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Alfonso V of Aragona
For the founding of the "Studium generale", the sensibilitiy of King Alfonso V of Aragona, named the Magnanimous, who came to the throne of Naples in 1443, proved determining. A lover of splendour and grandeur, he saw the need to raise the city of Catania from rapid decline, a city which had strongly resented the transfer of the royal residence to Palermo. Thanks to his friendly diplomacy towards Pope Eugenio IV it was possible to obtain the papal concession of the "Catanese Studio".

On 19 October 1445 the first academic year was inaugurated in the building opposite the cathedral (later destroyed in the 1693 earthquake), with six teachers directly appointed by the Viceroy.

Studies included four fundamental subjects:

  • Theology
  • Canonical and Civil Law
  • Physics (Medicine) and Philosophy
  • Liberal Arts (Literature).