A Feast of Knowledge and Cultural Experience in Italy


In January, the TOItaly Winter Program organized by University of Turin was held in Italy. During the 5-day program, ZIBSers experienced profound Italian cultural immersion and intellectual exploration, expanding their global perspective.


China-Italy Relations & Cinematic Marvels


On the first day, Prof. Giovanni B. Andornino, Assistant Professor of International Relations of East Asia at the University of Torino, provided the participants with an insightful lecture on the historical evolution and current state of affairs in the relationship between China and Italy. The incisive viewpoints expanded the participants' knowledge base and broadened their horizons.

In the afternoon, participants experienced the enchanting charm of Turin through the City Walk from school to the iconic Mole Antonelliana. The City Walk showcased numerous Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical French architectures, leaving everyone mesmerized. At the National Museum of  Cinema, participants delved into the historical evolution of Italian cinema, from its early days of shadow puppetry to the technological marvels of today. Afterwards, they took an elevator to the top of the Mole Antonelliana, enjoying a panoramic view of the entire city of Turin and the magnificent Alps in the distance.




Italian Society & Philanthropy


On Day 2, a lecture on "Unveiling Puzzles: Three Aspects of Italian Society" introduced differences between the northern and southern parts of Italy. Subsequently, a field trip took place to a rehabilitation facility operated by the Paideia Foundation. In the evening, participants engaged in exchanges with local Italian students, sharing their life preferences and experiences. Despite diverse backgrounds, meaningful friendships blossomed during the interaction.




Chinese Immigration History & Italian Cuisine


On Day 3, an insightful lecture led to an in-depth understanding of the history of the Chinese immigration in Italy, covering various aspects including life, entrepreneurship, and marriage. At Milan Central Station, the owner of the renowned chain restaurant "Tripperia Bambi" shared their journey of the family business – from butchery to venturing into the culinary industry and eventually establishing their own restaurant. During the session, participants also had the opportunity to enjoy various Florentine-style beef dishes.




Innovations, Cultural Heritage & Concert


On the fourth day, everyone participated in a case study activity at the OGR Innovation Workshop. Here, the former train maintenance workshop has transformed into a hub of culture and innovation. OGR also serves as an incubator, providing workspaces and comprehensive entrepreneurial support for startups, including financing, consulting, training, and networking.

Later, participants visited the "Metronome" art exhibition and explored the Museum of the Risorgimento, housed in Palazzo Carignano. The museum's collection showcased numerous artifacts and archival materials from the Italian Renaissance period, providing a profound insight into Italy's historical journey during that era. In the evening, a captivating concert took place at Auditorium RAI, immersing the participants in a sensory feast of symphony music.




Zegna's Elegance and Legacy


The final day unfolded with enlightening visits to Casa Zegna and Lanificio Ermenegildo Zegna, providing profound insights into the rich legacy of the Zegna family enterprise. Core member of the third generation of Zegna as well as the president of Zegna Foundation Ms. Anna Zegna also shared her insights with us on Zegna’s unwavering commitment to eco-friendly practices, sustainable development, and philanthropy endeavors to the local community. All of these are deeply embedded in Zegna's brand values and drive Zegna's sustainable development path in terms of quality, innovation and craftsmanship.






iMBA 2021
This study tour is not only an academic exchange between China and Italy but also an on-the-spot understanding of the practical experience of local Italian society and enterprises. The teaching method combining industry, university, and research has benefited us a lot.




iMBA 2023
The TOItaly Winter Program is a unique and wonderful trip of cultural exchange and business practice. We attended lectures on China-Italy relations given by professors from Italy's top university, visited world-renowned cultural sites and museums in Italy, and participated in diverse and immersive cultural activities. The exchanges and cooperation with outstanding local companies and institutions are also impressive: at OGR, a new innovation incubator that integrates culture and high technology, we understand the innovation of business models; and the third-generation leader of Zegna, a century-old luxury family business, discussed the secret of an evergreen business with us; we experienced the best integration of social responsibility and business model at the charity foundation Paideia. Immersed in the history, humanities, and artistic atmosphere of Italy, I gained a deeper understanding of the business environment and economic development in China, Italy, and the world.



PI Tianbei

iMBA 2021

The classes, conducted entirely in English and with an open approach, not only broadened my international outlook but also sparked continuous thinking. We not only visited the OGR Tech shared office space, which had been transformed from a century-old train maintenance workshop in Turin, but also had the honor of visiting Ms. Anna, the third-generation president of the Zegna Foundation, a century-old family enterprise. She introduced to us the history of the enterprise's inheritance from generation to generation and the sustainable development concept of the artificial afforestation program. Additionally, there was a city walk in the evening. When we and Italian students strolled in the streets of Turin, you could feel that this city was full of "spirit" as its name suggested: ubiquitous street coffee shops, time-worn palace buildings, baroque, art nouveau, and other styles of architecture were perfectly integrated here. Walking in the small stone-paved streets, everywhere you could see chubby gray pigeons and trams, and pedestrians would take the initiative to say ciao to you.

The significance of studying abroad may not be what you learn, see, or think of, but what you experience—strange countries, unfamiliar new friends, language barriers, inner loneliness, and emergency response—are more unforgettable and beneficial for life.



iMBA 2022
This study tour to Italy was packed with enriching experiences and high-quality activities. We not only attended classes at the University of Turin but also conducted research in renowned companies. We explored film and religious history in museums, enjoyed magnificent music at the opera house, and had leisurely conversations with local Italian students, which allowed me to fully experience the charm of Turin. Whether it's the history, culture, cuisine, or people, everything about this city is captivating and unforgettable.



This winter program to Italy provided ZIBSers with enriching experiential activities, allowing them to immerse themselves in foreign cultures while also gaining valuable industry knowledge. Through this program, participants deepened their understanding of Italy's society, politics, and history, and forged profound cross-border friendships with students from the University of Turin.


A Feast of Knowledge and Cultural Experience in Italy