360° Global Learning Experiences (GLE)

Why?

We share the same mission as most educational institutions across the globe: to build globally competent and culturally aware faculty and students. However, much of the International Education sector is struggling with this mission due to a lack of globally-infused resources and accessibility.

With that in mind, Study Abroad Association has launched 360° Global Learning Experiences (GLE), in order to tackle the mission above and to produce the following benefits for faculty and institutions:

  • An efficient way to internationalize curriculum
  • Enhance the learning experience with up-to-date, real world content
  • Build globally competent students and faculty
  • Make international education accessible to everyone
  • Offer solutions for times when physical travel is not possible
  • Promote and inspire traditional study abroad
  • Add immersive and interactive global education to the student’s academic journey

How does it work?

Based on faculty and institutional feedback, we’ve identified four main areas of study to develop for the first year. Each area of study contains 12 hours of 360°, supplemental, globally-infused real world content; totalling 48 hours of internationalized content and materials

Humanities 12 Hours of Immersive Virtual Content
Business 12 Hours of Immersive Virtual Content
Sciences 12 Hours of Immersive Virtual Content
Global Perspectives 12 Hours of Immersive Virtual Content

Countries featured in 360° GLE 2021 subscription model

  • Costa Rica (Science and Global Perspectives)
  • England (Humanities, Business, Science, Global Perspectives)
  • France (Business)
  • Germany (Global Perspectives)
  • Greece (Humanities, Business, Global Perspectives)
  • Hungary (Global Perspectives)
  • India (Business, Global Perspectives, Science)
  • Italy (Humanities and Global Perspectives)
  • Switzerland (Science, Business and Global Perspectives)

Destinations are listed in alphabetical order and may be subject to change due to local government mandated travel restrictions and lockdowns in response to COVID – 19

These materials are created for faculty to use as supplemental global learning materials to assist in internationalizing and enhancing their curriculum. The content has been created alongside PhD and other advanced degree educators from across the United States and the globe.

The learning materials will be accessible by January 1st, 2021.

Students and faculty can access 360° GLM through all web enabled devices including: smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers as well as VR headsets to enhance the experiences.

HUMANITIES

Ancient Greece is well-known as one of the earliest civilizations that contributed significantly to human advancement. Learn about the prehistoric civilizations of Greece, namely the Cycladic (3200 B.C. to 1100 B.C.), the Minoan (2700 B.C. to 1500 B.C.) and the Mycenaean (1900 B.C. to 1100 B.C.).

The creation of the first Olympic Games, city-states and the birth of democracy all took place in Greece. Greeks, using their reason and expressing themselves freely, became self-confident and creative. They organized drama competitions, built Doric and Ionic temples and free-standing statues as well as gaining deep insights into the human mind and soul. Greek philosophy reached its high point in the careers of three thinkers who lived and worked in the city of Athens: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Socrates (469-399 BC) challenged the thinking of his contemporaries by posing penetrating questions. Learn about the  “Socratic Method” and how it culminated in the creation of the first “Academy”, the first known institute of higher education in the West.
Learn how Ancient Greece has been so immensely influential on subsequent world history. The language, politics, educational systems, philosophy, science, and the arts of the ancient Greeks were crucial in laying the foundations of Western Civilization.

“An unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

“Man is by nature a political animal.” – Aristotle

Topics:

  • Prehistory
  • The Aegean Cultures
  • Homeric and the Epic Cycle
  • The Greek City-State
  • Birthplace of Democracy
  • Golden Age and Classical Greece
  • Athenian Life and Politics
  • Pericles: The First Citizen of Athens
  • Philosophy: The Greeks and Reason
  • Tragedy and Comedy: Theater in Ancient Greece
  • Greek Influence: The Hellenistic World

Locations:

Athens, Nafplio, Patras, Corinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia, Santorini and Crete.

Sites: 

Acropolis Rock (Parthenos,Theater of Dionysus), Acropolis Museum, Ancient Agora, Kerameikos, Monastiraki, Ermou Street, Temple of Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch, National, Archaeological Museum, Kallimarmaro (Olympic Stadium), Plaka Neighborhood, Anafiotika Neighborhood, Food Markets along Athinas and Evripidou street in Omonia, Lyceum of Aristotle, National Park and Syntagma, Panepistimio Academia, Akrotiri-Santorini, Knossos Palace – Crete, and more!

A brief history of Ancient Rome, through visits to many of the monuments that can still be found in the “Eternal City”. We’ll start with the legendary foundation of Rome, consider the archeological findings that confirm it. Next, we’ll introduce the institutions and the traditions of the Roman Republic and the interactions with the Etruscan and the Greek cultures. We’ll discuss major characters of Roman history, such as: Caesar and Augustus, and then we’ll focus on the great monuments left for us by the ancient emperors. We’ll learn to distinguish the architectural style of the first two centuries AD from the Late Empire (from Caracalla to Constantine) and finally talk about the rise of Christianity and the end of the Roman Empire.

 

Ancient Roman monuments are not only visually impressive, but they can also help us to understand the complex history of this great civilization. We’ll spotlight their engineering skills and examine the differences between Ancient Greek and Roman architecture. At the Colosseum we’ll discuss the gladiatorial spectacles and their political function, and examine three different triumphal arches and trace the evolution in the style of Roman art between the 1st and 4th centuries.

Topics: 

  • Ancient Greeks in Italy
  • Etruscans
  • Origins of Roman Culture
  • The Roman Republic
  • The Caesars and Imperial Rome
  • The Late Roman Empire: Transformation
  • A New Faith: Early Christianity in Rome.

Locations: 

Rome, Ostia Antica, Tivoli, Pompeii, Paestum

Sites: 

Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Temples of the Forum Boarium, Aurelian Walls, Colosseum, Baths of Caracalla, Ancient Appian Way, Mausoleums, Circus Maximus, Pantheon, Catacombs, Basilicas, Archeological Park of Ostia (including Theater, Market, temples, taverns and the Synagogue), Hadrian’s Villa, Temples of Tivoli, Archeological Park of Pompeii (including Forum, temples, private houses, taverns, amphitheater), Ancient Temples of Poseidonia-Paestum, and more!

A visual and interactive history of the Italian Renaissance. We start from the Humanistic culture of late Medieval Florence (Dante, Boccaccio, Salutati), discovering the importance of the communal pride of Florence, Siena and Padua in the rediscovery of the ancient classical culture. We’ll visit the monuments that are considered crucial to the Early Renaissance. For Sculpture- the Florentine Baptistry and Orsanmichele, Architecture- Brunelleschi’s Dome and Spedale degli Innocenti, and for Painting- Masaccio’s trinity and Brancacci chapel.

We’ll then follow the spread of this new style from Florence to the rest of Italy (focusing on Rome, Siena, Padua, Venice) and the evolution from the Early Renaissance to the High Renaissance. This is the age of: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Bramante, Raphael and Titian, many of their masterpieces will be shown. Then, we’ll see the transition from the classical style of the Renaissance to that of Mannerism.

Finally, we’ll discuss the impact of the Counter Reformation on Art and how Baroque culture developed and responded to these influences.

Topics: 

  • The Origins of Humanism
  • Early Renaissance
  • The Climax of the Renaissance
  • Mannerism and Late Renaissance
  • The Origins of the Baroque Culture.

