This experience will introduce students in one of the most inspiring and evocative places for writers and historians in the world. A historic cross-road between East and West, Italy has for centuries drawn travelers from North Africa, the Arabian peninsula, Europe, and the Americas by its radiant landscapes, verdant agriculture, and lasting legacies of art and architecture. That history of diverse cultures has been imprinted on Italy’s rich food traditions and immortalized in centuries of travel writing.
During our two-week sojourn in Tuscany, students will explore Italy’s rich food culture, while practicing the art of the travel essay. While in Italy, students will participate in the daily activities of a working farm, learning about Italian efforts to preserve food traditions and create sustainable food practices.
Students will stay on the grounds of Castello Sonnino, a beautifully preserved 16th century wine estate in Montespertoli, a quaint Tuscan town nestled in the Chianti Hills. As the guests of the owners, Baron Alessandro and Baroness Caterina de Renzis, students will experience the famous Italian dolce vita as they study the region’s rich culture of art, architecture, and food. The program includes visits to a variety of area farms and vineyards to learn about the production of the Chianti region’s wine and high quality olive oil. Special visits are planned to Florence, Sienna, San Gimignano — all located within 30 minutes bus ride or car.