The Italian Academy

Italian Language and Culture Centre

The Italian Academy, established in 1984, is a boutique Italian language and culture centre offering top quality language tuition with highly qualified and experienced teachers.

It is located in the heart of Siracusa, next to the archaeological museum and park, within a short walking distance of the main shopping streets of the city, the island of Ortygia and the beach.

The main building of our campus is a historic villa that boasts over 2 acres of lush botanical garden filled with citrus trees, Mediterranean flora, century-old palms, and magnolias, as well as many other exotic trees and plants. Outdoor lessons, cooking classes, workshops and other activities are often held within this enchanting setting.

The entrance is next to St. John’s Church (Chiesa di San Giovanni), which gives access to the Catacombs and the Crypt of St. Marcian: considered by many the first place of Christian worship in the West, where St. Paul is said to have preached.

A peaceful oasis in the city center of Syracuse, where students find themselves surrounded by history and nature.

A gateway to Sicily: a strategic starting point to explore the island of Sicily and the Mediterranean as a whole.

  • WIFI and air-conditioning throughout
  • Students have access to all indoor and outdoor study areas during all opening hours
  • Media centre and computer lab
  • Comfortable and fully-equipped classrooms
  • Outdoor patio with cafè area
  • Free activities are offered weekly: movie nights and language aperitifs
  • 24/7 student support
  • Optional Tandem language exchange programs with local students
  • CILS  and DITALS (University of Siena Certification of Italian for students and teachers) preparation and examination centre


All our teachers are Italian native speakers who are highly specialized and experienced in the teaching of Italian to foreigners. The staff at the Italian Academy are professional and friendly, they will always do their utmost best to help with any queries and ensure that your stay is as productive and enjoyable as possible.

  • Ann Byrne
      Ann Byrne School Director
    • Arianna
      Arianna Course Coordinator
    • Francesco
      Francesco Housing & Logistics Manager
    • Giusi
        Giusi Italian Teacher
      • Sara
          Sara Administrative Assistant
        • Luisa
            Luisa Italian Teacher

          Communicative Teaching Method

          The teaching method used is communicative, focusing particularly on developing the student’s ability to express him/herself and understand others without neglecting the study of grammar, which is fundamental to the proper acquisition of the language.

          The Italian Language courses are offered at all levels from beginner to proficient and are focused on providing students with appropriate communication skills by learning Italian in the most natural way, combining communicative tools with a comprehensive study of Italian grammar and syntax.

          The aim of the course is to develop all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing while nurturing an appreciation for the Italian language and awareness of Italian culture by promoting interaction with Italian peers and members of the local community. Students have the opportunity to put the language structures and vocabulary studied in class into practice in real life situations, thus accelerating the learning process and enhancing appreciation of the Italian way of life and culture. This knowledge is an integral part of linguistic competence.

          Resources: The materials used in class are carefully selected based on the linguistic competence and interests of the students, in line with the guidelines laid out by the Common European Framework. The city of Syracuse itself, with its tightly-knit community and welcoming atmosphere, is used within the course frameworks as a laboratory for language acquisition, thanks to the integration of various communication tasks assigned by the teachers throughout the courses.

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