Students and Faculty in Florence ItalyStudents from the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition had the chance to experience a change in tables as they ventured to Italy in May. Ten students, along with Ms. Anissa Radford and Dr. Sandra Bastin, traveled to Italy to study and explore food sustainability and the Mediterranean diet.

Hannah Howard, a sophomore majoring in Human Nutrition said, "This experience showed me that the culture surrounding Italian food is more than just eating on the go; it's an experience that is savored and cannot be compared. Simply the amount of time spent eating a meal, the history and flavor of the recipes, and the true 'family' feel through preparing and eating with the ones you love is something I long for even more now back in the US."

Students were able to experience the Italian culture through multiple excursions. They visited sites such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Sistine Chapel, and hiked from Manarola to Corniglia. Also while there, the group took a food tour highlighting Balsamic vinegar, Parma ham, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Students led tours about coffee, tiramisu, and farmers markets. They went to the Food and Wine Academy to take a pizza and gelato cooking class as well. These experiences allowed the UK student to see first handedly how Italian food influences their everyday culture.

Anissa Radford shared, “What an amazing trip! It was such fun exploring the sights and tastes of Italy with our students, some of whom had never been out of the country. From biking in Lucca, riding a vaporetto in Venice, soaking in the Mediterranean bliss of Cinque Terre, to dining and wine tasting in a Tuscan castle, the memories from those three weeks in Italy will bring a lifetime of smiles.”

"From studying abroad, I learned that it is important to not only actively explore and learn about another place, but also to actively explore and learn about my own surroundings back at home in my city, state, and country. When one does this with others, their experiences are heightened and their memories are richer. In this, I am encouraged to not be afraid to try new things," Jevincio Tooson, a junior majoring in Dietetics shared.

Jevincio Tooson is pictured with a family who hosted the students at their home and organic farm in Lucca, Italy.

Jevincio Tooson is pictured with a family who hosted the
students at their home and organic farm in Lucca, Italy.

Terms: DHN