Italy 2024


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, Parma, and Padua and free time to explore Florence on your own.

Please read the Terms and Conditions, fill out the registration form 2024 Italy Registration with Terms and Conditions, and send with your deposit to:
5800 E 22nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80207


Tuesday, May 14 | Arrival
Wednesday, May 15 | Market tour and culinary workshop
Thursday, May 16 | Conversations with Francesco Sofi, MD, PhD
Friday, May 17 | Pasta, Olive Oil and Wine
Saturday, May 18 | Museum of the History of Medicine
Sunday, May 19 | Free Day
Monday, May 20 | Mediterranean diet Public Health. Mercato Centrale tour
Tuesday, May 21 | Day trip to Parma
Wednesday, May 22 | Culinary workshop. Farewell Aperitivo.
Thursday, May 23 | Departure

Tues May 14 | Arrive and check-into hotel. Welcome and walk to Piazzale Michelangelo for orientation and discussion about the Florence built environment and its contribution to the health benefits of the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Wed May 15 | AM Guided tour of the Sant’Ambrogio neighborhood market followed by hands-on culinary workshop highlighting olive oil – its nutritional characteristics, impact on health, and use as a foundational ingredient in the Mediterranean diet.

PM Discussion of Slow Food principals and activities today.

Slow Food, a global, grassroots organization, founded in Italy in the 1980s to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us, is a million-member movement in over 160 countries, working to ensure everyone has access to good, clean, and fair food.  

Welcome dinner – Wine in the Mediterranean diet

Thurs May 16 | AM Conversation Francesco Sofi, MD, PhD

Dr. Francesco Sofi will discuss the findings from extensive research studies on the Mediterranean diet – adherence and health benefits — conducted by his research team at the University of Florence and present research study results on the health impact of consuming products made using old grain varieties providing answers to the problems of gluten intolerance and sensitivity in a country where pasta and bread are a traditional part of the daily diet.

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.

Fri May 17 | AM/PM Pasta, Olive Oil, and Wine

Depart from Florence by private bus to Strada in Chianti to visit Pastificio Artigiano Fabbri for a conversation with a fourth-generation handmade pasta producer, about their use of ancient varieties of wheat with discussions of nutritional characteristics, impact on health and longevity and use in the Mediterranean diet. 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 Fattoria di San Michele a Torri, an organic vineyard and wine producer for a tasting of wine and local products.

Lunch at a Slow Food restaurant in Strada in Chianti.

Karin Pantzer, MPH

Sat May 18 | Padua: Guided visit to Museum of the History of Medicine and University of Padua Anatomical Theatre and Galileo podium.

AM/PM Depart to Padua by train. Enjoy a private guided visit of the University of Padua Anatomical Theatre and Galileo teaching podium and 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.

Sun May 19 | Free day

Mon May 20 | AM/PM Mediterranean diet and from a public health perspective

Karen Pantzer, MPH, will lead a discussion of Italian standards of quality and related sustainability initiatives and local and seasonal food in the Mediterranean diet from a public health perspective and provide a guided tour of the San Lorenzo Market area with discussions and tastings.

Dinner at Ganzo – creative learning lab of Apicius International School of Hospitality.

Tues May 21 | Day trip to Parma to learn about the production of Parmigiano Reggiano

Wed May 22 | Culinary Workshop Hands-on workshop highlighting the use of a variety of grains and vegetables in the Mediterranean diet.

Farewell aperitivo

Thurs May 23 | Departure


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. 


Program Fee $3400 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 in centrally located accommodations
  • Meals: 6 lunches, 2 dinners, 1 aperitivo
    • 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.

Registration form

Payment options

  • Pay $500 by February 1, 2024 to save a space and make two payments of $1450 each by March 1 and April 1, 2024 or pay in full by March 1, 2024 and take $100 off.
  • Make check payable to foodcultureology LLC and send with registration form to: foodcultureology, 5800 E. 22nd Avenue, Denver, CO 80207.
  • Payment can also be made through Zelle to transfer funds using phone number: 5738642060.

If cancellation is made before March 1, 2024 for any reason, deposits and program payments will be reimbursed in full. Between March 1, 2024 and April 1, 2024, 30% of the deposit and of any program payment will be refunded. After April 1, 2024, no refund is possible.

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. Currency exchange