olive oil, wine, and pasta. We explore the significance of local/regional production not only from a food system but also from a legislative and labeling perspective. We will work in the fields, shop for the freshest ingredients and cook authentic Italian meals.
This course is open to any SU student who has interest in the interaction between Mediterranean foods, wine, health and culture. For NSD majors or minors, this course can be taken as an alternative to the required NSD 555: Food, Culture and Environment Class offered on campus.
Class size is limited to 16 students. Any graduate student or advanced undergraduate student is eligible to apply. Students who enroll in this course must participate in both the Syracuse and Italy portion of the program. This is not an introductory course; taking NSD 225, Nutrition in Health, or equivalent course first is suggested. The Tuscany/Florence portion of the class requires a lot of walking and vineyard field work.

Tentative Itinerary 2017Italy Horacek olive

Tuesday, May 16th Travel to Florence, Italy, on recommended flight or on your own.
Wednesday, May 17th         Arrive in Florence. Travel to agriturismo La Ginestra in Tuscany
Thursday, May 18th Stay at La Ginestra, work (vineyard).
Friday, May 19th Stay at La Ginestra, work (bee care). All meals provided.
Saturday, May 20th Visit Montespertoli market and mill. Cook with Jacopo. Visit to biodynamic sustainable garden.
Sunday, May 21st Stay at La Ginestra, Truffle hunting. All meals provided.
Monday, May 22nd Visit to Cheese and wine tour and tasting, butcher and pasta factory.  
Tuesday, May 23rd Making pizza and or bread with Matteo. Work on farm. All meals provided.
Wednesday, May 24th Visit La Franci Olive Press visit and tasting. Travel to agriturismo La Valentina in Maremma. 
Thursday, May 25th Visit to LaSelva organic farm. Lunch at La Dogana slow food restaurant. Visit town of Pitigliano.
Friday, May 26th Bike ride to Maremma Regional Natural park/beach. Travel to Florence.
Saturday, May 27th Walking tour of Florence. Guided tour of Uffizi Museum.
Sunday, May 28th Free day
Monday, May 29th Taste of Florence Food tour. Cook lunch as group with Jacopo.
Tuesday, May 30th Students depart for U.S. or independent travel.

Tanya Horacek, Ph.D., R.D. Dr. Horacek is a Professor in the department of Public Health, Food Studies and Nutrition. She teaches upper level/graduate applied dietetics classes (nutrition counseling). Her current research involves the development and validation of a healthy campus environmental audit and randomized treatment control trials using a non-diet approach to weight management. She has a variety of other research projects include eating competence, green eating, participatory program planning, and the effectiveness of lifestyles-oriented nutrition counseling/education. She is passionate about helping students fit a study abroad experience into their program of study. She has broadened her area of study/teaching to include sustainability and a global cultural experience via the Mediterranean Food Culture class. She spent fall 2009 semester living and teaching in Florence and continues to study Italian.
Students register for this 3-credit class during the spring semester. This means that SU undergraduates pay no additional tuition charge for the overseas program, as long as they have not exceeded the 19-credit limit for the semester. Graduate students pay the per-credit tuition charge for this three credit class.

All students will pay a program fee (approximately $2000-2200) for the travel portion of the course, which includes housing, some group meals, ground transportation, and entrance fees. It also includes all activities and services for which a separate fee is not charged. The final fee will be set once expenses have been confirmed. Please note: The fee does not include airfare. Students should budget between $1100-1300 for roundtrip airfare from the US to Italy. SU Abroad will provide information on a recommended flight after students have been accepted.

Italy Horacek agrofarmApplication, Selection & Payment Procedures
A completed online application and a $70 non-refundable application fee are due to SU Abroad by October 15, 2016. An admissions committee made up of Professor Horacek and an SU Abroad representative will review all applications. Students will be notified of their acceptance shortly after the due date. Upon acceptance, a $550 non-refundable deposit is required to confirm your participation in the program. The full program fee will be posted to accepted students' bursar accounts on December 15th, 2016 and billed alongside Spring 2017 semester charges.

For more information, please contact Cara Hardy: 443-9417 or

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.