Locations: 

Rome, Tivoli, Florence, Siena, Padua, Venice

Sites: 

Rome

Trevi Fountain, Saint Peter in Vatican, Santa Maria del Popolo, Santa Maria della Pace, Sant’Agostino, Villa Farnesina, Bramante’s Cloister, Michelangelo’s Moses, Piazza del Campidoglio, Castel Sant’Angelo, Trinità dei Monti and Spanish Steps, Farnese Gardens, Fountains of Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo, Caravaggio’s Churches and more…

Tivoli

Villa D’Este

Florence

Piazza della Signoria, Dante’s Neighborhood, Florence’s Cathedral, Brunelleschi’s Dome, Spedale degli Innocenti, San Lorenzo & Medici Chapels, Medici Palace, Santa Maria Novella, Santa Croce, Brancacci Chapel, San Marco, Orsanmichele, Ponte Vecchio and more…

Siena

Piazza del Campo, Duomo, Baptistry, Piccolomini Library

Padua

Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel, Mantegna’s Ovetari Chapel, Donatello’s Gattamelata, and more…

Venice 

San Marco Square, Ducale Palace, the Renaissance palaces of Canal Grande, San Zaccaria, santa Maria dei Miracoli, the great paintings and cycles of frescoes by Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese, Palladio’s San Giorgio, and more…

Discover the history of London. Starting from the time of the Romans, then the settlement of the Anglo-Saxons and the establishment of London as the capital of England in the Medieval Age. Journey through Tudor, Elizabethan, and Victorian London and arrive in the modern city which today is dominated by 21st Century architecture.

Learn about the monarchy through the centuries, the importance of the Magna Carta, the formation of the Church of England and the consequences the English Civil War had for the monarchy past and present. Learn how England went from an isolated island to one of the largest empires in the world and visit the ships which highlight the development of the British Navy from Elizabethan times to the Second World War. Discover the importance of London’s River Thames, the poverty and protests of London’s impoverished East End and hear about the stories of the working women who fought for the right to vote in the one of the world’s oldest Parliaments.

While traveling through them, discover how London’s streets, buildings and people inspired some of England’s most famous writers and explore the neighbourhoods that today boast theatres and red carpet premieres.

Although it is impossible to visit all the areas of London and share the stories of all the people who have made London their home over the past 2000 years, this experience covers a vast area and a large range of themes important to anyone who wishes to understand, explore and discover more about London.

Topics:

  • Roman London
  • Anglo-Saxon London
  • The Royal Family past & Present
  • Royal Palaces
  • Tudor History
  • Shakespeare
  • The English Civil War & the Restoration of the Monarchy
  • The beginning of Britain’s Empire
  • Britain’s Navy and Battles
  • Trade & Development
  • Victorian Engineering & architecture
  • Victorian Literature
  • Victorian Philanthropy
  • Poverty and Crime
  • 20th Century writers
  • The birth of British feminism
  • Women’s suffrage
  • The origins of British Trade Unions & the Labour Party
  • London’s theatres
  • London during Wartime
  • Modern London & architecture

Locations: 

City of Westminster, Southbank, Bloomsbury, East London

Sites:

Covent Garden, The Strand, Charing Cross, Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, The Mall, St James Palace, Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade, Downing Street, Churchill War Rooms, Big Ben, House of Parliament, Parliament Square, Westminster Abbey, Platform 9 ¾, St Pancras, British Library, Tavistock Square, British Museum, Charles Dickens Museum, Bedford Square, Fitzroy Tavern, Neals Yard, Seven Dials, Leicester Square, National Portrait Gallery, Liverpool Street Station, Spitalfields, Hanbury Hall, Toynbee Hall, Aldgate High Street, Tower Hill, Roman Wall, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, City Hall, HMS Belfast, Hays Galleria, The Shard, London Bridge, Borough Market, Southwark Cathedral, Golden Hind, Thames River Bank, Shakespeare’s Globe, Millennium Bridge.

Found 60 miles from the centre of London and connected to London by the River Thames, the town of Oxford has played an important role in the history of England, from serving as the base for the 11th century empress Matilda during her fight to be crowned Queen, to serving as parliament for the exiled Charles I during the English Civil war, it boasts an impressive amount of history, as well as being home to the oldest English speaking university in the world.

Learn about the tensions produced by the people of the ‘town’ and those who wore the university ‘gown’ whilst exploring the range of architecture of the university buildings, and hear about some of the alumni who once studied at the university.

Oxford University can boast of: 291 Members of Parliament, including 26 British Prime Ministers, 50 Nobel prize laureates and 120 Olympic medalists. This experience will show you how the people of Oxford lived, studied and were inspired by the narrow streets and historical buildings that still leave visitors in awe.

Topics:

  • Succession crisis in the 11th Century
  • Alumni of Oxford Colleges
  • Oxford & the British Monarchy
  • Highlights of Britain’s oldest museum
  • Oxford Writers
  • Bloody Mary and the Oxford Martyrs
  • Oxford English Dictionary
  • Architecture
  • Highlights and importance of the library
  • Oxford as a film location
  • The Town vs Gown riots

Locations: 

Oxford castle, University of Oxford colleges, Central Oxford

Sites:

Oxford Castle, Worcester College, Beaumont Palace, Ashmolean Museum, Eagle and Child Pub, Martyrs Memorial, Clarendon Building, Bridge of Sighs, Bodleian Library, Divinity School, Sheldonian Theatre, Radcliffe Camera, St Mary’s Church, Oxford High Street, Carfax Tower, Christ Church College, Christ Church Meadow

BUSINESS

India caters to the aspirations of a billion people. Existing frameworks can prove to be inadequate and there is a great need to leverage a billion minds and become a global power. In recent years, the Indian startup ecosystem, driven by factors such as: massive funding, consolidation activities, evolving technology and a burgeoning domestic market, has given rise to a new breed of young startups and has evolved to become the third-largest base of technology startups in the world.

This section of the virtual tour will give you keen insights into various aspects of India’s business landscape, rural industries, and how microfinance plays a part in it all.

Topics: 

  • MicroFinance
    Micro Finance in India – Laws, History. Academician Speak
    Micro Finance challenges faced – Banking Professional Jana Finance Brief
    Case Study – Jana Finance Projects
  • CSR In India
    Brief about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), its importance for a country like India, Applicable laws.
    CSR at Mindtree and Vision – Done by the CSR Head at MindTree.
    CSR Activities at Mindtree (3 Projects).
  • Cooperative Societies
    History of Cooperative societies in India, Its importance for a country like
    India, India’s top societies.
    An academician speaks Brief on Silk cooperative society.
    Silk Farming Villages.
    Silk Process – Cocoon to Fabric.
    Silk fabric Markets.
    Sustainability.
  • Sustainable energy In India
    Academician Climate Change and the future of energy needs in India.
    Academician Case Study – Selco Solar. Management Speak.
    Selco Solar projects.
    Case Study – Cochin Airport. Management Speak.
    Cochin Airport Solar Plant.
  • Unity in Diversity
    Indian constitution Foundation – Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity
    Academician Speak.
    Why is India called a subcontinent? Academician Speak.
    Indian cuisine: The spice Connection.
    History of Religions in India.
    Religious Leaders speak on secularism. Hindu, Muslim, Christian.

