Taormina is a quaint medieval town perched on the summit of Mt. Tauro, in the northeast corner of the island of Sicily, itself located off the southwest tip of Italy. Taormina’s amazing views of the turquoise Ionian Sea and Homer’s mythical Mount Etna have captivated artists, photographers, and writers for centuries. The 2000+-year-old Greek Theater, only steps from campus, hosts contemporary and classical concerts, opera, ballet, plays, and events, as well as an International Film Fest in June ongoing since the 1950’s. Along the narrow medieval streets are architectural gifts from the many civilizations which ruled Sicily since its early Greek years, including a Roman amphitheater, Norman castle, Byzantine fountain, and Arabic palace. Students also can enjoy the internationally renowned beaches of Taormina. The warm, clear Ionian Sea provides relaxation after class and weekend fun. The well-known Sicilian hospitality encourages students to participate in the social rhythm and allows for easy integration.
API students who choose to study abroad in Taormina study at Babilonia – Center for Italian Language and Culture. Classes are held at “Casa Silva,” a nationally registered historic villa protected by the Sovrintendenza alle Belle Arti (the National Agency for the preservation of Art and Monuments). The villa is hidden from view by an impressive stone wall that separates it from the steps of Via Timoleone, which lead to the Greek Theater.
Babilonia is truly a cultural center, hosting book presentations, painting and sculpture exhibitions and concerts in the botanical gardens. In the net-café located in the WI-FI garden, students can enjoy leisure time under the lush green trees with classmates while sipping a cappuccino from the school’s cafeteria.
API students are engaged in the study of literature, history, cinema, art, archaeology, and Italian language. In accordance with Babilonia’s commitment to ensuring students’ successful intercultural interactions, students enroll in a minimum of 6 credits of Italian language courses in semester programs.
“As a small town filled with warm and welcoming Sicilians, Taormina felt like home right away. What truly made my experience in Taormina so special, however, was the school. With small class sizes and daily cultural activities, I really got to know the remarkable teachers. I felt motivated to learn and comfortable to practice the language. The staff quickly came to feel like my Sicilian family."