Eight Newbury Students Spent Spring Break Traveling in Italy

Apr. 13, 2017 – This Spring, Newbury offered the class HU/CU 255: International Exploration: History, Culture, Cuisine, taught by Professor Peter Galeno. This class not only involves classroom instruction, but includes a travel component to enhance the material with a real-world application. According to the Course Catalog, “Students will explore how history, geography, and art have helped to shape and foster the identity, culture, customs, and cuisine of the particular regional location. Course work is designed to encourage self-reflection, analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of the in-class work and the experiential component of the course.”

This semester, Peter Galeno and his class of eight students traveled to Italy over Spring Break, from March 3 to March 11. Galeno said, “The experience students have in Italy will stay with them for the rest of their lives. This study-abroad program gave students insight into the cuisine, culture, and art of Italy through intimate and first-hand experiences that are generally not available to most travelers.”

Throughout the trip, students visited Orvieto, Tuscany, Siena, Florence, Perugia, among others, experiencing cuisine, architecture, history, art and more. They participated in hands-on cooking classes, wine tastings and workshops. For example, in Orvieto, students had a cooking class at the Zeppelin Restaurant, a Farmer’s Market workshop, and a cheese making and tasting workshop and in Perugia, they had a hands-on chocolate class. The group also dined at a variety of restaurants and wineries throughout Italy.

Galeno explained, “Though their cooking classes, shopping at the local markets, and visits to food and wine production facilities, students learned that Italian cuisine is essentially a regional cuisine. The food in Umbria is different than that in Tuscany, and the locals take great pride in their cuisine.”

The experience was not limited to cuisine. “Through visits to Etruscan and Medieval sites, students gained a fuller appreciation for the richness of the Italian heritage and a deeper understanding of history,” said Galeno. “We walked in the steps of Michelangelo and Brunelleschi in Florence. Students were literally awe struck by the immensity and beauty of Michelangelo’s David, and they developed a deeper appreciation of Brunelleschi’s Dome by walking to the top of the Duomo in Florence.”

One student, Elias Bouchamoun ’19, enjoyed the trip and having the real-world experience to complement the classroom. He said, “My favorite parts of the trip were being able to experience everything first hand. The food in Italy made American food taste so bland…because Italians make everything from fresh goods.” He added, “Seeing the art in person is something not a lot of people get to do in their lifetime, so I was definitely grateful for that.”

Brenna RitsonTusa ’17 agrees. She says, “The trip to Italy helps a lot with enhancing our classroom experience. We discuss a lot about architecture and art in the classroom and with stuff like that, you can't get the full effect unless you see it in person. Some of the things we talked about in class were incredibly breath-taking to see in person.”

She adds that just being in Italy was amazing: “Some of my favorite parts from the trip were honestly driving around. The scenery in Umbria is like something out of a movie and it was so beautiful to see…We got to stay in a couple of different areas in Italy and traveling to some of the smaller towns was really interesting.”

This trip not only gives students an experiential education, but exposes them to the history, culture, cuisine, etc. of another country. While in Italy, students were able to immerse themselves in another culture, often having to leave their comfort zones. Galeno noted that students tried many authentic Italian dishes such as Lumacelli (snail bread) and Lambredotto (braised fourth stomach from a cow). He said, “The fact that students were willing to try such unusual dishes is a testament to the spirit of adventure that this travel program developed in our students. They will carry that spirit and an increased confidence with them into other aspects of their lives.”


About Newbury: Newbury College is a private, independent college located just minutes from Boston in the Fisher Hill neighborhood of Brookline, Massachusetts. Founded in 1962, Newbury College offers bachelor and associate degree programs in over 20 career-focused majors. Committed to personalized and experience-based teaching, Newbury inspires students to become independent thinkers, valuable collaborators, and global-minded citizens.

Contact: Sarah Johansson, Communications Coordinator

Students in HU/CU 255: International Exploration: History, Culture, Cuisine, taught by Professor Peter Galeno, traveled to Italy for Spring Break in March.