New Italian Cuisines Program to be Based at Ancient Castle

Castello di UgentoCIA students can now immerse themselves in Italian cuisines and culture as part of a bachelor's degree concentration that includes a 15-week study trip to Italy. The semester abroad will be based at the Castello di Ugento, a newly restored 900-year-old castle in Puglia, the heel of Italy’s "boot." The program begins in January 2017 in collaboration with the Puglia Culinary Center and will be offered in both spring and fall semesters.

In addition to learning about Italian culture, indigenous ingredients, and culinary techniques, students will participate in “field trips” to markets, wineries, and local producers of products such as olive oil and cheese. Each student will also complete a three-week internship at a restaurant serving authentic Mediterranean cuisine.

Classes take place in a new environmentally sustainable teaching kitchen within the castle. The restored Castello also has an area dedicated to teaching desserts and gelato, an "oleoteca" to study olive oil, and a 400-year-old wine cellar retrofitted with modern oenology technology. More than 100 varieties of herbs and fruits are harvested from a 300-year-old garden on the property. The student "dorm" is a restored 18th century farmhouse in the city of Ugento, a 10-minute bike ride away.

Italian Cuisines joins the concentration in Asian Cuisine Studies as CIA international semester abroad opportunities. That program is based at the CIA’s Singapore campus. Other concentrations for juniors and seniors are held at the CIA’s three U.S. campuses and include Advanced Concepts in Baking and Pastry; Advanced Wine, Beverage, and Hospitality; "Intrapreneurship;" and Latin Cuisine Studies.

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