Locations: 

Bangalore urban and rural, Bandipur, Chikballapur

Sites: 

Central Business District
Cubbon Park
State Capital
KR Market
Central museums district includes:
M.G. Road, Brigade Road, St. Marks road, Ulsoor lake, Tippu Palace

Before the European Economic Crisis between 2000 and 2007, Greece was one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. After 2007 everything changed, with Greece being one of the most affected countries in the EU with a very high level of unemployment. With that background in mind, we analyze what strategies Greece is using to get back on its feet, especially after another global crisis like COVID-19. We speak with and interview various entrepreneurs working on innovative projects, social impact activities, as well as with local wine and olive producers across the country.

Topics: 

  • Entrepreneurship Mindset
  • Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (Europe)
  • EYE Global.
  • COVID-19 during an Economical Crisis
  • Business Innovation
  • Entrepreneurial University
  • Bridging the gap between students and young entrepreneurs
  • Funding
  • Wine Production and Exportation
  • Olive Oil Production and Exportation

Locations: 

Athens, Agros

Sites: 

Academy of Entrepreneurship – Athens

MindSpace – Athens

Koroniotis Winery – Argos

The city of Lyon has a long history of quality food production and consumption, mostly due to an advantageous geographic location and a strong gastronomy culture. A large diversity of food production is fostered within the surrounding area by the varied types of climate: continental, mediterranean and mountainous. Traditional French gastronomic culture expects fresh and quality food for the chefs, or even families, to cook good meals.

Continuing a long tradition of food vendors, street markets and small grocery stores, the link between Lyon and the nearby production areas is further strengthened by an efficient, short supply chain.

The idea of sustainable food is not entirely new, as many initiatives such as: organic shops, farmer’s markets etc, started in the 1980’s. What remained largely unknown for years, and mostly supported by pioneers (producers or consumers), started to spread from the late 90’s, cultivated by young activist-entrepreneurs experimenting with new business models (such as cooperatives). These innovations were driven by the urge to create alternative systems implementing ethical business relationships, eco-friendly production and supply chains, solidarity and social awareness.

During the last decade, a lot of those initiatives grew from a scattered proof-of-concept network, into a large network of interconnected activities, covering all the sustainable food fields. From local authorities and NGOs, to entrepreneurs, producers and consumers, these initiatives have blossomed into a thriving local and sustainable food system.

Eventually, with increased global awareness about food issues (the COVID-19 lockdown was a striking example) this approach now offers a profitable potential market, attracting new entrepreneurs and established food companies, alike.

However, this approach is very challenging to scale, and so; the efforts that are still stabilizing their business model, must now also find a balance between ethics and profit-driven approaches.

Topics: 

  • Sustainable Food Systems
  • Farm-to-Table Concept
  • Short Supply Chain
  • Food Production and Consumption
  • Social and Solidarity Awareness
  • Alternative Business Models
  • Food Distribution and Logistics
  • Local Food and Food Safety
  • Cooperative Businesses
  • Scale Ups

Locations: 

Lyon City Centre and Greater Lyon

Sites: 

Greater Lyon: Des Clarines Farm – Petite Pioche Farm, Quintillière Farm, Lacaunes Farm, Uniferme, La Super Halle, VRAC.

Lyon: Local Markets, GRAP, Le Bieristan, Grenade, La Cuisine Itinérante, Les Halles de la Martinière, Lyon City Hall.

In Switzerland, the business culture is valued above all other personal relationships. The key values in Swiss business culture are: punctuality, earnestness, responsibility, honesty and hard work.

Switzerland is not only known for its precision timepieces and dependable train timetable, but also, for its general commitment regarding time and punctuality. In the Swiss business environment, punctuality is considered a mandatory attribute.

Although Switzerland is a small nation, it has four official languages: Italian, French, German and Romansch. This fact has an important impact on the business culture, as well as on the business environment overall. Its potential for innovation, as well as the efficiency of its workforce, is often regarded as the best on the international scene. It is no wonder why Switzerland massively invests in research and development, which is about 3% of the Swiss GDP.

We will meet with the CEO and team of BASE Energy a United Nations affiliated NGO that is focused on developing innovative business plans and models for developing countries to make the switch from using out of date energy systems that have a negative impact on the environment, to adopting clean energy solutions that have a lower impact on the environment and actually generate financial gain for the local companies. We’ll discover how they’re using their expertise in business and finance to battle one of the world’s biggest threats, climate change.

Topics: 

  • Climate Finance
  • Sustainable Dairy Farm
  • Innovation
  • Economy
  • Renewable Energy

Locations: 

Basel

Sites:  

BASE: Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy

London is considered one of the main business hubs in the world. With a strong service-based economy and a flourishing entrepreneurial scene, London has it all when it comes to business.

Located between Asia and America, it’s the only capital in the “ex-European” Union with English as the main language, while at the same time boasting one of the world’s most diverse cosmopolitan populations. These are a few of the factors that make London a unique and strong Business market. During this virtual module we will cover various business environments from start-ups and entrepreneurship, to global supply chains, as well as other related topics such as cryptocurrencies and Brexit. Included also are walking tours of the Financial district.

Topics: 

  • From internship to a full time job in a B2b SaaS startup
  • Entrepreneurship and startup
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Example of a mobility improvement application
  • CSR applied to various sectors
  • Sustainability and new business practices
  • Sustainability in startup companies
  • Sustainability in the fashion Industry.
  • Creating Social Impact through sustainable business practices
  • Philanthropy
  • Innovation post COVID-19
  • Supply chain
  • Doing business in a global environment through innovative startup companies.
  • Advice on how to join a logistic world-wide company
  • Remote working and softwares
  • Scaling a company and standardization of processes.
  • Coworking Hubs, Innovation Hubs and Coworking Spaces
  • Bitcoin, BTC (Bitcoin Core), BCH (Bitcoin Cash), BSV (Bitcoin Satoshi Vision), Bitcoin system, Cryptocurrency startups, alternative Financial perspectives, Bitstocks.com
  • Branding, ethical branding, brand value, influencer-led branding, influencers marketing
  • Financial tour of London
  • Discussion on BREXIT with Michael Dickson
  • Product Life-Cycle and Supply-Chain. The Social Enterprise Model.

Locations: 

London

Sites:

London Bridge, St. Albans, Queen’s Elizabeth Olympic Park Innovation Hub, Liverpool Street, Lime Street, Cheap Side, Gherkin, Lloyd’s building, Cheese Grater building, London Financial District, Bank of England, St. Paul, London Stock Exchange and more.

SCIENCE

Costa Rica has an international reputation as a leader in sustainability and environmental protection. How did a small country in Central America with 6% of the world’s biodiversity establish global standards for conservation and regeneration in less than 80 years?

To answer this question we will meet with experts in the field, from diverse areas of study, to take a deeper look at their efforts, vision, research and challenges to discover their passion and love for nature. We will follow the trade winds from coast to coast while discovering various life zones, endangered species and protected areas.

We will explore the fascinating geology of Costa Rica and its active volcanoes, the endemic species of the misty cloudforest that are at threat due to climate change, the rare Tropical Dry Wood Forest of the Pacific, the dense rainforests of the Caribbean, the one thousand shades of green that can be found in the Amazon of Central America, Tortuguero and the thriving indigenous communities in Talamanca.

Further, we will visit agricultural businesses that choose environmentally-friendly means of production, opposed to mass production, to allow the land sufficient time for regeneration.

Additionally, we’ll visit the Costa Rican Institute of Coffee to understand the chemistry that is behind understanding which coffee can withstand different climates, reduce impact on the environment and yield a better product. Throughout this journey we will meet with wonderful locals to understand the pulse of this incredible country and discover the true meaning of Pura Vida.

