Italy: Culinary Training & Culture

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About

Embark on an Italian culinary adventure and learn about the traditions and cultures that produce the country’s legendary cuisine. Take Italian language classes in a gorgeous Tuscan town, where you will explore the arts scene and take in the scenery. Learn the importance of seasonal, organic, and locally grown foods. Your exploration includse Florence, Rome, and Venice.

Practice Italian as you share daily life with a local family during your homestay and while buying fresh food in the market. Discover the the unique foods of different regions while having hands-on culinary experiences. Whether it’s making pizza, tasting olive oil, or sampling homemade desserts, you will deepen your understanding of the connections between food, sustainability, and culture.

After your homestay, travel to Asti, where you will attend a prestigious cooking school and prepare traditional Italian dishes with a skilled chef. Finally, travel to Venice to explore the canals.

Highlights
  • Language
  • Culinary
  • Arts
  • Sustainability
  • Homestay

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.38 Rating
based on 8 reviews
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  • 7-8 rating 0%
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  • Growth 8.8
  • Support 8.1
  • Fun 8.3
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
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Leona
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Can't Wait To Go Again

On my trip to Italy, I did many different activities and explored many ancient places. I started off in Rome and I explored the ancient city and New Rome. I ate my first pizza in Italy and had delicious pasta. I got to walk around and go shopping and see the beautiful sites. I ate many flavors of gelato throughout the month and never got tired of it. It was a nice snack to cool down on in the hot weather. When I got to my homestay I got to meet my family and connect with them. They took me to their beach house for the weekend and they also took me on their boat. That was a nice way to spend time with my family and also get to relax on the beach. This was one of my favorite moments because the water was so clear and I was relaxing while having fun. My homestay family cooked many delicious foods that I very much enjoyed and I had a blast with them. On this trip, I also took cooking classes which were really cool because I got to learn how to cook traditional Italian foods and it came out great. I was able to take back what I learned back home and share it with the people I know. This was a once in a lifetime trip that I will never forget and something everyone should experience first hand.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
When you guys are on your trip don't worry about missing home and enjoy your time there. Take in what you see around you and be in the moment. Learn about where you are and take it all in. After the month is over you will be back home to your regular life. Don't be in a rush to come back and just have the best time where ever you are going.
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Aniyah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Memory Ever

Never did I ever think I would have the opportunity to cook in Italy!! It was so much fun, I ate more pizza, pasta, and gelato than I can count. Each place we visited: Rome, Cortona, Florence, Cosenza, Asti, and Venice, we all beautiful and all different from each other. I never got tired of eating the food and comparing ti from place to place! My favorite part of the trip was definitely homestay. Meeting people my age and seeing the differences and commonalities we shared were great! My host family was wonderful and I adore them all so much ! Experiencing a different culture opened my eyes to what I was missing in my life, and that I do need to travel the world and make multiple stops in Italy! I would do this program again if I could.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would eat more gelato and pizza!!! So authentic ;)
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Hailey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fun trip!

You will really get the chance to taste Italy. We had tons of pizza, pasta and gelato. We were able to make many authentic dishes during the culinary training. Italy is such a beautiful country, we were able to see all sides of it. Venice, Rome, Asti, Cortona, Cozensa, all absolutely stunning in their own ways. Everything about the trip was great, the leaders, the group, the food, and the adventures. Without a doubt I would recommend this trip. You will have the opportunity to learn Italian in the lessons. Personally, I loved the homestay. You will have the opportunity to be part of another family and learn their culture, customs and way of life. This is something fun to do and spend your summer out in another country. Overall, the trip was so great!

What would you improve about this program?
I wouldn't improve anything. It is a great program.
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Estefania
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Italy -- More Than Sights

I never believed Italy, the tiny little boot by the Mediterranean, could teach me so much in a matter of days. This was my first experience--traveling alone--without my family or friends, but with strangers from all over the U.S. On top of that, I experienced and was entirely immersed in a culture, that was seemingly not like my own, but that I connected to by the end of the program.
I adored my homestay family, I even text them on a regular basis now that I am home! Although, I did miss home. I won't deny it. I knew I was in another foreign country, one I hope that others get to visit, and not only to check off a tourist-like list. The culture is so vibrant and nearly everything in Italy is gorgeous. However, Italy wasn't about its aesthetic, but rather what it allowed me to learn. For the first time in my life, I was taught, that even with a language barrier, people are all interconnected.

Italy, at the moment, is facing a lot of immigration issues and corrupt policies, just like back home. In Houston, there are constant protests and rallies held in support of immigrants, the Black Lives Matter movement, Women's Rights Movement, and many more. In Italy, protests were consistently held in Rome, and I appreciated it. Italy was not just another place for a vacation, but rather to engage with. My host family and strangers--that I now call friends--taught me this, and I couldn't be more thankful for it.
If anyone is reading this, I hope that when you travel, you also get to enjoy the unique culture and not simply spend endless hours in gift shops.

