A Culinary Experience: Orvieto, July 2006
by Prof. Terry Squizzero

Upon returning to Orvieto for the second time in three years, this time as a student in CCRI’s Culture Cuisine class offered by Professor Mansella, I was reminded of the many significant aspects of this culturally-enriched medieval town.


From the magnificent façade and interior of the 14th century Duomo, including its Luca Signorelli frescoes, to the Pozzo di San Patrizio well,  and museums, such as the Museo Archeologico dell’ Opera del Duomo and Museo Faina I found it amazing to find so much antiquity in such a small Etruscan town.  This experience provided me with an unmatched opportunity to live Italian history, especially given my Italian heritage.


While in Orvieto I was a student, along with my husband and two daughters, in the Culture Cuisine course offered at the Marchesa Adele Viti Culinary Institute. Chef Lorenzo Polegri conducted casual, relaxed but informative classes. Each class centered on a theme (such as dough, pasta, desserts), and integrated the cultural and historical importance of various foods to the Italians.  


After the basic objective for the day was introduced, the chef demonstrated it via a basic recipe, and then variations were presented.  Under Chef Polegri knowledgeable and helpful assistance, student followed up with numerous hands-on workshops. Of course, the best part was the outcome—students enjoyed eating together what they made in class during dinner together each evening at the school’s restaurant, Zeppelin!


Both of my travel/study programs in Italy with Prof. Mansella have proven to be culturally-enriching experiences. Prof. Mansella’s extensive experience in organizing this type of program is reflected in the high quality of the courses she offers and teaches. We all thoroughly enjoyed our experiences in Orvieto both on an educational and social level and hope that sometime in the future we will be able to attend again.