Topics: 

  • Plate Tectonics
  • Volcanic processes and materials
  • Geo-Physics
  • Geo-Chemistry
  • Seismology
  • Weather patterns
  • Microclimates
  • Speciation of native plants and animals (vertebrate and invertebrate) Biodiversity
  • Invasive Species
  • Biodiversity (Life zones and biodiversity in Costa Rica)
  • Field sampling techniques on geotermia
  • Rainforests
  • Mangrove forests
  • Climate change and beach erosion
  • Sea Turtles (Biology of Sea Turtles, Ecology of Sea Turtles, Critical habitats, Threats, Reproduction, Lifecycle, Covid and Conservation or Sea Turtles, Malformation of sea turtle embryos, 2020 Results)
  • Regulation of natural resources (Law and wildlife conservation in Costa Rica)
  • Conservation (Pacuare Reserve, 31 years of conservation)
  • Environmental Protection
  • Conservation (From the view of indigenous of Talamanca)
  • Field sampling techniques ( Sea Turtles)
  • Eco and Sustainable Tourism
  • Coffee Institute of Costa Rica (Icafe)
  • Sustainable Farming and Environmental Education and much more!

Locations: 

Limon: Tortuguero, Pacuare, Cahuita, Bribri

San Carlos: La Fortuna,

Puntarenas: Monteverde,

Guanacaste / Alajuela: Palo Verde, Rincón de la Vieja, Santa Rosa, Guanacaste, Tenorio,

Heredia: Icafe

Sites:

Tortuguero National Park, Cahuita National Park, Bribri Indigenous Reserve, Pacuare Reserve, Arenal Volcano National Park, Tenorio National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Palo Verde National Park, Rincón de la Vieja National Park, Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica Institute of Coffee, Paradise Organic Pineapple Farm, Don Juan Coffee Farm and much more!

Switzerland is considered one of the greenest countries on the planet. A total of 64% of their energy comes from renewable energy, primarily from hydropower.

Discover how a small nation committed to sustainability, conserves it’s beautiful landscape and provides it’s population with their energy needs through hydropower, solar energy, biogas, wind energy and a common goal of coexisting with nature and impacting the environment as little as possible.

Understand their dilemma with Nuclear Energy, concerns about climate change and how the melting of the glaciers will impact the energy they rely on the most. Most importantly, we’ll discover how citizens across the country make an effort to produce their own energy and contribute to making it available back in the grid.

We’ll explore how a Swiss dairy farmer uses solar energy and a wood chip burner to produce more energy than their dairy farm and production center consumes. This plus-energy dairy farm is a positive example for dairy farming around the world.

Food waste and animal waste is something all countries contend with. We’ll learn from a local Swiss farmer how he is collecting methane gas from food waste provided by local restaurants and hotels and manure provided from local farms to produce methane gas and convert this gas into electricity providing power to more than 500 homes in his village. Nothing goes wasted here.

We’ll visit hydroelectric facilities who are using innovative systems to reuse as much water as possible while generating as much energy as possible. We’ll visit the first plus-energy hotel in the Alpine region which uses solar to produce more energy than the hotel consumes.

Topics: 

  • Sustainable and Renewable Energy Facilities  (Hydropower, Windpower, Solar Power, Biogas)
  • UNESCO Biosphere
  • Climate Change and Glacier Meltage
  • Sustainable Hospitality
  • Sustainable Dairy Farm

Locations: 

St. Moritz, Entlebuch UNESCO Biosphere, Jungfrau, Bieudron,

Sites: 

Repower – Alp Grum, ForzAgricula –  Canton of Grisons, Unesco Biosphere –  Entlebuch Lucerne, Bieudron: Hydroelectric Power Station – Canton of Valais, Sustainable Hotel –  Muottas Muragl, BASE: Sustainable Energy – Basel

India is the 4th largest energy consumer in the world, on pace to overtake China, if the global energy consumption growth rate continues. There have been wide-scale efforts to develop the potential and measure the growth of deriving energy from various non-conventional and various alternative energy sources.

For India, a large country both heavily populated and poor, to develop in an environmentally sustainable manner is not an option, but a requirement. This virtual tour will give insights into sustainable energy initiatives adopted by businesses in India.

Topics:

  • Sustainable energy In India
  • Academician Climate Change and the future of energy needs in India.
  • Academician Case Study – Selco Solar. Management Speak.
  • Selco Solar projects.
  • Case Study – Cochin Airport. Management Speak.
  • Cochin Airport Solar Plant.

Locations:

Karnataka Area

Sites:

SELCO Solar light pvt. Social Enterprise.

Boasting the oldest English speaking university in the world Oxford has been a home and inspiration for many great scientists and their achievements. From Haley’s comet, the discovery of Penicillin, to the discovery of the rechargeable lithium ion battery, which today powers mobile phones- the science and scientists of Oxford have left their mark on the world.

Learn about the achievements of the people who studied at the University and the legacy they have left. This tour highlights the achievements of a few of Oxford’s 53 Nobel laureates in Science, including the only British woman to have been awarded the Nobel prize in Science.

Topics:

  • The discovery of Penicillin
  • Oxford science gardens
  • Nobel prize winners in science
  • Science Alumni from Oxford colleges
  • History of medicine in Oxford
  • Einsteins visit to Oxford
  • Chemistry laboratory and the roles of the scientists
  • Haley’s comet
  • Development of Technology
  • Physics and Oxford

Locations: 

University of Oxford colleges, Botanical Gardens, Laboratory

Sites:

Botanical Gardens, Magdalen College, Merton College, Robert Hooke Laboratory, University College, Radcliffe Camera, Haley House, History of Science Museum, Chemistry Laboratory, Somerville College.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES

Over the past 400 years, London has been a place of refuge for people escaping religious, political and economic crisis, they settled in London bringing with them tradition, food and culture which have left a lasting impact on the London of today.

This experience will introduce you to the markets past and present, the food and the people who have made London their home, and show the impact the people of London have had on theatre, music and fashion. The Swinging Sixties brought the electric guitar and rock-n-roll, and London was the place of inspiration, recording and performances by some of the greatest era’s musicians.

Further, learn about the Victorian men and women who worked to improve the lives of ordinary people and those whose legacy can be felt around the world today in modern medicine and healthcare.

Through this experience, one can begin to understand how modern London is shaped by the citizens, their political ideas, culture and religion and understand the history behind how London became home to one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the world.

Topics:

  • History of Immigration
  • London’s market old & new
  • Trade in London
  • London’s oldest Brewery
  • Theatres
  • London’s oldest department store
  • Fashion
  • Music through the decades
  • The Swinging Sixties
  • Political minds
  • Victorian philanthropy
  • Poverty & Crime
  • Chinatown then & now
  • Development of Piccadilly

Locations: 

East London Market, Soho, Chinatown, Piccadilly

Sites:

Liverpool Street Station, Petticoat lane Market, Spitalfields Market, Vintage Market, Old Truman’s Yard, Brick Lane, London Palladium, Liberty – Department Store, Carnaby Street, Cholera Water Pump, Home of Karl Marx, Trident Recording Studios, Soho Square, ChinaTown, Piccadilly Circus.

Have you ever wondered why Freiburg is considered the single best city for sustainable urban development?

Since the 1970s, Freiburg has been working on challenges such as climate change, energy consumption, reduced mobility (bikes everywhere!!!), sustainable urban development, community integration and participation.

