Italy 2023


Join us for an immersive experience into the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. Based in Florence, Italy, the program features engaging expert-led presentations and conversations about the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle and chef-led culinary workshops, day trips to the Tuscan countryside, Pisa, Lucca, and Padua and free time to explore Florence on your own. 

Faculty | Registration


Tuesday, June 6 | Arrival
Wednesday, June 7 | Mercato Centrale market tour
Thursday, June 8 | Conversations with Francesco Sofi, MD, PhD
Friday, June 9 | Pasta, Olive Oil and Wine
Saturday, June 10 | Museum of the History of Medicine
Sunday, June 11 | Free Day
Monday, June 12 | Market tour and Cooking class
Tuesday, June 13 | Day trip to Pisa and Lucca
Wednesday, June 14 | Cooking class
Thursday, June 15 | Farewell dinner
Friday, June 16 | Departure

Tuesday, June 6 | Arrival

Arrival and hotel check-in on your own. Free time to rest and settle in.

Wednesday, June 7 | Mercato Centrale market tour

AM Guided tour of the Mercato Centrale for an introduction to the seasonal produce, fish, legumes and grains of the Mediterranean diet.

Lunch on your own and time to explore the Mercato Centrale area.

Welcome Dinner

Thursday, June 8 | Conversations with Francesco Sofi, MD, PhD

AM Mediterranean Diet

Dr. Francesco Sofi will present findings from his extensive research on the Mediterranean diet – adherence and health benefits.

Old Grain Varieties

In a country where pasta and bread are a traditional part of the daily diet, research at the University of Florence on the health impact of consuming these products made using old grain varieties found answers to the problems of gluten intolerance and sensitivity. Dr. Francesco Sofi will discuss the findings from studies conducted by his research team at the University of Florence and present additional results on cardiovascular health benefits from old grain varieties.

Lunch on your own

PM Galleria dell’Accademia Self-guided visit to enjoy the sculptures by Michelangelo, including the David, the civic symbol for Florence, and a collection of paintings by Florentine artists from the period 1300 to 1600.

Friday, June 9 | Pasta, Olive Oil and Wine

AM/PM Depart from Florence by private bus to Strada in Chianti to visit Pastificio Artigiano Fabbri for a conversation with a fourth-generation pasta producer about their use of ancient varieties of wheat and a demonstration of their traditional production methods. Our next visit will be to Azienda Agricola Frantoio Pruneti, a family olive oil producer, to learn the steps in the process and the qualities of olive oil followed by a tasting of their high-quality olive oil. We finish our visits at a local winery for a wine tasting and light local products tasting.

Free evening. Enjoy Florence

Saturday, June 10 | Museum of the History of Medicine

AM/PM Depart to Padua by train. Enjoy a private guided visit of the Museum of the History of Medicine. Housed in the former San Francesco Grande hospital, built in 1414 to provide health care to the poor, the museum features interactive exhibitions and historical scientific instruments.

Lunch at a trattoria to experience the gastronomic tradition of Padua.

Return to Florence by train.

Free evening. Enjoy Florence

Sunday, June 11 | Free Day

Monday, June 12 | Market tour and Cooking class

Culinary Workshop Hands-on workshop highlighting the use of olive oil and legumes as foundational ingredients in the Mediterranean diet.

Guided  tour of the Sant’Ambrogio neighborhood market followed by a cooking class and walk to Piazzale Michelangelo and concluding with aperitivo.

Tuesday, June 13 | Day trip to Pisa and Lucca

AM/PM Our day starts with a train ride to Pisa to see the leaning tower and take pictures of this architectural wonder. Then back to the train for a short ride to Lucca, a medieval walled city where a walking and biking park of the top of the walls and the narrow, car-free streets inside the walls contribute to a built environment that brings visitor and the people of the town together to enjoy the pleasures of being part of an active culture and the benefits of the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Lunch in Lucca at Gli Orti di via Elisa of seasonal vegetables and farro soup, a traditional specialty of the area. Afternoon return by train to Florence.

Wednesday, June 14 | Mediterranean Diet and Cooking Class

AM DOP and IGP are Italian and European labeling designations as recognition of quality standards in Italian food products. Our morning discussion will cover different approaches, rules and cultural backgrounds of Italian standards of quality as well as Slow Food Presidi and related sustainability initiatives.

