ItalyWeek-Long Study Tour | Sustainability Program

Required Course(s)
Sustainable Food: Production and Consumption
Fall/Spring semester

Italy is also one of Europe’s largest organic food producers, and meanwhile having strong food traditions. With iconic foods like Parmigianino Reggiano, Parma Ham, and Balsamic Vinegar, Italy sees a great possibility to explore industrialized food production and the development of sustainable alternatives. Northern Italy is also the birth ground of the Slow Food movement. This week-long study tour takes you to the metropolis of Milan and to the countryside in the Emilia Romagna region and the Po Delta. Explore the themes of the course from a Mediterranean perspective and juxtaposed to the Nordic perspective, while being introduced to a great eating culture with a strong sense of locally produced food.

Milan housed the 2015 World Expo, which focused on feeding the planet and kick started a project by the Italian chef Massimo Bottura to reduce food waste and use the meal as vehicle for social inclusion. The city now spearheads a global program for urban food policies. The Po Delta is known as the economic and agricultural powerhouse that produces about 35% of Italy’s agricultural products, while it increasingly suffers the effects of climate change.

Tour Objectives

  • Learn about sustainable approaches in the Italian context
  • Understand the social, economic, and environmental consequences of a large-scale global food production
  • Analyze the social and cultural embeddedness of traditions around food and their relation to sustainable food practices
  • Compare and contrast sustainability approaches in Northern and Southern Europe

Possible Activities

  • Visiting the Refettorio Ambrosiano and the Milan Food Policy Office, local initiatives that aim to shorten the supply chain
  • Touring sites such as a sustainable farm, a Parma ham production facility, and organic wineries
  • Meet with representatives from the Slow Food headquarters and University of Gastronomic Sciences
  • Engage in the local culture by visiting sites like the Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena