A city with origins dating back thousands of years, Siracusa is located at the southeastern corner of the Italian island of Sicily. The city was named Sirako by the Greek colonists who first settled there.
The names of the five districts of the ancient Greek city still survive in the five areas of modern Siracusa: Ortigia, Acradina, Neapolis, Tyche and Epipoles. The island of Ortigia, where the Arcadia Sicily Center is located, is the city’s historical heart.
The island of Ortigia is connected to the mainland by several bridges and ringed by ancient city walls, which are relics of the defenses designed by Archimedes. The city’s historical center, the island of Ortigia, is home to the monumental early 6th-century-BC Temple of Apollo and the spectacular Temple of Athena. You will find it to be a place where immersion in Italian life comes naturally.
The city is best imagined as a marvelous labyrinth of intricately paved streets that open up into expansive, well-lit squares or "piazze." This intimate urban landscape naturally breaks down barriers between students and residents. Arcadia in Sicily students frequently join local Italian university students and language students for academic, social, and cultural events.
A sense of continuity from the period of antiquity and the mythological themes that dominated that epoch are two of the most evocative aspects of this otherwise modern city. Temples, castles, fountains, amphitheatres, piazzas and palazzos, all awash in the light and air of the surrounding sea, paint history in bright and living color.
The modern city of Syracuse, which can be reached on foot in just a few minutes, on the other hand has all the amenities of a modern medium-sized town, complete with train of the Mediterranean. The city as a whole has less than 200,000 inhabitants and has retained a strong local culture.
Siracusa has a main train station and regular bus services, and is is located approx. 45 minutes by car (one hour by bus) from Catania Fontanarossa Aeiroporto (Catania Airport).
Students will be pleased to discover that the cost of living in Siracusa, and all of Sicily, is among the lowest in Italy.