Taught in Syracuse during the Spring 2016 semester and in Italy, May 24-June 7, 2016

This course will provide you with an opportunity to experience one of the most renowned cuisines in the world. What is the Mediterranean diet and why do people eat this way? How many ways can we really define the Mediterranean diet, based upon regional and cultural differences? We will investigate the historic, geographic, and socio-economic underpinnings of the Mediterranean diet. We will critique the health benefits and implications of following a Mediterranean diet. We will discuss the current dietary habits of people surrounding the Mediterranean to determine just how closely the Mediterranean diet is being followed. Once in Italy, we will experience the current Mediterranean diet from farm to table by exploring small artisan producers for cheese, olive oil and pasta. We explore the significance of local/regional production not only from a food system but also from a legislative and labeling perspective. We will work in the fields, shop for the freshest ingredients and cook authentic Italian meals.

This course is open to any SU student who has interest in the interaction between Mediterranean foods, wine, health and culture. For NSD majors or minors, this course can be taken as an alternative to the required NSD 555: Food, Culture and Environment Class offered on campus.

Class size is limited to 16 students. Any graduate student or advanced undergraduate student is eligible to apply. Students who enroll in this course must participate in both the Syracuse and Italy portion of the program. This is not an introductory course; taking NSD 225, Nutrition in Health, or equivalent course first is suggested. The Tuscany/Florence portion of the class requires a lot of walking and vineyard field work.

Tenative Itinerary 2016

Tuesday, May 24th Travel to Pisa, Italy, on recommended flight or on your own.
Wednesday, May 25th Arrive in Pisa to meet group. Spend one night in Pisa.
Thursday, May 26th Travel to agriturismo in Maremma. Olive Press visit and tasting.
Friday, May 27th Visit to LaSelva organic farm, Visit to the town of Pitigliano.
Saturday, May 28th Bike ride to Maremma Regional Natural park/beach. Travel to agriturismo La Ginestra.
Sunday, May 29th Stay at La Ginestra, work (bee care). All meals provided.
Monday, May 30th Stay at La Ginestra, work (vineyard).
Tuesday, May 31st Cook lunch as group with Jacopo. Visit to biodynamic sustainable garden

Tanya Horacek, Ph.D., R.D. Dr. Horacek is a Professor in the department of Public Health, Food Studies and Nutrition. She teaches upper level/graduate applied dietetics classes (nutrition counseling). Her current research involves the development and validation of a healthy campus environmental audit and randomized treatment control trials using a non-diet approach to weight management. She has a variety of other research projects include eating competence, green eating, participatory program planning, and the effectiveness of lifestyles-oriented nutrition counseling/education. She is passionate about helping students fit a study abroad experience into their program of study. She has broadened her area of study/teaching to include sustainability and a global cultural experience via the Mediterranean Food Culture class. She spent fall 2009 semester living and teaching in Florence and continues to study Italian.


Students register for this 3-credit class during the spring semester. This means that SU undergraduates pay no additional tuition charge for the overseas program, as long as they have not exceeded the 19-credit limit for the semester. Graduate students pay the per-credit tuition charge for this three credit class. The fee for the travel portion of the course is approximately $2000-2200 and includes housing, some group meals, ground transportation, and entrance fees. It also includes all activities and services for which a separate fee is not charged. The final fee will be set once expenses have been confirmed. Please note: The fee does not include airfare. Students should budget between $1100-1300 for roundtrip airfare from the US to Italy. SU Abroad will provide information on a recommended flight after students have been accepted.

Application, Selection, and Payment Procedures

A completed online application and a $70 non-refundable application fee are due to SU Abroad by October 9, 2015. An admissions committee made up of Professor Horacek and an SU Abroad representative will review all applications. Students will be notified of their acceptance shortly after the due date. Upon acceptance, a $550 non-refundable deposit is required to confirm your participation in the program. The full program fee will be posted to accepted students’ bursar accounts on December 15th, 2015 and billed alongside Spring 2016 semester charges.

For more information, please contact Cara Hardy: 443-9417 or crhardy@syr.edu.