The Mediterranean lifestyle includes a dietary pattern and way of living unique to countries near the Mediterranean Sea and is associated with good health and prevention of chronic disease. Arguably, the country most central to a Mediterranean lifestyle and pattern of eating is Italy. Furthermore, Italy is rich with history, cuisine, agriculture, a diversity of physical features and terrains (e.g., coastal landforms, beaches, and mountains with stunning views), and opportunities for outdoor physical activity. These varieties create a unique setting for student learning and experience in physical activity, nutrition, cuisine, and culture. Therefore, the overall purpose of this study abroad program is to experience, compare, and contrast the activity/lifestyle, nutrition, cuisine, food environments, and cultures in rural and urban settings throughout Italy. This program includes visits to the following places: Rome temple, the Amalfi Coast region (Maiori, Amalfi, Salerno, Pompeii), Teggiano, Matera, Pisciotta, Pioppi, Florence, Alpi Apuane Mountains (Pruno), Cinque Terre, Parma, Padova, and Venice (including, Zelarino, Sant’Erasmo, Murano). This program includes local church attendance in Salerno and Venice (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints).
This unique program includes a combination of: 1) physical activities (hiking, walking, kayaking, snorkeling), 2) discussions of nutrition and human health (e.g., Mediterranean lifestyle, physical activity biology, “Blue Zones,” social interactions and health, human research studies in activity and nutrition, society and food, macro- and micronutrient properties of Mediterranean foods, chronic disease, etc.), 3) local cuisine, 4) visits to food production sites, and 5) guided and self-guided tours focusing on the culture and history of Italy (e.g., ceramic art in the Amalfi Coast, history of Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii, cave-dwelling people of Matera, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, etc.). More specifically, this program includes visits to: a lemon grove, dairy farm, chestnut mill, bakery, olive farm, parmesan cheese factory, prosciutto ham factory, and balsamic production site, guided tours of museums (e.g., Museum of the Mediterranean Diet, museums dedicated to tomatoes and pasta), academic lecture at the prestigious University of Padova, and eating and interacting with local residents and restaurant owners (e.g., fish production and preservation demonstration, pizza-making class, and cooking class). IMPORTANT: Please note that this program is fast-paced with significant physical activity. This program may be of interest for students in Life Sciences (e.g. Nutrition, Dietetics, Food Science), pre-med or pre-health professions majors, and majors related to travel. All majors may apply.
Click here to apply today!