sits at the heart of Ortigia, the historic island-center of Siracusa, “the greatest of the Greek cities and the most beautiful of all”. Siracusa was for a long time the most important city of Sicily, the largest island of the Mediterranean Sea, known since classical times as “the island of the sun”. Over the centuries Sicily has been a meeting place for people of different cultures, languages and faiths, and it continues to act as host to intercultural dialogues at the center of the Mediterranean today.
EXEDRA Mediterranean Center’s mission is to foster international connections and understanding by hosting custom and faculty-led programs for universities, colleges and schools, and offering continuing-education opportunities to participants from all over the world. The EXEDRA team has years of experience in organising study-abroad programs, workshops, conferences and cultural events. We work closely with home institutions and academic faculty to design the ideal program and provide support for organisers of events, whether educational or cultural. EXEDRA aims to promote the cultural and naturalistic wealth that the island of Sicily has to offer to students of all ages and all areas of interest.
EXEDRA Mediterranean Center is located in Ortigia, almost a ‘village’ in the larger town of Siracusa. Ortigia is intimate and welcoming and students rapidly become part of the community as they get to know the local shopkeepers and their neighbours. The environment is safe and friendly – and what could be better than studying right next to the Mediterranean?
Ortigia is a small island just off the mainland, linked to it by two bridges. One of the fives cities of Greek Siracusa, the ‘pentapolis’, Ortigia has a magical atmosphere with its baroque architecture and winding lanes that open up to stunning views of the Mediterranean. Sleepy and quietly evocative in the Winter months, it livens up in the Summer when tourists come to enjoy the Greek tragedies performed in the Greek theatre of Siracusa. All year round however, students at EXEDRA enjoy the relaxed life-style, the cafe-culture of the squares and the quality of local food and the fresh produce sold at the Ortigia market. We encourage our students to learn about the Mediterranean way of cooking and to take full advantage of what is on offer at the local stalls.
The 14th-century Palazzo Francica Nava, overlooking the beautiful baroque Piazza Duomo, is home to EXEDRA Mediterranean Center. Despite its long history and some rooms reminiscent of a former stately home, it is equipped with wifi, digital projectors and screens, whiteboards, and everything required for the modern classroom. There are two terraces which provide quiet havens for reading or simply enjoying the mild weather. The small library has an interesting collection of books, mainly dedicated to subjects connected to Sicily and the Mediterranean, especially art, architecture and archaeology, the classics, Italian and specifically Sicilian literature, political science and earth sciences such as volcanology.