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Division of Continuing Education

In the Footsteps of St. Francis

Experience the Food and Culture of Central Italy

Join the University of North Florida’s Division of Continuing Education in Central Italy for an educational tourism experiential journey! The ‘trip’ begins with a 6-week continuing education study abroad course called “Walking in the Footsteps of St. Francis.” This course has seven modules corresponding to the experiential days of the week emersed in Italy!

In week 5, the participants will journey to Umbria/Tuscany for the lived experience of engaging in authentic Italian food and culture as no traditional ‘tour’ can offer. Each module will focus on understanding the uniquely Italian way and the benefits to human health of living in harmony with nature and each other through shared experiences of food, culture including language, art, music, media, and spiritual/religious practices ancient and new.

Throughout this trip, you will learn about the patron saint of the animals, Saint Francis of Assisi, and the Italian culture through meaningful site visits, immersive cooking classes, and authentic language lessons. This is a journey for those who feel passionately about food, wine, spirit, and, most importantly, learning while surrounded by like-minded individuals. Below are the program details discussing the purpose, eligibility, hosts and lodging, overall costs, health and safety considerations, and most importantly, how to secure a spot!

A Recap of 2023 In the Footsteps of St. Francis, Our Educational Expedition

Fall 2024 Program: September 25–October 2, 2024

Caprese Salad
Italian pastry

Who Should Attend

This trip is meant for those with:

  • A deep passion for human authenticity and connectedness to animals and nature.
  • A fascination with the elegance and complex simplicity of Italian cooking.
  • An appreciation for artisan living and craftsmanship in all things
  • A desire to experience a healthier, simpler, and more authentic way of being in the world — at home and abroad.
  • An appreciation for both connected community and quality time for solace and introspection.
  • A curiosity about keeping ancient wisdom and spiritual practices alive in the modern and seemingly never-resting world.
  • A desire to recharge, retreat, and reset in the beautiful countryside of Umbria and Tuscany.


Beginning six weeks before departure, you will be enrolled in a preparation course to orient you to the trip, the culture, and the applicability to your life stateside. Each module will contain a language orientation lesson so you can begin to learn phrases and useful expressions to use while exploring Umbria, including greetings, courtesy expressions, numbers, saying how one feels, introducing oneself, ordering a gelato or something to eat and drink in a bar and a restaurant. An introduction to the philosophy behind Italian cooking will be introduced in the orientation course with excursions to famous markets followed by live cooking classes throughout the trip, in the evenings.


View the 2024 Spring Itinerary below.

2024 Spring Itinerary

  • Flights and Accommodations

    Flights are not included in the cost of this trip. Participants will book their own flights to arrive in Rome, Italy, at Rome Fiumicino International Airport "Leonardo da Vinci".  All lodging is at the Villa Pieve in Corciano, and all transportation is via chartered bus.

    Due to unpredictability in a post-Covid world, personal trip insurance is highly encouraged to secure the cost of your airline and trip. Please view the 10 Best Travel Insurance Companies rated by US News.

  • Financial Commitment

    The 8-day trip costs $2,899 and includes lodging, most meals, transportation, tours, guide services, and special events. It is based on shared occupancy lodging. Single occupancy can be purchased for an additional $500. Please note flights are not included.

    Fall 2024 Program: Traveling September 25–October 2, 2024

    Registration is open; final payment will be due no later than July 27, 2024. We are offering the following payment schedule, but you can pay any denomination as long as payment is made in full by July 27:

  • Fall 2024 Cohort Cancellation Policy

    Should it be necessary for a participant to cancel prior to starting the program, withdraw during the program, or otherwise modify their participation in the study abroad program, the participant agrees to inform the University of North Florida Division of Continuing Education in writing immediately. Participant understands that verbal notification of cancellation, withdrawal, or participation modification is not considered official, that only the participant may withdraw from or modify their program participation, and that they must officially withdraw from any UNF course(s) associated with the study abroad program.

    Withdrawal Before the Fall 2024 Program Commences

    With 61+ days prior to the official program start date: University of North Florida Division of Continuing Education will retain 10% of fees paid under our standard Cancellation Policy. Payments are not transferable.

    Up to sixty (60) days prior to the official program start date (July 27, 2024): University of North Florida Division of Continuing Education will retain 20% of fees paid for registration and arrangement fees. Payments are not transferable.

    In the period from sixty (60) days to the official program start date (July 28–August 13, 2024): University of North Florida Division of Continuing Education will retain 80% of fees paid for registration and arrangement fees, reserved transportation, accommodation arrangements, and instructional costs. Payments are not transferable.

    Withdrawal During the Fall 2024 Program

    From the program start date (August 14, 2024), the University of North Florida Division of Continuing Education will retain 100% of the fees paid. Payments are not transferable.