Termini-Imerese, Sicily; a town with Greek and Roman ruins and some lovely 17th century frescoes

Photo of Termini-Imerese

Visit Termini-Imerese

The town of Termini Imerese is situated south-west from Palermo and west of Cefalu on the northern coast of Sicily.

For an impressive introduction to the town head first to the large square called the Piazza del Duomo - not surprisingly home to the cathedral (duomo) but also the Palazzo del Comune, reputed for its 17th frescoes relating the early history of Termini-Imerese. The Cathedral itself was rebuilt in the 17th century on the site of a 15th century cathedral and features various notable statues and other artifacts such as a 16th century painted cross. See the chapel of St. Agostino Novello to admire some wall paintings from the second half of the 17th century.

Be sure to also visit the Termini Imerese Museum which has an interesting collection of items including statues, pottery and coins, many from antiquity, and an art gallery featuring 16-17th century paintings.

No visit to a Sicilian town is complete without some ancient ruins and Termini Imerese is no exception with both Greek and Roman ruins present. At the park called Villa Palmeri you can see various Roman ruins of buildings that were once used for important ceremonies close to the Amphitheatre and the Forum. The amphitheatre itself is outside the park, and was a substantial theatre holding 4000 spectators on a series of 14 steps, and 80 metres across. another important Roman monument in Termini Imerese is the Aqueduct of Cornelius (built 1st century BC, destroyed in 1338 to force the town to surrender - the aquadeuct carried water for five miles from the hot springs at Brucato (Mount San Calogero) to the town.

The Ancient Greeks are represented by the ruins of ancient 'Himera', on top of a hill about 10 miles away, where remains of three sacred temples have been found. The most important among them is the 5th century BC Temple of Victory - this temple, dedicated to Athena, had six Doric columns at the front and 14 along the side. The decorative 'end-piece' sculpture of a lion's head can now be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Palermo.

Other highlights in Termini-Imerese

The castle in Termini Imerese dates from the middle ages, and was already a substantial building with several towers before 1578. Unfortunately it was largely destroyed during war in 1860 and there are just a few stretches of wall that remain.

For something completely different in Termini Imerese visit the Piazza Terme - a complex of public baths dating from the 19th century - the baths offer numerous options and treatments from mud-bath therapy to cave spa treatments.

Note Termini Imerese town hall photo by Bjs is copyright.

See also:

Map of Termini-Imerese & places nearby

Selected places to visit in or near Termini-Imerese, Sardinia