In short: how to live well, peacefully and sustainably. Have they done it? Utilize this our virtual learning experience to find out more about this small German city and its happy, sociable citizens.

Topics

  • Sustainability
  • Environment
  • Innovation
  • Renewable energy
  • Economy
  • Humanities

Locations:

Freiburg

Sites:

Victoria Green Hotel Freiburg, Square of Old Synagogue, Electric Cars Freiburg, City Hall Freiburg, Community Housing Weingarten, City Planning Rieselfeld, Solar Garage, Vauban District, Vauban Power Plant, Collective Planned Project, The Heliotrope, Environmentally Friendly House, Bio Energy Village in the Black Forest, Reinbold Farmhouse, Innovation Academy Freiburg, Farm House Museum, Solar and Wind Farm.

Greece is the oldest civilization in Europe and the birthplace of the Western Civilization.

Together, we explore this picturesque country with its beautiful and world famous culture, cuisine and sunsets. We learn the secrets of the Mediterranean diet and how the ancient, unique techniques of farming and processing the produce are still being used today on islands created by volcanoes, some of which are still active!

Find out how the local inhabitants used to camouflage their houses to hide from pirates! Learn about the connection the Ancient Greeks had with music and the ‘healing of the soul.’

Additionally, take a closer look at Venetian Castles found on the top of traditional Greek towns.

The mainland is also host to a great contrast of influences from the different civilizations that passed throughout the years: Classical Ancient Greek ruins atop the Acropolis, Mosques built on the slopes and Romain ruins at the base. We will find ourselves in Syntagma square, the famous riot square of Athens where at the very top, the Parliament building stands.

Athens is the city where Democracy, Drama, Philosophy and the rebirth of the ancient Olympic games were born.

Topics: 

  • Mediterranean Diet
  • Organic Olive Oil and Wine
  • Modern Olympic Games
  • Modern Athens
  • Syntagma Square
  • Unknown Soldier
  • Greek Islands
  • An Active Volcano in Greece
  • Greek Music & Culture
  • The Most Picturesque Town of the Greek Mainland
  • One of the Oldest Man-Made Canals

Locations

Athens, Santorini, Crete, Argos, Crete, Nafplio, Corinth

Sites:

Food Market in Athens
Santorini biological Vineyards
Argos biological Vineyards
Crete Traditional Vineyards
Crete traditional Oil Grove & Oil press
Panathenaic Stadium of Athens
The Parliament
Syntagma Square
National Park
Monastiraki Flea Market in Athens
Volcano, Santorini
Cultural Center in Santorini
Chania, Crete
Heraklion, Crete
Nafplion
Palamidi Castle
Corinth Canal

India is a perfect example of globalization thriving in a modern state, without the displacement its inherited culture and traditions. From the IT hub of Bangalore, to the Spice Routes of cochin, the palaces in Rajasthan, and well-preserved forests, India has many unique experiences that will leave you wanting more!

This virtual tour will give you keen insights into India’s social/business cultures, unique attitudes, and different approaches to solving problems that are intrinsically distinct from those in Western countries.

 

Topics: 

  • Unity in Diversity
  • Sustainability
  • Culinary
  • Local Markets

Locations: 

Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Bandipur, Chikkaballapur.

Sites: 

Krishna Rajendra Market (Old Trading Market)
Manyata Tech Park
UB city
Church street
Avenue road markets

Lys Glacier – The Italian alps are considered a hot spot for climate change. The temperature there has increased twice as fast as compared with other parts of Europe. The Monte Rosa Massif in the region of Valle d’Aosta, at the border with Switzerland, is the largest mountain massif in the Alps and the second highest mountain in Europe after Mont Blanc. The Lys Glacier is one of the most spectacular glaciers of the Alps, starting from the Lyskamm Peak at 13,937 ft on the sea level and reaching the Lys Valley at 8530 ft. The glacier has retreated substantially and it is now much smaller than it once was.

Legambiente is an Italian environmentalist association founded in 1980. It’s the most prominent and widespread environmental association in Italy, with two headquarters in Rome and Milan, 20 regional coordination offices and more than 600 local volunteer groups. It’s supported by more than 115,000 members, donors and by projects and businesses that are in line with the organization’s principles. Vanda Bonardo is a naturalist, teacher, who has worked with Legambiente since 1987, and has been president of Legambiente Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta for 16 years. As well, she has served on the National Council of Education from 2011 to 2012. For the past six years, she has dedicated herself to the Alps in particular as the national manager of the Legambiente Alps and member of the CIPRA Italy.

In the region of Valle d’Aosta three different languages are spoken: Italian, Walser (a German dialect) and Franco-Provençal (a language closely related to French). The plurilingualism of the region pays witness to the richness of the local cultural traditions that have been preserved in architecture, music, folklore and food. Mass tourism, especially related to winter sports, endangers the preservation of this unique local culture. This has led local associations to work towards converting to a more sustainable form of tourism.

Topics:

  • Climate Change & Lys Glacier Retreat  – Guest speaker: Vanda Bonardo (Director of Legambiente)
  • Multilingual Towns & Sustainable Tourism

Locations:

Gressoney – St. Jean – Lys Valley

Milan, boasting 1,389,834 inhabitants (7,400,000 including the suburbs and the metropolitan area) is one of the most polluted cities in Europe.

Recently, a new green movement developed a network of community gardens, which have had a great ecological and social impact within the city. The Orti di Via Padova community gardens are located in a multicultural, dynamic area, famous for its graffiti and urban life.

Topics:

  • Green Spaces in a Metropolis
  • Community Gardening
  • Urban Art

Locations: 

Milan

Sites: 

Orti di Via Padova

Garda Lake is the largest and deepest lake in Italy having been formed by a glacier during the last Ice Age. It is known for its beauty and for its unique climate: it is the only place in the Alpine region where Mediterranean plants like olive trees and citrus grow. Located on the peninsula of Sirmione, on the southern shore of the lake, is a picturesque medieval town, a 13th century castle, and the ruins of an ancient Roman villa from the 1st century A.D.

Topics:

  • Meditteranean MicroClimate
  • History of Lake Garda

Locations: 

Sirmione, Lake Garda

Sites: 

Sirmione Castle, Lake Garda, Roman Villa

The cruiseliner traffic in Venice has grown exponentially over the years, as has the size of the ships used in the industry. Entering the lagoon, the ships must pass twice through the San Marco Basin and the Giudecca Canal, in the historical center of Venice. These ships are often over 300 meters in length: 50 m wide, 60 m high (twice the size of the Titanic) and weigh thousands of tons. The tendency is to produce even larger ships because they are more economically profitable, but are obviously out of scale in comparison to the city. This is not only a problem for the beauty of the city, but also has a massive negative impact on the environment.

The “No Grandi Navi” Committee has been fighting for many years for the ban of cruise ships entering the center of Venice. Their headquarters is open to the public and has important documentation about the environmental problems of Venice and possible solutions to overcome this reality.

This tour will introduce you to the amazing Venice Lagoon, where you can see its fragile ecosystem and its structural problems. We will see the MOSE System designed to defend Venice from the high waters (mobile barriers, gates raised if necessary to prevent frequent floods).