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Michelle
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Experiment

I had a wonderful experience in the Experiment's trip in Italy. I was able to learn so much about Italian culture and their language, especially during my homestay. One of my greatest memories from this trip was actually the first night of my homestay. My homestay sister and her cousin brought me to a festival in the center of a town called Cetraro. It was such a beautiful night. The streets were decorated with purple, blue, and white lights from above and crowded with vendors selling snacks and trinkets. In the center of the festival, people were swaying to the music a band was playing and children gaped at amateur acrobats performing tricks from a dangling hoop. I think one of the best parts of the trips was the homestay even though I was so nervous about it from the beginning. One of the best ways to overcome this feeling is to be yourself, keep an open mind, and put some effort into speaking with your homestay family in a different language no matter how embarrassed you might feel. Just don't forget to have fun and do your laundry!

What would you improve about this program?
maybe some community service
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Aniyah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Italy Experience

In many ways, I feel like the Experiment has provided me a lifelong experience which has changed me tremendously. The way that I act now in the states is because I realized that I couldn’t run from my problems and that I’ll have to face them. There was nowhere for me to run and hide anymore. On this trip I’ve learned and explored so much that I’ll never see in the United States of America. Italy was my first time going out of the country which was a major thing to my family and I.
On this trip my people’s skills has really changed because I made friends and family in a time spare of 30 days. In the United States, something like that wouldn’t happen because I have my own set of family and friends to be with all of the time while in Italy I had nobody that I knew. I view myself as a more efficient leader because I can move/ inspire people to expand their horizons. And for that I thank you Experiment!

What would you improve about this program?
This program can be improved by having more outgoing mentors. This program should also have more fun activities rather than always going to visit churches.
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Katie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Late Night Outing

My travel abroad to Italy was one of the best experiences of my life. I was able to learn about a new culture and eat amazing food at the same time. I was also privileged enough to spend a whole month with amazing people. I made so many great memories that I will cherish forever. My most favorite memory from Italy was one of the last nights in Asti. It was after dinner and me and three other kids from my group decided to wander around the town. We left the restaurant and just picked a random direction to walk in. As we were walking we saw groups of locals just hanging out and smoking cigarettes, this had become a normal occurrence because that is what most Italians did during the summer. As we were walking we stumbled upon a courtyard that was full of multi colored lights. As we began to walk towards the courtyard a man at a table stopped us and asked if we were American, we told the man we were and he began to explain what the courtyard was for. It turned out that we were walking into an Italian rock concert. We walked into the courtyard where it was being held, and we were probably the youngest people there, besides little toddlers running around. Then when my friends and I were sitting at a table waiting for the band to come on, we saw the other half of our group. It was then I knew this would be an unforgettable night. Once the band started to play we all went up to the stage and started to dance. It was amazing! Everything was in Italian so we didn't understand, but no one cared we were having the best night. It got later and later until we had to go back to our hotel room and get some rest. When we left the singer said "ragazzi dove stai andando?" which means, "guys where are you going?” And of course I fell in love the Italian singer and got emotional when we had to leave. It was a great experience and I'm so happy I got to share it with some of the best people I know. I am so thankful I was able to go on this trip, and have an extraordinary group. Stumbling upon the Italian rock concert and dancing with my friend is a memory I will cherish forever.

What would you improve about this program?
I loved my trip so much, but if I had to choose one thing to be improved it would be to see my group more during the home stay. The home stay was a great experience, but it was very sudden and I wasn't able to say goodbye to my group and I was only able to see them once during the nine days.
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Hope-elizabeth
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Italy

When I look back on my month in Italy all I can remember are good times. From the first awkward moment when I met the 14 people I would be spending a month with, to the first dinner in Rome, to waking up at 5:25 am to see the sunrise in Cortona only for it to be blocked by the mountains, to going to an Italian rock concert and understanding nothing but having a blast, and to the last night when I even though I was sobbing I couldn't be happier than to have met the wonderful people that made up my group.
From the very beginning I knew I was partaking in something great; I knew that I was doing something that I would never forget. And from all the good times I had, one of my favorite moments was this one hot night in Asti when we had the night to ourselves. We had just finished dinner but the night was still young and the air was warm and we all desperately wanted to go on an adventure. We decided to walk around the small town and just see where the winding roads would take us. It was well into the night and even though we were a little lost, we knew where we were going because the town was small and it seemed no matter what we would always end up back at the hotel. And that hot night, wondering the streets of Asti with the people who had been strangers not two weeks ago but were now my close friends, I felt so content and happy. Just walking down the quiet empty streets, so different from the ones in New York where I live, I was just so so happy. And even though this seems like a small irrelevant moment compared to all the amazing things we did and saw this trip, it was those small moments with my group where I just got to embrace the culture that I enjoyed the most.
So for anyone who is wondering if they should apply, yes you should! It's scary going away to a new place for a month with people you don't know but the experiences and the friends that come out of the trip are everything!
(I am real sorry that this review sounded a little cliche, but reminiscing on the good times is making me a tad emotional. Forgive my corniness and my grammatical errors.)

What would you improve about this program?
While it was wonderful, it felt like that at some times the leaders were a little disinterested and like they didn't want to be there. As well, I would have liked just a tad more to do during the homestay but honestly other than that no complaints.