Termini Imerese Tourist Attractions
EventsFishing Festival (July); August Festival; Feast of St Marina (fifth September).LocationThe spa town of Termini Imerese lies on the north coast of Sicily on a ridge of the 1,326m/4,352ft high Monte Calägero, half way between Cefalù and Palermo and 16km/10mi east of the ancient town of Himera.
Its name of Termini (thermai in Greek) is attributable to the hot springs (temperature 42°C/108°F), known since ancient times. In addition to the baths the town boasts a busy harbor and considerable industry, including an oil refinery and chemical and food factories.HistoryIn olden days the town was a Sicanan settlement which almost certainly had trade links with the nearby Greek town of Himera and after disaster struck the latter in 409 B.C. it took in the few survivors. Since then, first in Greek, then Roman and later in more recent times, the town has in turn been named Thermai Himeraiai, Thermae Himerenses and now Termini Imerese. The spa enjoyed its heyday in the Roman period, and was also popular with the Saracens and Normans.
The Piazzo del Duomo forms the core of the Upper Town, where most of the historical buildings are to be found.
San Nicola Cathedral
On the east side of the square stands the 15th-16th century Cathedral of San Nicola, with Roman spoils of war built into its campanile. In the triple-aisled interior can be seen a Crucifixion painted by Pietro Ruzzolone in 1484 and sculptures from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
Three streets diverge from the opposite side of the Piazzo del Duomo in Termini Imerese. On the left stands the former hospital, the 14th century Fatebenefratelli, now the Museo Civico. On display are archeological finds which include the Lion's Head Gargoyle from Himera, a collection of epigraphs and one of coins, as well as 12th-17th century paintings.
On the piazza of the same name stands the 15th century church of Santa Caterina. Inside can be seen an informal portrayal of saints decorated with Sicilian adages, by Giacomo and Nicolò Graffeo, late 15th century.
Santa Maria della Misericorda
Via Mazzini leads from the cathedral square to Piazza Umberto I. Here stand two churches - on the right the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Misericordia (inside which will be found a 1453 triptych by Gaspare da Pésaro) and on Chiesa del Monte the left the Chiesa del Monte. On Via Garibaldi, which leads off to the Villa Palmieri right of cathedral square, lies the municipal park known as Villa Palmeri, with a few remains of the Roman forum and amphitheater.In the Lower Town the Albergo delle Terme stands on the site of the old Roman baths.
Santa Maria del Gesù
In the south of Termini Imerese, in Largo Gancia, stands the 1472 church of Santa Maria del Gesù. Inside there hangs a beautiful picture of "St George and the Dragon" painted by Nicolò da Voltri in the 14th-15th centuries.
Cáccamo, with 9,000 inhabitants, is a little mountain town picturesquely situated at a height of 521m/1,710ft and 10km/6mi south of Termini Imerese and reached by way of a winding and scenic road.On a rock stands the massive castle, built by the noble family of Chiaramonte in the 12th century as a strong fortress on an ancient site. Matteo Bonello retired here in 1161 after he had murdered Maione da Bari, the Grand Chancellor and Grand Admiral of the Norman King William I.The Chiesa Madre also dates from Norman times, although it has been subjected to many changes since then.
Trabia is a little seaside resort with a medieval castle, 4km/2.5mi west of Termini Imerese.
Map of Termini Imerese Attractions