Starting from Campo Santa Margherita in the University district, we’ll visit some of the main highlights of Venice’s city center, passing by the Canal Grande, Contarini del Bovolo Palace, Rialto Bridge, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi lookout point and finally the fish market of Rialto. During the walking tour we’ll learn about environmental problems of Venice and how they affect Venetians’ daily life and see the locations of protests and demonstrations of the environmental activists of Extinction Rebellion.

The canals are clear thanks to Covid-19, but Venice’s existential threat is climate change. Cormorants dive into the canals to catch fish because the water in the lagoon has become transparent again. If the world can’t radically reduce its carbon footprint, climate models show that sea-level rise is most likely to flood Venice by 2100.

Venice is a great case study for Environmental Science researchers, not only for the effects of climate change, but for the unique location of Venice, an archipelago  in the middle of a lagoon, close to the estuary of the Po river and the Plain of the Po.

The fishermen of the market of Rialto have experienced a change in the kind of fish, as well as the size of the fish, that can be found in the lagoon in the last 30 years. They also share their interesting insights on how the lockdown impacted tourism and the local economy.

Topics:

  • Climate Change (Sea level rising, effects on marine life)
  • Human Impact on the Environment
  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Activism
  • Talk with a Representative of Comitato No Grandi Navi
  • San Marco Square
  • Venice Lagoon and the MOSE System – Experimental Electromechanical Module
  • Walking Tour of Venice
  • Interview with PhD Researchers of environmental science
  • Interview with local fisherman (Impact of COVID 19 and Climate Change on the fishing industry)

Locations: 

Venice and Mestre

Sites: 

Riva degli Schiavoni, Accademia Bridge, Monument to Vittorio Emanuele, Campo Santa Margherita, Piazza San Marco, Calle de Mezzo, Pescheria Fish Market.

Modena is located in the heart of the region of Emilia, which has a very important food culture. Many famous Italian products come from here: parmigiano reggiano, balsamic vinegar of Modena, mortadella, Parma ham, culatello di Zibello, lasagne, tortellini, tagliatelle, passatelli, cappellacci and lambrusco wine. This food culture made up of local products, small producers and a long tradition, can be understood in the context of the local culture and its daily life. We’ll discover some of these traditions in the markets and in the piazzas.

Emilia has many historic small cities, mainly pedestrianized, famous for their porticoes, but in Emilia tradition always goes together with innovation. Due to the high number of Universities, many young people live in the region.

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is world famous for its flavor and nutritional value. It is real Parmigiano Reggiano only if it’s produced in a small region around the cities of Parma, Reggio Emilia and Modena (this explains the cheese’s name), because of the unique terrain of this area where a special bacterial fauna can be found.

The region’s Balsamic Vinegar is very unique and produced in a limited quantity, because it’s  linked to the geographical areas of Modena and Reggio Emilia. It seems in fact, that the special climate of this region, with high thermic swings between the very hot summers and the cold winters, enables the grape juice to ferment and age in the best conditions according to the traditional methods.

Topics:

  • History and Food Culture
  • Terrain and Food: Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Factory
  • Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Locations 

Modena City Center, Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Factory, Balsamic Vinegar Production Center

Sites

Central Market Modena
Quatro Madonnas Dairy Farm and Factory
Malphigi Balsamic Vinegar Producer

Agriturismo La Pineta is a typical farmhouse located in the heart of the Tuscan countryside. The family living here produces organic olive oil and wine using traditional techniques and strictly native vines. The farmhouse also offers a hospitality service based on the principle of ecotourism and has a botanical garden as well as a vegetable garden that provides most of the food for the meals.

We’ll visit the vineyard, the olive groves, the botanical garden and the winery. We’ll look from the nutritional point of view at the benefits of growing autochthonous and native plants naturally selected for that terrain. We’ll also discuss the organic industry in Italy, the strict laws, prohibitions and controls, and the financial pros and cons.

Topics:

  • Agriturismo
  • Organic Products
  • Traditional Processes

Locations 

Agriturismo La Pineta and Artisanal Vineyard

We’ll visit the most iconic monuments of Florence: the Duomo, the Baptistry, Medici Palace, Piazza della Signoria Square, Ponte Vecchio. We’ll learn about the history of the Medici family, their economical fortune and artistic interests; we’ll talk about the Pazzi Conspiracy and the black death; we’ll discover the history of Florentinian poets like Boccaccio and Dante, architects like Brunelleschi, artists like Leonardo, Michelangelo, Cellini, and travellers like Amerigo Vespucci.

Topics:

  • Urbanism
  • Architecture
  • Culinary
  • Historical Markets
  • History of the Renaissance
  • Renaissance Architecture
  • Michelangelo
  • Medici
  • Brunelleschi
  • Medieval Art
  • Pisano
  • Ghiberti
  • Dante
  • Renaissance Art
  • Social history
  • Vasari
  • History of Florence
  • Museums of Florence
  • World War II

Location:

Florence

Sites:

Piazza Michelangelo, San Lorenzo Market, Medici Chapels, San Lorenzo Square, Basilica of San Lorenzo, Medici Palace, Via de Martelli, Piazza Del Duomo, Via Dello Studio, Dante’s Quarter, Piazza San Martino, Piazza della Signoria, Loggia Dei Lanzi, Uffizi, Lungarno, Ponte Vecchio.

Leonardo, the famous artist and inventor, was born in Vinci, a small town in the Tuscan countryside, close to San Miniato. Visiting the Museum of Leonardo in Vinci we’ll learn all about his genius, discovering all the machines he designed.

The picturesque town of San Miniato, on the hills south of Fucecchio, is known for the quality of some of its local products, especially for the white truffle. Besides local varieties of tomatoes, olives and artichokes, the area is known for the cultivation of  Kentucky tobacco, which is used for the production of Toscano cigars, which are fermented and then dried. Here we’ll also talk about the medieval German emperor Frederick II about Napoleon Bonaparte, whose history is related to this town.

Topics:

  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Local Products
  • Frederick II
  • Napoleon Bonaparte

Locations 

Vinci and San Miniato – Town of Truffles

Sites

Leonardo da Vinci Museum
Tower of Federico II
Local Products Store

Pisa is world famous for its Leaning Tower, built between the 12th and the 14th century. The wonderful bell tower displays the great power of the city of Pisa that ruled the western Mediterranean Sea during the Middle Ages.

We’ll find out why the tower is leaning and discover the cathedral and the baptistery, real masterpieces of Romanesque architecture that will probably impress you even more than the tower itself. We’ll also learn something about local food.

Topics:

  • History of Pisa
  • Student Life

Locations: 

Pisa

Civita di Bagnoregio is one of those places that is so picturesque, it’s hard to believe it’s real. Perched upon a hill within the Tiber River valley in northern Lazio, the town seems to exist in another realm, out of time and place in today’s modern era, and yet, it is another beautiful example of how history persists in every corner of Italy.

Civita di Bagnoregio is famously referred to as La Città Che Muore, “The Dying Town” because its friable, volcanic base continues slowly crumbling into the valley. We’ll learn about the badlands surrounding the town, but also about the history of the deforestation in the area, which started back in the ancient Roman times and it’s partly responsible for the landslide that is slowly destroying Civita.

Topics:

  • Erosion
  • Human Impact on the Environment
  • Student Life

Locations: 

Civita di Bagnoregio

Starting from a typical medieval courtyard, we’ll reach Campo de’ Fiori, a beautiful square with a lively market. We’ll learn about Giordano Bruno who was burned alive by the Inquisition in this piazza in 1600, we’ll see Michelangelo’s Palazzo Farnese and we’ll explore some of the typical food stores of the neighborhood: a bakery, a salami shop and a pasta shop.

