As much as we would all like to be kicking back on an Italian terrazzo, sipping on a Roman vintage, and eating ourselves silly, that whole real life thing gets in the way. But, lucky for us, College of Charleston is hosting a lecture with cinema expert Cristina Bragaglia that will get us as close as we can get on a Wednesday evening.

Entitled “Italian Food in Italian Cinema,” Bragaglia’s lecture will cover more than its title suggests. “The real question is, ‘What role does food play in the definition of Italian culture and family through a visual representation?” says CofC professor Giovanna De Luca. “Everybody knows food is essential to Italian culture, but what can it tell us sociologically and historically?” Bragaglia will respond to these kinds of questions, taking films as early as WWII into consideration to mark the evolution and continuity of food’s role in cinema.

Bragaglia has racked up her fair share of passport stamps studying the subject. After she studied film history at the Milan Instituto Universitario di Linque Moderne, she traveled all over Europe investigating the intersection of food and film. She has also been a visiting professor in Montreal, Tours, Valencia, and Barcelona, and has received grants from both the Italian government and Princeton University. Now, a professor at her alma mater, the University of Bologna, Bragaglia has recently published works on both Italian and French food in cinema.

If you’re not familiar with film studies, don’t sweat. “The inspiration for the lecture series is to present a lighter way of learning about another dimension of Italian culture and to foster familiarity with the society behind the language,” encourages De Luca.

Today’s talk serves as an introduction to the department’s upcoming series, the Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival. The event will also host Italian directors Edoardo De Angelis, Nico Cirasola, and Paola Randi and screen their landmark films.

The free lecture is scheduled for Wed. Aug. 29 at 4:30 p.m. in the Robert Scott Small Building. If you can’t make it, mark your calendar for the rest of the Italian department’s events. Call (843) 953-5717 for more details.