Follow Us!


San Gemini Preservation Studies 2018

The History and Culture of Food in Italy

San Gemini, Italy – This course is not being offered in 2018

This course can be scheduled for groups of ten or more. Please contact Polly Withers at pwithers@iirpsemail.org for more information.


Instructor Prof. Tommaso Lucchetti

SG210 (2 units) Syllabus


History traditionally dealt only with political and administrative events. Modern historians, however, are using a broader approach, taking into account the social, economic and cultural lives of people. Any serious study of the cultural and economic history of people requires an understanding of their food systems, not only because food is a vital element for life but also because, until very recently, most people in the world lived in agrarian societies and their lives almost exclusively revolved around the production and processing of food. Even though few individuals in a modern industrial society participate directly in agriculture, food is still a vital aspect of our daily life and a very central component of our culture.

The course topics are organized around four historical periods of Italian food history:

• The classical world
• The middle ages
• The 16th to 18th centuries and the introduction of American crops in Europe
• The contemporary industrialized world

This course is aimed at people studying university level social or economic history, anthropology, nutrition, or people who are seriously interested in the history of food (serious foodies). As with our other programs in San Gemini, we will complement the classroom lectures with hands-on experience in an experimental cooking workshop, which is not meant to be a cooking class but a place where students can experiment with old recipes or processes used to transform, store or cook food.

This course will be taught by Professor Tommaso Lucchetti, one of the foremost scholars in the study of the history of Italian gastronomy. Some of his Italian publications are:

La cucina delle monache. I ricettari delle clarisse di Serra de’ Conti.
Lucchetti, Tommaso, Il Lavoro Editoriale, 2012

Il Poeta e la Sua Mensa. Memorie e Sapori nella Vita e nell’Opera di Giacomo Leopardi. Con una selezione di ricette dell’epoca. Lucchetti, Tommaso, Il Lavoro Editoriale, 2012

Storia dell alimentazione della cultura gastronomica e dell arte conviviale nelle Marche
Lucchetti, Tommaso, Il Lavoro Editoriale, 2010




San Gemini Preservation Studies
International Institute for Restoration and Preservation Studies

203 Seventh Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA
tel. 718 768 3508