Mediterranean diet: A public health perspective

A public health educator will turn the focus from the individual to the community as she discusses the progress on the implementation of the WHO European Food and Nutrition Action Plan 2015-2020 and the work of WHO/Europe on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Culinary Workshop

Enjoy a hands-on culinary workshop highlighting vegetables and ancient grains.

Thursday, June 15 | Farewell dinner

Friday, June 16 | Departure

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Francesco Sofi, MD, PhD
Dr. Sofi, a leading researcher on the Mediterranean diet, the author of some 150 peer-reviewed international scientific studies, and the recipient of several national and international prizes. He is on the list of Top Italian Scientists in research. Dr. Sofi devotes his time to the clinical prevention of cardiovascular diseases, focusing on the role of nutrition and dietary habits and genetics in the occurrence of major chronic diseases; the epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases, and the role of physical activity as a preventing factor for cardiovascular disease. He is a board member of the Italian Society of Human Nutrition and holds membership in the National Committee for Health Research of the Minister of Health; the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis; the European Society of Cardiology, and the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation. Dr. Sofi is an Associate Professor of Food Science and Clinical Nutrition in the Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine of the School of Human Health Sciences, vice president of the masters degree program in Food Science and vice director of the Interdepartmental Centre for Research on Food and Nutrition at the University of Florence. Dr. Sofi also teaches for the masters degree course of medicine and the degree course for dietitians at the University of Florence. His medical practice is with the Unit of Clinical Nutrition of the University Hospital of Careggi, in Florence.
Le Greta Hudson MS, RDN, LD, CDE | Ann Cohen MS, RDN, LD
Fueled by their passion for experiential learning, challenged to create a study abroad course with broad appeal across a variety of disciplines, and grounded in literature reviews of research on the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet led Ann Cohen and Le Greta Hudson to Florence, Italy in pursuit of the expertise and immersive experiences that are key to their unique foodcultureology Italy program.  Ann has spent more than a year in the past 12 years in Florence, contributing to her deep knowledge of the culinary and cultural scene. The abilities of Ann and Le Greta to craft relationships with local experts, and importantly, Apicius International School of Hospitality at Florence University of the Arts, have been instrumental in building this high quality program.  Back to top 


Program Fee $3350 Program fee is land cost only and does not include airfare to/from Florence, Italy. Fee includes:
  • Transportation for all tours and excursion
  • Presentations by Florence University of the Arts faculty experts and chefs from Apicius International School of Hospitality
  • 2 Culinary workshops
  • All private tours and tastings
  • Gallery and museum entry fees
  • 9 nights’ accommodation in centrally located apartments
  • Meals: 3 lunches, 4 dinners, 2 aperitivos
  • If lunch or dinner are not listed on the program, this indicates free time on your own.
  • Please provide information about special dietary needs when you register.
  • This program is designed for individuals seeking culinary, cultural, history and health insights from the Mediterranean region
  • Registered Dietitians may also receive 32 continuing education credits for this program.
  • Prior to registration, please read the General Terms and Conditions, Responsibility & Disclaimer at the end of this program. Registration means you have read and understand these terms and conditions.
  • This program requires a minimum of 8 participants and a maximum of 12 participants. We ask that you not make final travel arrangements until we can confirm that minimum registration has been reachedWe will advise you as soon as the registration minimum has been reached. Foodcultureology, LLC will not be responsible for any travel costs associated with booking travel prior to our advising you that minimum number of participants has been met.
Please fill out the registration form Payment options
  • Pay $500 by February 1 to save a space and make two payments of $1425 each by March 1 and April 1, 2023
  • Or pay by March 1, 2023 and take $100 off.
Cancellation Policy Program fees will be refunded on or before March 11, 2023, in full minus a $300 administration fee. There will be NO REFUNDS for cancellations after March 11. There are no exceptions to this policy. We understand that emergencies of all nature do arise, however there are no exceptions to our cancellation policy. We strongly urge you to purchase trip insurance to cover you for this possibility. Please contact us with questions or advice about:
  1. Making flight reservations to Florence
  2. Level of physical activity
  3. What to pack
  4. Currency exchange
Contact Information Web: Email : Phone : 573.864.2060 Mail: foodcultureology, 5800 E. 22nd Avenue, Denver, CO 80207 Back to top