Pitt in Sicily

This program is designed for students interested in the history and archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean. The rich cultural heritage and sweeping panoramas of Sicily provide the background to an unforgettable exploration of over 1,000 years of Greek and Roman history and culture.  Though based in the southeastern coastal town of Syracuse, we leave no corner of Sicily unexplored. Come visit some of the best-preserved Greek temples and theaters in Europe; tour medieval towns, hidden caves, and lonely beaches; hike the slope of Mt. Etna. Pitt in Sicily makes the whole island your classroom!

Read the student blog to learn more about the program here.

What You'll Accomplish: 

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity:

  • to study history and archaelogy of the ancient Mediterranean
  • to develop deeper appreciation of the ancient culture that is still relevant in modern days
  • to explore ancient temples and theaters, tour medieval towns, hike the slopes of Mt.Etna and beautiful beaches 

Syracuse is a historic city in Sicily, the capital of the province of Syracuse. The city is notable for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheaters, architecture, and as the birthplace of the preeminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes. Syracuse is located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, by the Gulf of Syracuse next to the Ionian Sea.  Described by Cicero as "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all”, this 2,700-year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean world.  Currently the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and has a population of around 125,000 people. 

Where You'll Live: 
Students will stay in shared housing facilities within walking distance of the school.  
You can expect your housing to have the following: 
  • 1-2 students in a room
  • Shared bathroom
  • Linens provided, will need to bring your own towels 
  • Wifi for general browsing 
  • Equipped kitchen (meals are not included in the program cost)   
We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions. 
What You'll Study: 

You will take two courses for a total of 6 credits. Both courses will be taught by Pitt faculty and will be comprised of lectures, guest speakers, city tours, and cultural activities.

Information about how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found here.

Greek Archaeology (CLASS1610)

This course introduces students to the archaeologist’s task of bringing lost societies back to light through the study of their physical remains and material culture. From the search by aristocrats and antiquarians for ancient sites known only in myth and legend, the practice of Archaeology has developed over the last 150 years into a rigorous academic discipline. By studying ancient Greek art, architecture, inscriptions, burials, and the many everyday objects that survive from antiquity, archaeologists are able to shine light on details of Greek society that are often totally inaccessible from the surviving literary and historiographical record: details of the ancient economy, for example, the political processes of individual city-states and their varying cults and religious rituals, as well as the everyday lives of ancient Greeks from all classes and backgrounds. For over a century, Classical Archaeologists have developed scientific methods of identifying, studying, documenting, and preserving cultural heritage sites throughout the Mediterranean, and we have pioneered a variety of digital approaches including 3D scanning and printing, GIS and text-image mapping. The course begins with examination of the archaeology of the Bronze Age (ca. 3000-11o B.C.) and presents a survey of the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods (1100-31 B.C.), as well as a history of the archaeological discipline itself from the nineteenth century to today. 

Masterpieces of Greek & Roman Literature (CLASS0100)

Is there a pattern of human behavior? Would man pursue his extravagant projects if he foresaw the price he must pay for them? Personal vendetta or lawcourtjustice? Which limits must the state observe towards the individual and vice versa? These are central questions in early European literature. The course starts out with the conflict between King Agamemnon and his strongest warrior, Achilles, during the siege of Troy (Homer's Iliad), then moves on, via lyric poetry, to Aeschylus' quest for justice in the Oresteia. After next considering man's place in history (Thucydides), the course turns to the philosopher who confronts his community: Socrates, depicted by his student Plato (Apology, Crito, Phaedo). Plautus' popular comedy Menaechmi contrasts with Vergil's Aeneid (literature serving political authority). The Elegies of Propertius show the deserted lover as well as the individual suffering under the claim of the state.
Horace's Odes round out the readings from Roman authors. The masterpieces of Greek and Roman literature attract their readers not only by competently depicting the human situation, but also by their perfect form. Analyzing the fomwl element is a major objective of this introductory course. Students will acquire basic skills necessary for reading both ancient and later literatures, and will develop concepts helpful for clarifying and expressing their own outlook. Greek and Roman authors are read in English translations. 

We run this program in cooperation with EXEDRA Mediterranean Center’s, whose mission is to foster international connections and understanding by hosting custom and faculty-led programs for universities from all over the world. The EXEDRA team has years of experience in organising study-abroad programs, workshops, conferences and cultural events and you can be sure you will have support and expertise with any questions you might have.

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Nazir Noori

Salam! I’m Nazir and I'm your Study Abroad Program Manager. I was born and raised abroad and went to schools in Afghanistan, Iran, and the U.S. I also took classes in India and United Arab Emirates. I worked for the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and German Foreign Office for over ten years before moving to Pittsburgh in 2014. At the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, I assisted Afghan students to study in the U.S., and now I'm glad I have the opportunity to help you study abroad.

Schedule a Zoom appointment with me below or get in touch with me through email to discuss study abroad options.


Schedule an appointment

Schedule an appointment with me using Pathways!

  • Log in to Pathways or use the Navigate app
  • Select Appointments > Schedule an Appointment
  • Select Pitt Global as the appointment type
  • Select General Study Abroad as the School/Unit
  • Select Study Abroad Program Specific Questions as the service
  • Select Study Abroad Virtual Advising as the Location
  • Select my name and find a time that works for you

Don't see a time that works for you? Just send me an email!

Your In-Country Contacts: 

Jacques Bromberg

Professor Jacques Bromberg is faculty director of Pitt in Sicily. He first visited the island as an undergraduate and, like many other travelers to this ancient land, he has never been free from the nostalgia for it. Professor Bromberg studied Classics and Ancient History at Stanford and Penn, and taught Greek literature and history at Colby College and Duke University before joining the Classics faculty at Pitt in 2014. His research interests include Greek tragedy and its reception, history of medicine, and ancient athletics, and he teaches a wide variety of courses at Pitt in the languages, literature, and cultural history of the Greco-Roman World. Professor Bromberg started Pitt in Sicily in 2016 as a way to introduce Pitt undergraduates to the archaeology and cultural heritage of ancient Greece, and he cannot think of a better place to spend four weeks in the Spring.


Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $4,656 $4,856
Program Fee $643 $643
Study Abroad Fee $300 $300
Total Billed by Pitt $5,599 $5,799

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Airfare ~1,500
Meals and Personal Expenses $1000 - $1,200


Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad. Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

The amounts above are for the 2019-2020 academic year and should be used as estimates only. Pricing for 2020-2021 will be posted and announced in the fall term.

What's Included: 

As a part of your program fee, the following are included:

  • Tuition for six Pitt credits
  • Survival Italian language lessons in country
  • Shared accommodations throughout the program
  • International travel health insurance throughout the dates of the program
  • Class related activities
  • Cultural activities
  • Welcome and farewell dinners
  • Excursions to Catania and Mount Etna, Morgantina/Gela, and Selinunte/Segesta


When You'll Go: 

Dates for the 2020-2021 academic year will be posted in the fall!

What Else You Need to Know: 

While it would be helpful, no prior Italian language is necessary for this program.  Both courses will be taught in English. 
Please note: Program activities require extensive walking/hiking.