Arcadia in Sicily
About the Mediterranean Center
The Mediterranean Center for Arts and Sciences is a legally established international institute of higher education (it has been awarded regional accreditation as an "institute of formation" by the "Assessorato alla Formazione e Lavoro"), which offers a wide range of core undergraduate U.S. credit courses in the liberal arts. Although a number of classes take advantage of the center's unique central location, and so specialize in Mediterranean culture and identity through the ages, all of the course offerings are designed to fit seamlessly into, and to complement, the broader undergraduate degrees pursued by students at their home institutions.
All classes are taught in English (with the exception of the Italian language programs) by an international faculty, and are conducted in modern classrooms in the center's central building, Palazzo Ardizzone. The center's surroundings are, of course, a resource in themselves, and a number of the courses involve high fieldwork components. Classes are frequently held in and around the city at various sites.
The Mediterranean Center is located in a completely restored, 17th-century Spanish Palazzo (or palace) on the island of Ortigia, the historical center of the ancient city of Siracusa in Sicily. This historic building, which includes three floors and a traditional central courtyard, houses large classrooms, a library, photography lab, art studio, and the student lounge, as well as a computer lab and multimedia room with audio and video facilities. Located less than 200 meters from the ancient sea walls of the city of Siracusa, Palazzo Ardizzone commands superb views of both the Mediterranean Sea and the intricate baroque streets of the town.