pause world-wide-web instagram volume-medium linkedin flickr basketball devices home pencil person-money rss slider-left-arrow slider-right-arrow slider-left-arrow slider-right-arrow star video-transcript close hamburger minus plus account arrow certificate city globe graduation-cap graph handshake info info-2 map play search snapchat twitter facebook file-text-o youtube tumblr camera file-text

International Experiences

Travel and learn with us.

Food, Wine, and Culture in Barcelona

This week-long foodie abroad experience is designed to go beyond the plate, using food as a dynamic gateway to explore Catalan culture while fostering a sense of community among our Manhattan College alumni and friends.

Join Dr. Emmett Ryan ‘06 who, through the lens of food and wine, will delve into the multifaceted layers of Catalan society, viewing food as not just nourishment but as a central subject, metaphor, and artifact of profound cultural significance.

As we immerse ourselves in this culinary journey, we'll uncover the sensual qualities of food, its role in shaping history, and its impact on ecological sustainability. Beyond satisfying our appetites, we'll consider how food shapes our personal beliefs, influences local and global environments, and deepens our understanding of diverse cultures.

Furthermore, we'll raise our glasses to the pivotal role that wine plays in Catalan and Spanish cultural identity.

We will spend time in the city of Barcelona, but also take a number of day trips out into the countryside.  For example, in the Penedès wine region, we'll explore vineyards and engage in wine education, gaining insights into the traditions that have made wine an integral part of the local heritage. As we savor the wines unique to this region, we'll appreciate how they encapsulate the essence of Catalan and Spanish identity. 

Overall, we will participate in a wide variety of gastronomic activities which include eating, cooking, farming, wine-making, foraging, and more. Significant cultural and religious sites will also be visited, such as the Sagrada Familia and the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey.

Use this link to register for our information sessions. Or email us at to schedule a one-on-one meeting to discuss your questions further.

It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it… and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied… and it is all one.

M.F.K. Fisher (1908-1992)

Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.

Anthony Bourdain (1956 - 2018)

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.

Jean Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)


We will spend 7 days in Spain exploring food, wine, and other aspects of Catalan gastronomy to explore the intersections among food, culture, and identity.  

Program Description:

We will start our trip with a food walking tour at night for an introduction to the city through typical tapas paired with wine, beer, or vermut, allowing us to dive straight into Barcelona's culinary culture while exploring a local neighborhood through its food scene.  The next day, we will continue to immerse ourselves in Barcelona’s gastronomic culture by examining how locals shop for food. We will visit a few markets to shop but also to eat: jamón, olives, cured meats, artisanal cheeses, and more. This will give us a deeper sense Barcelona's culinary traditions while joining in on the daily rituals of its residents.

The city of Barcelona is not the only focal point of the trip, but visiting the countryside of Catalonia will give us insight into how and where the food of the region is grown. We will explore areas outside of the city which include visits to farms, vineyards, and other sites of artisanal food production.  We will meet winemakers, olive oil producers, cheesemakers, farmers, and other local hosts. All of our winery visits will feature vineyards focusing on organic and biodynamic practices. And everyone will learn how to taste, understand, appreciate, and describe wine by the end of the trip.

Barcelona and the surrounding region of Catalonia are culinary havens. We will learn how to cook together the iconic paella, a saffron-infused rice dish that can include seafood, chicken, rabbit, and vegetables. Other foods we’ll try include escalivada, a side dish which is composed of marinated and grilled vegetables, often accompanied by anchovies or olives; butifarra, a rustic sausage that pairs beautifully with white beans; fideuà, a unique Catalan variation that substitutes rice with short noodles; seafood, like grilled fish, complemented by herbs and local olive oil; and endless tapas, including patatas bravas, jamón ibérico, and the famous bomba. Sweet foods will also be featured, such as crema catalana, a dessert akin to crème brûlée. Finally, there will be room always for warm churros dipped in thick chocolate. 

The city of Barcelona is rich in culture, history, and tradition. There will be time during the week to visit all of the iconic sites:  La Sagrada Familia, tour the Gaudi apartments, relax in Park Guell, appreciate art in the Picasso Museum, hike up Montjuic for stellar views of the city and the sea, hang out at Camp Nou (home of the FC Barcelona soccer team), to name a few. Included in the itinerary will be one touristic activity of your choice, then you can explore any or all of the above and more during some free time.

All week, we will regularly reflect on our experiences to examine the role(s) food plays culturally and historically in the contexts of Barcelona and in our own lived experiences. To preserve and curate your trip abroad, you will have the opportunity to learn how to build a digital travelogue that will showcase your experiences through text, photos, videos, and other multimodal forms of media so that your trip can be published and shared with others back home and across the world.

Day 1: Tapas Walking Tour at Night
Day 2: Market Tour, Welcome Dinner
Day 3: Farm-to-Table Experience in the Countryside
Day 4: Touristic Activities and Cultural Sites in the City, Cooking Class at Night
Day 5: Wine Country Excursion
Day 6: Artisanal Producer Visits in Catalonian Countryside
Day 7: Trip Reflection, Farewell Dinner
Day 8: Departure

  • Program Fees

    Cost: $4,860

    • A $500 deposit must be made during registration using this link.
    • Most meals and wine
    • Hotel accommodations in single rooms (or double for couples)
    • Local transportation
    • Program materials and content
    • All program-related excursions, trips, and activities
    • Manhattan College souvenir

    Not Included:

    • Flight to Barcelona
    • Travel and health insurance (required)


    For questions or to schedule a one-on-one meeting to discuss this program, please email us at 

    • Participants must have a valid passport to travel to Spain with an expiration date of more than six months from the return date. 
    • Participants must show proof of accident/medical insurance for the time of the experience. 
    • In Barcelona, we will walk daily and at times be climbing stairs; we will take public transportation only some days as an alternative to walking. All participants should be physically capable to walk an average of 2-3 miles per day.

Dates & Registration

April 13-20, 2024
Registration deadline: January 15, 2024


For questions or to schedule a one-on-one meeting with to discuss this program email us at

  • Participants must have a valid passport to travel to Spain with an expiration date of more than six months from the time of traveling to date of return.
  • Participants must show proof of accident/medical insurance for the time of the experience. Manhattan College may provide this service at an additional cost. 
  • In the city of Barcelona, we will walk daily and take public transportation on some days, which may involve climbing stairs. All participants should be physically fit to walk 2-3 miles per day, on average.

Cancellation, Refund Processing & Changes

Manhattan College reserves the right to vary its programs and to reschedule or cancel an event if it is under-subscribed or for any other reason. Manhattan College attempts to give participants at least one month's notice if the event is rescheduled or canceled.

Please provide a valid email address and phone number during registration. If Manhattan College cancels events for any reason, you will receive a full refund, less a one-time processing fee of $100.00.

Suppose the participant cancels attendance at the program for any reason and provides at least two months’ notice of cancellation before the program starts the day. In that case, the participant will also be entitled to a full refund, less the one-time processing fee of $100.00.

Cancellation of participant attendance with less than two months’ notice forfeits the participant’s rights to a refund.

Please remember that refund processing usually takes 4 – 6 weeks (this timeframe depends on your financial institution).