Multiculturalism, Food, and Religions in the Italian-French Riviera

Florence University of the Arts - The American University of Florence

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Multiculturalism, Food, and Religions in the Italian-French Riviera

  • Host University

    Florence University of the Arts - The American University of Florence

  • Location

    Florence, Italy

  • Area of Study

    Anthropology, Culinary Arts, Field Component, Hospitality, Multicultural Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The course engages the student in the exploration of the history and culture of the French and Italian Riviera, a region that still today preserves a peculiar identity, and builds a bridge between the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Strategically placed in the north of the Mediterranean, Provence and the city of Nice have always attracted civilizations from all over. Throughout its long history, people of many nationalities have docked here and been assimilated into the city, turning it into a cultural and culinary melting pot: Greeks, Romans, North Africans, Corsicans, Sicilians, Arabs, have all left their mark. The course examines the many culinary identities of the area creating a unique culinary cornucopia of different cultures and flavors, as seen in establishments such as restaurants, markets, boulangeries, Maghreb spice stalls, Mediterranean fishmongers, and Sub-Saharan vegetable vendors. The course also focuses on the relevance that the area had in the development of Europe. During the Middle Age, in monasteries and abbeys, the roots of cultural and religious traditions of Europe were continued. Furthermore, thanks to the work of the monks, the techniques of agriculture and viticulture were preserved and improved. Two of the great ancient pilgrimage routes have their start in Provence, the Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James), through the Roman Via Aurelia to Santiago di Compostela, and the Via Francigena, which leads from France to Rome. Places of culinary, historical, and religious relevance, such as ethnic restaurants and local markets, archaeological sites, and monasteries, will be studied in order to contextualize an interdisciplinary understanding of the culture and history of the Italian and French Riviera. Group discussions and personal research assignments are essential forms of re-elaborating the course topics. The course emphasizes the development and evolution of religion, its connection to food, and their heritage in the contemporary society. This course includes cooking labs, food and wine tastings, and visits.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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