Comune di Belpasso

Last updated
July 19th, 2012

Belpasso, Sicily

The Venue of the School is Palazzo Bufali, in Belpasso, a small town in Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Throughout much of its history, Sicily has been considered a crucial strategic location due in large part to its importance for Mediterranean trade routes. The area was highly regarded as part of Magna Graecia, with Cicero describing Siracusa as the greatest and most beautiful city of all Ancient Greece.

The island was once a city-state in its own right, and as the Kingdom of Sicily ruled from Palermo over southern Italy, Sicily, and Malta. It later became a part of the Two Sicilies under the Bourbons, a kingdom governed from Naples that comprised both the island itself and most of Southern Italy. The Italian unification of 1860 led to the dissolution of this kingdom, and Sicily became an autonomous part of the Kingdom of Italy. Sicily is today an autonomous region of Italy. Of all the regions of Italy, Sicily is the one that covers the largest land area at 25,708 square kilometres (9,926 sq mi) and currently has just over five million inhabitants.

Sicily has its own unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, cuisine, architecture and language. The Sicilian economy is largely based on agriculture (mainly orange and lemon orchards); this same rural countryside has attracted significant tourism in the modern age as its natural beauty is highly regarded. Sicily also holds importance for archaeological and ancient sites such as the Necropolis of Pantalica and the Valley of the Temples.
Belpasso is located about 16 km northwest of the city of Catania. It is located on the feet of Etna, the highest of all Europe active volcanoes (approximately 3,350 meters). A significative part of Belpasso’s territory is included in the Regional Natural Park of Etna, on of the most attractive Italian natural parks.

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Participants can easily reach the venue by flying to Catania Fontanarossa Aiport, which is the 6th biggest airport in Italy in terms of number of passengers and the first in Southern Italy.

Currenlty there are direct flights to Catania from many cities, for example from Rome (13 daily flights; the journey lasts 1h05) and London (1 British Airways daily flight; the journey lasts 3h05). From Paris and Frankfurt, for example, it is necessary to make a connection via Milan, Geneve, Rome or Munich. The total journey lasts from 3h20 to 4h.
Costs may vary from € 250 to € 300, taxes included.

Catania’s Fontanarossa airport is located only 10 minutes from the center of Catania and is well served by city transport. AMT Alibus Service leaves from the airport to the Catania Railway Station every 20 minutes. From Railway Station Catania, it is possible to reach Belpasso by using public bus (AST company). The AST bus station is located in the square in front of Railway Station Catania. Any way, a shuttle service will be organized to allow participants to Belpasso International Summer School to reach the venue directly from the Airoport. It takes 40 minutes to reach Belpasso from Catania.