Master Facoltà di Filosofia

Degree in Philosophy of Food and Wine

Duration1 year
AdmissionNo specific admissions procedure


The 1st level master's degree in Philosophy of Food and Wine is intended as the first ever "school" for training skilled communicators equipped to operate in the food and wine sector. Professionals who will be equally at home in businesses within the industry or in the specialised media. The dual aim is to provide in-depth knowledge of the field (i.e. genuine expertise in the sector) and, alongside this, to teach the skills required to create exciting storytelling (a need business are becoming more and more aware of), also including the most appropriate communication strategies.

This project is grounded in the partnership of the Philosophy Faculty of Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, the Corriere della Sera “Cucina” channel staff, the Italian Signature Wine Academy (ISWA) – which brings together seven of Italy's top wine producers (AllegriniFeudi di San GregorioFontanafreddaFrescobaldiMasciarelliPlaneta and Villa Sandi) – and the Intesa Sanpaolo banking group, as well as leading partner companies from the food industry (such as Molino Quaglia) and retail (such as Eataly).

Massimo Donà

Master's Degree Course Director

Course Curriculum

Lectures start: 14 February 2020

The 360 hours of lectures will be by teaching staff and guests including Massimo Donà (philosophy of wine), Massimo Cacciari (food and politics), Angela Frenda (food and wine storytelling), Andrea Tagliapietra (philosophy of food), Francesco Valagussa (aesthetics and philosophy of symbolic forms), Guido Tommasi (publisher), chefs Andrea Berton, Alessandro Borghese and Niko Romito, pastry chef Ernst Knam, and GoodLand chairman Lucio Cavazzoni, not to mention Alberto Capatti (history of cuisine), Luciano Ferraro (wine storytelling), Giampaolo Gravina (the vocabulary of wine), Sandro Sangiorgi (vines and wine-making), Nicola Frasson (introduction to wine-tasting) and many others.

Lectures will be on Fridays and Saturdays (from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00 hrs) at the Vita Salute San Raffaele University Philosophy Faculty. The course will end by December 2020 at the latest.

Methodological approach

What is the symbolic form of a traditional Italian dish? What is the nexus between the place of production of a wine or cheese, for example, the ancient skills underlying the techniques by which it is still made today, and the symbolic images which it evokes? Why does a food or wine convey to us something above and beyond "nourishment", calling forth hidden memories and emotions? What is the meaning of all these question for a country like ours, where food and wine are a unique specialism and an immense resource?

Being able to answer questions of this kind, and to interpret the dense network of ties between products and their history, by way of their distinctive technical and sensory characteristics, through to the most effective forms for their marketing, is the big challenge facing the food and wine professionals of tomorrow.

The need is therefore for experts who combine professional skills with knowledge of the products, as well as the necessary foundations of anthropology, history, aesthetics and economics. Communication and marketing managers who convey the idea that a food and wine product is the outcome of a process rooted in the history of a specific area of Italy, capable of combining its origins with innovation and creativity.

The key educational aim of this master's degree course is to underline the need to bring food and wine back into the centre of today's main cultural debates and to train the food communicators of tomorrow. Through the expertise of the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University Philosophy Faculty and those of the Corriere della Sera “Cucina” channel staff. With the support of the industry's top professionals and leading producers.


Students who enrol for this Master's Degree course will acquire the professional skills they need to conceiverecount and promote the knowledge and marketing of Italian food and wine products. Philosophy, ethics and aesthetics; the history and geography of the landscape and territory; literature, art, anthropology and religious history will help them to study food and wine in relation to their origins and their areas of production, not forgetting the evolution of practices and culinary uses, through to the transformations of the ways they have been enjoyed.

In addition to the study of history and philosophy, students will also learn in depth about the production and supply chains of some key products (including wine, olive oil, pasta, rice, flour, honey, cheese and coffee), as well as the sensory tasting techniques required to appreciate the quality and organoleptic characteristics of the products they gradually encounter as the course proceeds.

Students enrolling for the Master's Degree course may have any kind of educational background; these varied origins will also strongly reinforce the interdisciplinary approach adopted. This will enable every student to develop and perfect their own outlook on the food and wine world and their own method of working within it, on the basis of their individual preferences and skills, in a completely free, creative manner.

  • Hours of lectures: 360 hours of lectures, by visiting professors and industry experts
  • Workshops: 60 hours of workshops focused on the application of the technical knowledge acquired in projects
  • Educational visits: 6 educational visits to top Italian producers
  • Internship: 300 hours of internships with food industry companies

Head of course