Italy - ITA235H5F: Italian History and Culture Through Food

Text on left says Italy Italian History through food (ITA235H5F) Fall Reading Week and a picture of a basilica on the right

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The Course

(Offered in English) This course describes the history of food in Italy, throughout the centuries. The course will chart the regional diversity of Italian food and examine various factors (early settlers, wars, migratory trends) that have shaped Italian culinary traditions. Students will also have the opportunity to investigate and explore their own (Italian or otherwise) culinary practices. As part of this course, students may have the option of participating in an international learning experience that will have an additional cost and application process. [24L]

Exclusion: ITA234H5

The Trip

Taste the food and visit the places you learn about in Cucina Italiana (ITA235). You will cook, eat, and learn in an all-inclusive trip through Rome, Bologna, and Florence as you become ever more familiar with the history and cultural traditions of Italy. 

Spend 8 amazing days traveling through Italy savoring its world-renowned dishes and learning how to make pasta alongside your classmates and Professor Teresa Lobalsamo.

Activities Include

  • A historical food tour through the centre of Rome;
  • Learning about the Slow Food Movement on site, at several authenticated food factories;
  • Pasta-making classes in Bologna - the culinary capital of Italy;
  • Tasting Italy's famous cuisine in Florence and meeting the families that have traditionally served these treasures over the years;
  • Learning the history of food and how to make pasta on a farm outside of Bologna.

Why Participate

  • Experience, first-hand, the rich history of Italian food;
  • Engage in an active learning environment that will be educational, practical, and unforgettable;
  • Add international experience to your resume.

Important Details

Dates: Saturday, October 6, 2018 (depart) - Saturday, October 13, 2018 (return)

Estimated cost of International Component*: CAD$3600-3800 - includes flights, transportation, accommodation, meals and in-country activities associated with the course. Funding Available!

*The amount posted is currently under review by the University Business Board. Approved amounts will be confirmed in March 2018. 

** This experience is offered with the generous support of the Office of the Dean, which means;

  • All undergraduate UTM students enrolled in the course will receive $500 towards the international component of the course, should their application be successful.
  • Plus, additional bursaries will be awarded based on demonstrated financial need (not linked to OSAP) as shown in your funding request in your UTM Abroad application.

Selection criteria: The international component of this course is open to students enrolled in an Italian course at the University of Toronto. Interested students will be required to abide by the application requirements and deadlines. Applicants will be selected based on their application. 

Important Dates

Date Description
Monday, January 22, 2018 Applications Open
Friday, February 16, 2018 Applications Close
Friday, March 23, 2018 Second Instalment Due
Friday, April 13, 2018 Third Instalment Due
Friday, September 7, 2018 Fourth Instalment Due
September - exact date to be determined Pre-Departure Session
Friday, September 28, 2018 Fifth Instalment Due
September & October - exact dates to be determined Mandatory Safety Abroad Workshop
October - exact date to be determined Second Pre-Departure Session
Saturday, October 6 to Saturday, Oct 13, 2018 

Travel Dates

November - exact date to be determined Post-Trip Session


Days 1 to 2: Overnight flight from Toronto to Rome

Days 2 to 4: Bologna
Upon arrival to Rome, the group will jump on a rented van and head directly to Bologna - the culinary capital of Italy! In this marvelous city you will explore the historical centre and will immerse yourself in the production of vinegar, prosciutto, and pasta that has been passed down for generations among families at local farms and family owned factories like the Parmigiano Reggiano factory and the Podere San Giuliano farm.

Days 4 to 5: Florence
After enriching your learning by connecting with those that know Italian cuisine best, you will embark on a short ride into Florence - the birthplace of the Renaissance. Early risers will have the option of visiting the Statue of David before embarking on a tour of Florence where you will taste their delicious wine, sample local salami, learn to make cantucci, and savour gelato! No visit to Florence is complete without the sunset view of the magnificent view from the Michelangelo Square.

Days 6 to 8: Rome
Another short ride away you will find yourself in Rome - the eternal city. The last few days will be spent exploring the city on your own or with the group, taking in the historical sites and delicious food through a Historical Food Tour and learning how to make pasta at a local cooking class! This amazing experience would not be complete with a traditional dinner at Osteria Zi Umberto with your new lifelong friends.

Day 9: Flight back to Toronto

*The itinerary is subject to change based on availability and requirements of the program.

Need To Know

  • The cost and itinerary are subject to change.
  • Students must be enrolled in an Italian course and will be required to abide by the corresponding UTM Abroad application requirements and deadlines to participate in the international experience.
  • Payments can be made over five installments. Fees must be paid in full by the required deadlines.
  • To prepare for the trip, students attending will participate in a mandatory pre-departure and safety abroad session during the month of September.
  • Participants in ITA235 will engage in discussions and complete short term reflections ("One Minute Paper") while abroad as a requirement of the course. Students in other Italian courses can complete the same reflections for Co-Curricular Record recognition.


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