We’ll also visit the Jewish Quarter and learn about the incredible history of the Jewish community of Rome, from the Ancient Roman times, through the Renaissance, until WWII. On the way we’ll see the ruins of two Ancient Roman theaters and a wonderful fountain from the late Renaissance. Piazza del Campidoglio, the Capitolium, the monument that gives its name to Washington D.C.’s Capitol, is the City Hall of Rome: the square, designed by Michelangelo, hosts the famous Ancient Roman statue of the emperor Marcus Aurelius.

From the Capitol terrace we’ll have the best view over the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill, the Triumphal Arches of Titus and Septimius Severus and most of the city center. We’ll reach the central square of Rome: Piazza Venezia, dominated by the monument to the Unity of the country, the Vittoriano. Here, we’ll learn something about the modern and contemporary history of Rome, spotting the balconies of Mussolini and of Napoleon’s mother.

Walking through Via dei Fori Imperiali we’ll see Trajan’s Column, the Trajan Market and Augustus’ Temple of Mars Ultor. We’ll finally reach the Colosseum, the most iconic monument of Rome, the largest amphitheater ever built in the ancient world. Next to it we will discover the Arch of Constantine, a wonderful triumphal arch showcasing the transformation of Roman art during Late Antiquity.

Rome is the third largest city in Europe with almost 3 million inhabitants and around 15 million tourists each year. Nevertheless, many wild green areas can be found in the city of Rome, beyond the several gardens and parks. RomaNatura is the Regional Department that takes care of the 16 natural reserves and protected areas located inside of the municipality of Rome, making the capital of Italy one of the greenest cities in Europe. Their headquarters is in the wonderful Villa Mazzanti, on the slopes of the Farnesina Hills, part of the Natural Reserve of Mount Mario. These areas help preserve the biodiversity of the local flora and fauna.

Rome is also the location of many important international organizations that work on issues related to the environment, and food and agriculture, such as the FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), the World Food Program and the IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development). Thus, we’ll also discuss the new projects of the Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection to promote clean modes of transportation, such as bicycles and scooters. Last month the Ministry announced a “bonus for transportation” to fight pollution in metropolitan areas. Everyone living in a city with more than 50,000 inhabitants can obtain up to €500 to buy a bicycle or an electric scooter, hoverboard or segway. To support this initiative, many new bike paths have been opened recently.

Topics:

  • Erosion
  • Human Impact on the Environment
  • Student Life

Locations: 

Arco Acetari, Campo de Fiori, Piazza del Biscione, Passetto del Biscione, Via di Grotta Pinta, Via dei Chiavari, San Carlo ai Catinari, Piazza Mattei, Via della Reginella, Portico d’Ottavia, Cordonata Capitolina, Piazza del Campidoglio, Piazza Venezia, Temple of Mars, Colosseum, Monte Mario, Zodiaco.

In 1961 a ski resort with a chair-lift was opened on Mount Midia (5708 ft), in the region of Abruzzo, just one hour east of Rome, in the Apennine Mountains. Starting in the 1980s the ski facilities were gradually abandoned due to the lack of snow. Now, nature has taken over and the chairlift is hidden in a beechwood forest, while most of the houses of the nearby village are abandoned, or for sale.

Topics:

  • Climate Change and Impact on Winter Sports & Tourism

Location: 

Marsia di Tagliacozzo Abandon Ski Resort

A small area in the countryside of Campania, between the cities of Naples and Caserta, is known as the “Land of Fires”, because of daily illegal waste burning. The area is also known for the strong presence of the Camorra, the local mafia, who is responsible for dealing with the toxic waste and for the illegal burning. This has had a huge impact on the health of local people and after this situation was announced, many associations recorded a very high rate of tumors in the area. The fires happened mostly between the end of the 1990s and the beginning of 2010s, when many members of the local Camorra clan were arrested. The environmental association Legambiente was the first to denounce what was happening in 2003, also creating new expressions such as “Land of Fires” and “Eco-mafia”.

The news about the Land of Fires also had a very negative impact on the local economy, especially on agriculture. Some European countries stopped importing products from Campania (even though this phenomenon only happened in a small part of it) and many people left to other regions, because of the ecological and economical problems of their land. That’s when Francesco Pascale, together with other activists of Legambiente, started the project “Terra Felix”.

In order to fight the fight the environmental disaster caused by the Camorra, without abandoning their homeland, they reclaimed an area in the middle of the Land of Fires and converted it into an organic farming which is also an “eco-museum”, where they organize summer camps for local kids educating them about the importance of preserving the environment. The community gardens are open to the people of the area to self-grow healthy food. Due to their important work for the local community, Terra Felix also received some land that the police confiscated the Camorra.

Naples is one of the oldest cities in Italy, with a glorious past and a vibrant life today. It was founded by the Greeks in a wonderful position, on the gulf, next to the fertile land of Mount Vesuvius, in front of the islands of Procida, Ischia and Capri. Later, it was conquered by the Romans, then by the Goths, by the Byzantines, by the Normans and finally by the French dynasty of Anjou in the Middle Ages, who made it the capital of their kingdom, ruling over all the south of Italy. In the Renaissance the crown passed to the Spanish family of Aragon, who made Naples one of the cultural capitals of the 16th century. In the 1500s Naples was the largest city in the world.

We’ll explore the city center of Naples, starting from the Medieval Maschio Angioino Castle, visiting the Galleria Umberto I, Piazza Plebiscito, with the Royal Palace, the Opera House (the first in the world), the church of San Francesco di Paola, passing by the fancy area of Chiaia and finally reaching the lookout point of Belvedere San Martino.

Topics: 

  • Environmental Activism
  • “The Land of Fires” – Toxic Waste and Eco-Mafia
  • Naples – Walking Tour
  • Sarno River – Environment / Human Impact

Locations: 

Terra Felix, Naples

Pompeii was an ancient Roman city near modern Naples that was buried by the great eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The ashes preserved the buildings, the frescoes and the mosaics for 19 centuries.

The waters of the Sarno river, the most polluted river in Europe, became clear again during the lockdown. Exactly as happened to the waters of the canals of Venice and to those of the ports of large industrial cities, the Sarno also seems to have gone back in time. A few hours after the end of the lockdown were enough to bring the pollution back to the Sarno river.

Topics: 

  • History of Pompeii
  • Local Industrial Pollution

Locations: 

Pompeii Archaeological Complex

Sites: 

Basilica, Casa del Fauno, Odeon, Casa di Menandro, Amphitheater, Taberna, Thermal Bath, Sarno River,  Sorrento Coast.

Produced in this region since the Middle Ages, buffalo mozzarella is a PDO (protected designation of origin) cheese, made only with milk of Italian Mediterranean Buffalos, an indigenous breed of water buffalo. In spite of the success of local modern agriculture, the most famous and important food product of the area, especially in the towns of Battipaglia, Eboli and Paestum is by far their Buffalo Mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella is the most important among the several kinds of cheeses that are only made in a few specific provinces of Italy and are based on pure buffalo milk

Located in the South-East of the Gulf of Salerno, in the Southern part of the Piana del Sele, Paestum is an archaeological site of extreme importance, recognized by UNESCO as part of World Cultural Heritage, along with the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano. The Temple of Neptune (5th century BC) is a huge construction made of travertine marble, in a warm golden color that varies at different times of the day. It is a real jewel of Doric architecture: majestic and elegant. The Temple of Ceres (6th century BC), which is actually dedicated to the goddess Athena, was transformed, during the Medieval period, into a church and today it still houses three Christian tombs, placed against the outer wall.

