Ettore Majorana Center Info
Institutes and Lecture Halls
The "Ettore Majorana" Foundation and International Centre for Scientific Culture is named after an outstanding Italian physicist, born in Sicily in 1906.
Embracing 118 Schools, covering all branches of Science, the Centre is situated in the old pre-mediaeval city of Erice where three restored monasteries (one of which was the residence of the Viceroy of Sicily during the XIV and XV Centuries) provide an appropriate setting for high intellectual endeavour. These ancient buildings are now named after great Scientists and strong supporters of the "Ettore Majorana" Centre. The San Francesco Monastery (former Viceroys residence) is now the Eugene P. Wigner Institute with the "Enrico Fermi" Lecture Hall. The San Domenico Monastery is now the Patrick M.S. Blackett Institute with the "Paul A.M. Dirac" Lecture Hall. The San Rocco Monastery is now the Isidor I. Rabi Institute with the "Richard P. Feynman" Lecture Hall, the Directorate and the main Secretariat of the Centre. There are living quarters in all three Institutes for people attending the Courses of the Centre. The Erice Station of the World Laboratory Seismological Network is located in the I.I. Rabi Institute. The "Daniel Chalonge" and the "Paul A.M. Dirac" Museums are situated at the Patrick M.S. Blackett Institute.
Accommodation and Facilities
You should register upon arrival at the Secretariat of the Center (“San Rocco”, Via Guarnotta 26, Erice) where you will receive your housing assignment.
The computer room is located off the right-hand side of the I.I. Rabi courtyard where several computers are available for checking your e-mail. Wireless connections are available in most Centre public areas, sleeping rooms and lecture halls. Students are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptops.
school office and registration
The School Office will be located in the San Rocco Monastery on the lower level at the rear of the courtyard. This office will be manned by Barbara Strasser (CERN) and Susan Winchester (USPAS). Lecture notes will be distributed from this office.
The Joint School Registration will take place from 7:00 pm on Wednesday 6 April.
Residents in the I.I. Rabi, Eugene P. Wigner and Patrick M.S. Blackett Institutes will have breakfast on a self-service basis in the "coffee room" in the I.I. Rabi Institute (in the back of the courtyard on the right-hand side) where a light breakfast of coffee, breakfast rolls (croissants, brioche, etc.), fruit, and yogurt will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Lecturers housed in the hotels will have breakfast at their hotels.
Coffee, tea, milk, mineral water, fruit and sandwiches are available (free of charge) in the "coffee room" at the I.I. Rabi Institute at any time.
Lunch and Dinner
A selected list of recommended restaurants is displayed in the entrance hall of the I.I. Rabi Institute. The closing day of each restaurant is given in the list. The restaurant owner will ask the participants to sign a form where the appropriate activity is indicated (Course, Seminar etc.) in order to keep a record. Please sign legibly; accompanying members must sign too. At lunch and dinner, it is advisable for participants to distribute themselves in small groups in order to avoid too many people crowding into the same restaurant, and in order to have faster service. Please wear your badge. Beverages (mineral water, wine, coffee, etc.) ARE NOT INCLUDED with your meals and must be paid separately by the individual. Each restaurant will have a special menu for students – sometimes there are choices, sometimes the menu is fixed. Mineral water (large bottle) costs about 2 EURO and house wine (carafe) is about 4 EURO.
The voltage is 220V, 50 cycles per second; the sockets are for two-pin plugs. It is therefore advisable to take an adaptor for hairdryers, shavers, computers, etc.
The local tap water is not drinkable; however, you will find bottles of mineral water in your room (unless you are staying in one of the hotels). Empty bottles will be replaced by the room maid, free of charge. More bottles are available for all participants in the storage room at the I.I. Rabi Institute.
Self-service washing machines (and dryers) are available in the storage room at the back of the courtyard in the I.I. Rabi Institute.
Public telephones are available at the "Tabacchi" shops in Piazza Umberto I and in Via Generale G. Salerno not far from the Elimo Hotel. Magnetic telephone cards can also be purchased at the "Tabacchi" shops.
Post and Bank Offices
Pigeon holes for incoming mail are located in the entrance hall of the I.I. Rabi Institute. The Post Office is in Via Guarnotta, 100 meters away from the I.I. Rabi Institute's entrance (on the way to the Eugene P. Wigner Institute). The Bank is in the main square (Piazza Umberto 1) facing the Nuovo Edelweiss restaurant. Bank hours are from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm. Change can also be obtained at the Post Office (until 1:00 pm).
The shops in Erice are open from 9:00 am (or 10:00 am) to 1:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm. We recommend those which allow a discount to the participants: please ask before paying. The Pharmacy is in Via Cordici off the main square (Piazza Umberto 1). There are no foreign language newspaper shops.
We suggest exchanging currency (if necessary) (USD to EURO) at the Palermo Airport or at a connecting airport before arriving in Erice. There are no ATM machines in Erice. You can convert currency at the Post Office and the Banco di Sicilia, but they are not open as regularly as one would hope. It is often difficult to get currency exchanged, and the shop owners do not accept anything but EU
As Erice is situated on top of a mountain at an altitude of 750 meters, it is much cooler than at sea level. Therefore, we would advise you to bring some warm clothing, and a windbreaker or anorak, even in the summer. The weather is rather unpredictable in Erice and the temperature can suddenly change. Erice streets are full of cobble stones, which can be very slippery especially when wet, so we suggest you bring soft-soled, flat, non-slip shoes (ladies, heels are at your own risk!).
A welcome reception will be held on Thursday evening 7 April.
On Sunday 10 April an all-day excursion is planned to one of the local areas of interest. Transportation to and from this site will be provided by the School.
A special dinner will be held on Wednesday evening 13 April.
More details about these events will be provided at a later date.
For further information about the Center, please go to the EMFCSC web site at
arrival in sicily
When you arrive in Palermo or Trapani you will be met by a driver with a sign indicating Ettore Majorana Center at the Baggage Claim Area.
If you should miss your driver, please call the Center (00390-923-869133) and ask for the Secretariat. Notify them that you have missed your driver and they will give you instructions on how to get to Erice. Usually this means a taxi ride to the Center. A regular trip from Palermo to Erice should cost about 90 EURO, but some taxis charge as much as 180 EURO for the trip. If you have any problems, go to the Tourist Office in the Arrivals Area for help.