Italy: Culinary Training & Culture

By June 8, 2017 No Comments
Study food culture in Italy, learn how to make traditional Italian dishes, take in the historic sites of Rome, and wander along the canals of Venice. Receive language and culinary training from renowned institutions. Summer study abroad in Italy


Prepare for bold flavors and aromas as you embark on an Italian culinary adventure and learn about the communities, traditions, and cultures that produce the country’s legendary cuisine. This culinary Experiment explores the importance of seasonal, organic, and locally grown foods in different regions. Explore the food cultures of the different regions of Italy as you make your way from Rome, to Florence, to Asti. Whether you’re making pasta, tasting olive oil, or sampling homemade desserts, you will deepen your understanding of the intimate connections between food, culture, and sustainability within the context of Italy and beyond.

Begin with an orientation in Rome where you will receive basic language training and visit ancient sites such as the Colosseum. Next, travel to gorgeous Tuscany, where you will take an introductory Italian class, explore medieval towns. In Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, you can see the many famous works of art and historic landmarks throughout the city. Continue practicing your Italian as you share daily life with a local family during your homestay and buy fresh food in outdoor markets.

Travel to Asti and spend eight days at Agenzia di Formazione Professionale delle Colline Astigiane, the prestigious cooking school, where you will learn to prepare traditional Italian dishes including risotto, focaccia, and tiramisu, as well as regional Piedmont specialties like taglierini, agnolotti del plin, and baci di dama cookies, under the guidance of a professional chef. The program’s culinary excursions include a visit to the famous University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, agritourism visits to local farms, and an agrigelateria to see how real artisanal gelato is made. Return to Rome to close out the program and reflect on your experience and learnings as a group.  


The Experiment’s programs are designed to build skills that will help you succeed. In Italy, you will learn:

Technical Skills

  • Italian language
  • Italian cooking
  • Culinary safety and knife skills

Interpersonal Skills

  • Intercultural communication and understanding
  • Problem-solving
  • Adaptability
  • Relationship-building and empathy
  • Team-building and collaboration


  • With global climate change, weather is becoming difficult to predict; summers are very hot, though patterns can vary.
  • Students will explore urban life on foot (lots of walking!) and learn to navigate the public transit system.
  • The variety of foods and the depth of gastronomic tradition makes it possible to meet the needs of most diets in Italy. Be aware, however, that your homestay family will be very keen to share many traditional foods including cheeses, cured meats, and a range of local and regional delicacies with you, and their preparation and your enjoyment of these will be a source of pride for your hosts.
  • Access to the internet is limited and internet speeds and connectivity vary.
  • The diverse personal and social identities of participants may, in part, shape their experience abroad. In-country partners will discuss cultural norms and the local context during orientation. Please read our approach to Diverity, Equity, and Inclusion for further information. All students will have a safe space within the program spaces and with the local staff and group leaders.
  • The Experiment program structure is rooted in experiential learning and cohort-based learning. The participant group experience is a major source of learning for Experimenters and is facilitated by trained Experiment group leaders.