University of Catania

Catania, Italy

The University of Catania is the oldest university in Sicily and the 13th oldest in Italy.

The university was founded by King Alfonso V of Aragon (who was also King Alfonso I of Sicily) on 19 October 1434. Alfonso V with this gesture wanted to compensate the city (in which there had been recently established the Royal Court) for moving the Sicilian capital from Catania to Palermo. The activity of the Atheneum actually started a year later, in 1445, with 6 professors and 10 students. The first four faculties were Medicine, Philosophy, Canon and Civil Law and Theology. Lessons were initially held in a building in Piazza del Duomo, next to the Cathedral of St. Agatha, and eventually moved to the Palazzo dell'Università in the late 1690s. This building remains the seat of the university to this day.

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