Theresa Messenger studied abroad in Perugia, Italy

* This program will run in 2020 *


PHL 299: Gastro-Philosophy: Reflections of Place, Time, and Identity 


Students will earn six credits through a mandatory course instructed by LVC professor, Dr. Robert Valgenti, and an elective course taught at the host institute. 

Mandatory Course (3 credits): Gastro-Philosophy: Reflections on Place, Time, and Identity (Instructed by Dr. Robert Valgenti) 

This course begins from the simple premise that human life flourishes only if thinking informs eating, and eating informs thinking. Each of us spends a lifetime thinking and eating. But what if we were to discover that we did neither of them well, despite how often we find ourselves eating and thinking? How could we arrive at such an insight? What would it mean to improve how we eat and think? Could their improvement be connected in some way? This course will meet the L6 Religion/Philosophy requirement and pending Intercultural Competence Constellation requirement. Participation in the program will fulfill an Immersive Constellation requirement.  


Elective Course (3 credits): Choose from Italian language, art history, food and culture, archeology, and literature course offerings. 

Students will select one course from summer course offerings at The Umbra Institute. Enroll in an introductory Italian language course, study the art and history of Italian culture, take a photography class, learn additional information on the history and culture of food, or read and write about Italian classic literature. All courses contain excursions or service learning opportunities. Browse summer course selections at



Perugia is a vibrant city full of old world charm and cobblestone streets in its beautiful historic center. The center is known for its picturesque outdoor cafés along the pedestrian thoroughfare Corso Vannucci and the beautiful Fontana Maggiore in Piazza 4 Novembre. 

Students will take classes with other American students who are participating in the Umbra Institute's regular summer study abroad program. Perugia is a day trip away from Rome, and Italy is bordered by France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia, so independent travel on the weekends can take you to exciting new European countries. 


Program Details


Program cost for Summer 2020 is $4700 and will include: 

  • Tuition (6 credits) 
  • Housing with other LVC students 
  • Excursions and cultural activities 
  • Foreign emergency medical insurance 

Meals, airfare/travel, and personal expenses are not included in the program cost. 

Study abroad programs that are 6 credits may be eligible for limited financial aid. For additional information regarding summer financial aid, please read the 2018-2019 Summer Financial Aid Application instructions on the financial aid webpage. If you would like to apply for summer aid, you must complete the application and submit it to the Financial Aid Office.


Summer Study in Perugia 2020 dates are May 22–June 27.

Application Deadline: February 1 

  • Applications must be accompanied by a deposit payment of $200 (non-refundable after February 1). 
  • Remaining balance is due March 15, 2020. 



  • Excursion to the synergistic gardens 
  • Excursion to Agriturismo Zafferano and local food producers
  • Cooking classes