Sustainable Food Systems of Sicily & Rome

Sustainable Food Systems of Sicily & Rome — About

About Sustainable Food Systems of Sicily & Rome

There is a saying that “Sicily is not an island, Sicily is a continent.” Over thousands of years, ancient civilizations in the Mediterranean such as the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines have left their food and cultural marks on Sicily.

This is reflected in the diverse and expansive flavors of the island’s food heritage and culture. Sicily has produced some of the world’s best cheeses, meats, olive oil, grain products, and wines for hundreds of years.

Food systems and culture are inseparably intertwined, and this is no more apparent anywhere than in Italy. Examining the past and present Italian culture as it relates to food, as well as Italian attitudes and values, will challenge the American perspective and relationship with food.  

Course Description

In this Global Seminar, you will gain an understanding about how cultural food choices can have ethical, environmental, economic, and health consequences through the lens of the Italian food system. Through experience, reflective exercises, excursions, and course activities, you will gain new insights into different ways of thinking about sustainability and food systems.

Housing & Meals

You will live in shared apartments with other program participants. A welcome meal, farewell meal, and one group lunch are included in the program fee. Additional meals can be prepared in the apartments or taken at local eateries.


Excursions will illuminate the program coursework and will take place in Sicily, Rome, and surrounding areas. Excursions may include: a tour of local markets; cooking demonstrations; visits to farms and vineards of various sizes and production philosophies; a hike to Castello Saraceno, a medieval castle above Taormina; and a visist to LiberaTerra, an organization that converts land seized from the Mafia into organic farms to provides jobs and food to location communities.

Group Flight

All program participants will be taking the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight, you will recieve information from the Learning Abroad Center regarding your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.

Learning Outcomes

Faculty & Staff

This program is led by Mike White, Professor in the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences. Onsite support is provided by ACCENT International Programs and  BABILONIA – Center for Italian language and culture in Taormina, Sicily.