Temple Summer in Sicily

Art Conservation using Biotechnology

The Art Conservation using Biotechnology offers an opportunity to investigate the crossroads between biology and art conservation, using Sicily as an incredible experiential laboratory. Over the course of five weeks, students will travel from Cefalù to Palermo, studying the biological basis behind the technology used for art conservation, through practice in the classroom at the University of Palermo, as well as field lectures and tours at local museums, temples, and archeological excavation sites throughout the island. This program is open to students of all academic backgrounds, and particularly for those studying science and art-related disciplines. GenEd Science and Technology and Biology courses available. 

Program Overview

Expand upon each of the links below to view more details about this program.

Academic Program

The program begins in Cefalù, where you will meet daily for lectures or excursions, such as hiking to ancient geological site Tiberio Gorges or taking in 360° views of the Mediterranean at GAL Hassin, an astronomy park and the highest observatory in Italy. In Palermo, you will attend demonstrations at the University of Palermo Laboratory of Biology and Biotechnology for Cultural Heritage, interact with impressive historical and artistic treasures at museums, and learn to integrate scientific principles with the conservation of artifacts.

Sicily offers an ideal setting for this experience, with its seven World Heritage sites of cultural and historical importance. Three of those sites, the Archaeological Area of Agrigento, the Villa Romana del Casale, and the Arab-Norman architectural itinerary in Palermo, Cefalù,and Monreale are central to the applied activity of the researchers and experts based at the laboratory.

Language of Instruction

English. Italian language background is not required.

Course load


Course Offerings

You will register for one of the following:

  • SCST 0860: Biotechnical Preservation of Antiquities (GenEd Science and Technology) 
  • Biology 3366: Applications of Biotechnology to Historical Preservation.

View all courses.


An orientation takes place in Cefalú, a small fishing town and summer resort located 40 miles from Palermo, during the first week of the program. Students will then travel to Palermo, the capital of Sicily located in the central north coast, for the remainder of the program.

Explore Sicily!

Sicily is arguably one of the most important places in the Mediterranean area. The most important historical sediments span from the Punic and Greek (VIII B.C.) era to the Roman domination followed by the Arab-Norman (800-1200) period, containing seven sites listed in the World Heritage List. The program has its main base in Palermo, the regional capital, but throughout the program the students will visit many sites around the island under the guidance of archeologists and biologists involved in the preservation and restoration of archeological sites. This will include a short-stay upon arrival in Sicily in the Arab-Norman town of Cefalú that recently has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. On Fridays, students will participate in guided field trips, with the assistance of the University of Palermo, to visit the museums and the archeological excavations in Himera, the Greek temples of Selinunte and Agrigento, and more.

Program Dates

Five weeks: Late May through June

Tentative Program Dates

Departure from U.S.May 25
Arrival in PalermoMay 26
Orientation in CefalúMay 27
Classes beginMay 28
Classes endJune 29
Last night in housingJune 29
Program endsJune 30

Do not use the above dates to book your flight, as they are tentative and subject to change. Accepted students will receive confirmed program dates and flight booking guidelines from Education Abroad before making travel plans.  

Program participants are required to be present for the entire length of the program, from the official arrival date through the program end date.


Housing type:

  • Cefalú orientation period: modern bed and breakfast
  • Palermo: shared apartment or residence halls
Activities & Excursions

Visits to sites of importance around Sicily

Excursions to various sites around Sicily will be planned, which may include:

  • Museum of Hymera
  • Palermo Norman Architecture
  • Paride Fountain at the Botanic Garden
  • Villa Romana del Casale and Piazza Armerina
  • Museo delle Trame Mediterranee
  • Museo Internazionale Delle Marionette
  • The catacombs of Frati cappuccino in Palermo
  • Selinunte archeological park
Faculty & On-site Support

Temple Faculty Program Director

  • Dr. Gianfranco Bellipanni, a native of Sicily and Temple faculty member, serves as program director and primary instructor.
  • Faculty from the University of Palermo also instruct and collaborate with students.

View program faculty.

Program Costs

TUITION AND FEES (3 credits)

Temple students pay their usual per-credit rate by school/college and residency.

Non-Temple students pay the non-matriculated student rate based on residency. For the 2023-24 academic year, PA residents are charged $749 per credit and non-PA residents are charged $1,349 per credit. *Non-Temple students: your program costs may vary depending on your home institution's billing model. Please check with your study abroad office about your school's billing policies.

All students pay:

  • University Services Fee
  • Sicily Program Fee, estimated at $2,500, which includes housing in shared accommodations, orientation, transportation from the airport upon arrival, some field trips and a few group meals.

For complete details about billable costs and estimate for non-billable expenses, such as airfare, meals, and personal expenses, view the program cost sheet.

View detailed program costs.


Education Abroad offers competitive, need-based scholarships for this program. Learn more about scholarships and financial aid.

Health & Safety

Staying healthy and safe abroad requires good planning and strong support. Review our health and safety page for important steps to preparing for study abroad, and details about international travel medical insurance and assistance provided by Temple.  

In Italy, quality medical care is available, as well as teletherapy. Water and sun safety are especially important during your summer in Sicily.


Eligibility Requirements

Temple programs are open to qualified students matriculated at any U.S. or Canadian college or university.

You are eligible to apply if you meet the following requirements.

Are enrolled fulltime and will have completed 2 semesters before studying abroad
  • You are enrolled as a full-time matriculated student at the time of application as well as during the semester prior to studying abroad.
  • You will have completed at least two (2) semesters of college-level study by the program start.
Are in good academic standing and meet minimum GPA requirement for the program

You meet minimum cumulative GPA requirement, on a 4.0 scale from all colleges/universities attended. The requirement varies by program:

  • Temple Semester Programs: 2.75 (Internships: 3.0)
  • Temple Summer Programs: 2.5
  • Exchange Programs: 2.75
  • External Programs: 2.5

You remain in good academic standing from the time of application until the start of your term abroad; students on academic warning are not eligible to participate.

Have a valid passport

You will need a passport, valid well beyond the length of your program, by the application deadline.

View deadlines and validity requirements for your host country.


Are in good disciplinary standing

You are in good disciplinary standing at the time of application and remain so through the start of your term abroad. Students who have been found responsible for a code of conduct violation and will not be in good disciplinary standing (including disciplinary probation) may submit a petition for review.

Meet the minimum age requirement

You are at least 18 years old at the time of application.

For Temple in Sicily, there are no additional eligibility requirements.

Application Requirements

The standard application requirements pertain to all students applying to Temple programs.

    Admissions Timeline

    • Admissions is rolling (early applications encouraged).
    • Once you submit your application, you should expect a decision within two (2) weeks.