Termini Imerese, Sicily: visit the ancient ruins of Himera close to Termini Imerese
Visit Termini Imerese (Sicily, Italy )
Termini Imerese is a historically important town on the northern coast of Sicily and south-east of Palermo.
Your visit to Termini Imerese can start in the central Piazza del Duomo where you can see the Palazzo del Comune, decorated with frescoes by Vincenzo La Barbera (1577-c.1642) that depict the history of the city.
Termini Imerese Cathedral
The Cathedral in Termini Imerese, dating from the 15th century but rebuilt in the 17th century, has a Latin cross form with a transept. Among the artistic highlights are a marble relief of the “Madonna del Ponte” by Ignazio Marabitti (1719-1797), and a precious 18th century wooden statue of the 'Immacolata" by Filippo Quattrocchi [1738-1813].
Inside the cathedral of termini Imerese you can see the Virgin of the Bridge by Filippo Marabitti; the statue of the Madonna della Mazza by Giorgio da Milano; a 16th century statue of the Immacolata and a painted cross by Pietro Ruzzolone (1484-1526).
In the ancient chapel of St. Agostino Novello (the patron saint of Termini) there are wall paintings dating from the second half of the 17th century which represent two significant moments in the life of the saint
Termini Imerese Museum and Art Gallery
Next to the cathedral there is a museum that includes an archaeological section and an Art Gallery. The former collects material from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic times from the local caves, and also some remains from the excavations in nearby Himera, including two Attic figures dating back to the fifth century BC, a coin collection with Greek, Roman and Punic coins and finally, in the Hall, Hellenistic and Roman pottery, lamps, vases, statues from the Forum and several Roman inscriptions.
The archaeological hall leads next to the chapel of St. Michael Archangel, painted by Nicolò da Pettineo (16th century), and which holds a 15th century triptych of the “Madonna and Saints” by Gaspare da Pesaro; a marble cross from the school of Antonello Gagini; and a 15th century sculpture depicting the Trinity.
From the chapel we enter the Art Gallery, where there are various works from the 16th - 19th centuries. In particular, these include the Flemish style 16th c. Annunciation, some works by local painter Vittorio Barbera, St. Sebastian by Francesco Solimena (1657-1747) and an 18th century Byzantine triptych.
A little further along is the 14th century church of S. Catherine of Alexandria, with a pointed arch doorway surmounted by a bas-relief of the effigy of the saint.
Ancient ruins in Termini Imerese
Close to Termini Imerese is the park of Villa Palmeri where you can see the ruins of the Roman Curia, consisting of public buildings once used for civil and religious ceremonies. These buildings were located close to the Amphitheatre and the Forum.
We find the ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre outside the park along the “Via Anfiteatro”. Originally it had an elliptical shape, with a maximum diameter of 80 meters, and contained 14 orders of stairs surrounded by a platform supported by 36 columns or piers, and could hold more than 4,000 spectators.
Also among the important Roman structures is the aqueduct of Cornelius, the construction of which probably dates to the 1st century BC. It was destroyed in 1338 by the Anjou to force the defenders to surrender, and it is one of the most innovative structures of Roman origin in Sicily. The Aqueduct of Cornelius had its origins at the foot of Mount San Calogero, at the hot springs of Brucato, and water came five miles along the aquaduct to Upper Termini Imerese.
About twenty kilometers from the ruins of Termini Imerese on the top of a hill is the ancient “Himera” where the remains of walls and parts of three sacred temples have been discovered.
The most important building is the Temple of Victory, dating from the 5th century BC and located at the foot of the hill. The temple, dedicated to Athena, had six Doric columns at the front and 14 on the long side - we can still see some remains of the columns and the porch. The entablature was once decorated with a lion's head sculpture, now in the Archaeological Museum of Palermo.
The Middle Ages in Termini Imerese are best represented by the Castle. In 1578 it already consisted of several buildings and imposing towers that rose from the rock. The castle was almost completely destroyed in 1860 at the hands of the Bourbons, and only a few short stretches of the walls and a large cistern for collecting water remain today.
Thermal treatments in Termini Imerese
Finally, we recommend that you visit the “Piazza Terme”, where a complex of baths is situated in an old hotel, dating back to the late 19th century. The Baths offer many treatments, with mud-bath therapy, sauna and cave spa treatments for face, body and stress.
After a relaxing session at the Spa, there is nothing better than to stop at one of the local restaurants to get to know the cuisine of the city - try perhaps the “lasagne cacate”, made with ricotta cheese and sausage.
Address: Termini Imerese, Sicily, Italy || GPS: latitude 37.983333, longitude 13.7
Map of Termini Imerese sightseeing & popular sights
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