Topics: 

  • Traditional Buffalo Mozzarella
  • Greek History in Italy

Locations: 

Tenuta Vannulo – Buffalo Mozzarella Production Center

Paestum Archaeological Complex

The small coastal area of Cilento is no ordinary place. It is home to an extraordinarily high number of centenarians. More than one in 10 of the population of 700 is over 100 years old, and the hamlet has been the focus of a study to discover the factors that contribute to its residents’ longevity. The American biologist Ancel Keys believed that nutrition was correlated to the diffusion of cardiovascular diseases. He noticed that these diseases were very low in the Cilento region, especially between Acciaroli, Pollica and Pioppi, and spent 40 years studying the traditional food habits of this area, defining what he called Mediterranean Diet.

Pioppi hosts two important museums/research centers, that includes Keys’ personal library and organizes many didactical activities: the Museum of the Mediterranean Diet and the Living Museum of the Sea. The quality of the local food culture is also related to the preservation of the environment. All the beaches of the Cilento Coast received the blue flag, representing pristine conditions and it is common to find turtle nests on the beach. The activists of Legambiente, together with local lifeguards, make sure that the turtle nests stay safe.

Topics: 

  • Mediterranenan Diet
  • Marine Biology

Locations: 

  • Museum of the Mediterranean Diet
  • Living Museum of the Sea

The region of Matera, Basilicata, is also known for its many oil wells. The drilling is said to be causing the pollution of many aquifers of the region, whose water is used for agriculture.

On the way from Cilento to Taranto is Matera, considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Built on the edge of a canyon, its city center is a complex of cave dwellings carved into the rock. The city was used as a setting for movies about the life of Jesus, because it still seems today that it could be a Palestinian city of 2,000 years ago. Despite its old buildings and long tradition, Matera was elected the European Capital of Culture in 2019, with the motto “open future.”

Topics: 

  • One of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world
  • Hollywood Movie Settings
  • Industrial Pollution and Agriculture

Locations: 

  • ENI Oil Refinery
  • Craco – The Ghost Town
  • Matera

The steelworks of Ilva S.p.A, based in Taranto (in the region of Puglia, on the Ionian Sea), are the largest in Europe. More than 14,000 people work at  the plant. In 2012 an investigation for environmental crimes led to the arrest of the owners of the company. They were found to be responsible for the production of elevated emissions of dioxin, correlated to abnormally high cancer incidences in the area and for the death of several workers of the steel plant from cancer.

The company was bought by the multinational ArcelorMittal Group in 2018, but after a few months returned to the commissioner’s management. The government has been struggling, trying to save it, while at the same time protect the environment, people’s health and the economy.

The Ionian Dolphin Conservation is an association that operates as a research center on the dolphins and whales of the Gulf of Taranto, with the goal of preserving marine biodiversity and this wonderful endangered species, in particular. At the Ketos research center in Taranto, the researchers of the Jonian Dolphin Conservation will tell us about their activities and show us their impressive learning spaces.

Next we’ll visit the Marine Biology section of the National Council of Research (CNR) based in Taranto, also known as Talassografico, which is the most important research center for Marine Biology in Italy.

The city of Taranto, is located on an island next to a peninsula dividing an inner lagoon (Mar Piccolo) from a outer bay (Mar Grande) inside the Gulf of Taranto in the Ionian Sea, in the very center of the Mediterranean Sea. Thus, Taranto is the perfect place to study an incredible variety of biodiversity, but also to understand what threatens it. The director of the CNR will introduce us to the local environment and we’ll discuss the problem of invasive species, the resources of Long Term Research and the effects of pollution to marine life.

The city of Taranto is also known as one of the main producers of mussels in Europe. The mussels of Taranto are especially renowned for their quality and the strict controls on their production. The mussels grow on ropes and nets suspended over poles and wooden structures in the lagoon of the Mar Piccolo, where a mixture of fresh and saltwater provides a special marine environment. The freshwater in Mar Piccolo is supplied by 34 underwater springs that create favorable conditions for both mussels and other kinds of fish and shellfish.

Topics

  • Industrial Pollution
  • Marine Biology, Research and Environmental Protection
  • Marine Biology, Invasive Species, Research

Locations:

  • Ionian Dolphin Conservation
  • CNR National Council of Research
  • The Steelworks of Ilva

Budapest, the “Pearl of the Danube”, straddles Europe’s second longest river. The Danube, or Duna as Hungarians call it, cuts directly through  Buda and Pest. These two towns – founded during prehistoric times – underwent many battles, wars, natural disasters and yet have only become stronger and more beautiful with time.

We will spend most of our experience on the much larger, flat side of Pest and make a few stops in the medieval treasure box, Buda. We will unveil locals’ everyday life during the COVID19 pandemic and also show you around the highlights of the city. We’ll take a historical journey to the Middle Ages as well as the late 19th century when Budapest was the fastest growing city in Europe and epicenter of the Eastern European immigration.

Join the experience with the locals on the world’s oldest electric subway, taste a bite of “szaloncukor”, get lost in the humongous Central Market amongst Hungarian salamis and discover the rich and complicated history of this fascinating city.

Topics:

  • Origins of Hungarians
  • Austro-Hungarian Empire
  • Innovations in Science
  • WWI
  • WWII
  • Holocaust
  • Jewish Heritage
  • Cold War
  • Local Food
  • Healthcare System

Locations: 

Budapest

Sites: 

Váci Utca – Shopping Street, Deák Ferenc Tér – City Center , Széchenyi Tér – Academy of Sciences

Chain Bridge , St Stephen’s Basilica, Heroes’ Square, Grand Synagogue, Synagogues of Budapest

National Museum, Central Market, Parliament, Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias’s Church, Budavár Castle, Andrássy Avenue – Szabadság tér (Liberty square) – Reagan Statue, American Embassy, Last Standing Communist Memorial, MTV – Former HQ of the Hungarian Television, Trianon Memorial – Brand New Memorial Commemorating the Losses During WWI, Gozsdu Udvar – Courtyard at the Jewish quarter – Formerly the Entertainment Area, Kazinczy Utca – Local Restaurants and Ruin Bars

Geneva is a city in Switzerland that lies at the southern tip of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva). Surrounded by the Alps and Jura mountains, the city has views of dramatic Mont Blanc. Headquarters of Europe’s United Nations and the Red Cross, it’s a global hub for diplomacy and banking. We’ll visit a few of the most important sites in this city to understand how they became and why they are still a global leader for international relations.

Geneva, Switzerland was also chosen to host CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, to a large extent because of its neutrality and its safeguards against the misappropriation of scientific research results for military purposes.

While in Switzerland, we’ll also visit Basel, a lovely university city that is known as the most multicultural city in Switzerland. During the experience we’ll explore the historical old town as well as the university district.

Topics:

  • CERN
  • United Nations
  • The Maison de la Paix
  • Walking tour of Geneva
  • Walking tour of Basel

Locations:

Geneva and Basel

Sites: 

Lake Léman
History of Science Museum
Biotech Campus
Maison de La Paix
International Quarter of Geneva
Place des Nations UN
CERN – European Organization for Nuclear Research
BASE Energy