Along the Northern coast of
Sicily, in the stretch that goes between Palermo and Cafalù,
is where one will find Termini Imerese, sloping gently towards
the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Its name derives from the presence of thermal sources which
were exploited in the past.
In ancient times it was known by the name of Thermai Himeraìai
(Thermae Himerenses by the Romans). Its origins are connected
to the battle between the Carthaginians and the Syracusans
during the 4th Century BC, after an initial success by the
Greeks in 480 BC, with the Battle of Imera, the Carthaginians
completely destroyed the City in 409 BC. The inhabitants were
deported as prisoners to Africa, but later given the possibility
to return to their homeland and live in Thermai, which was
founded by the Carthaginians in 407 BC.
However, the City participated on behalf of the Greek faction
during the successive fights between the Greeks and the Carthaginians
during the 4th Century BC, until the moment it passed hands
to the Romans in 253 BC, after the First Punic War, becoming
a civitas decumana (Decuman City). Under the Romans, the city
enjoyed a period of urban town-planning development, during
which its thermal waters were heavily exploited. Termini then
became a Episcopal seat.
It passed to the Byzantines throughout the 6th, 7th and 8th
Centuries, whilst awaiting the arrival of the Arabs, who gave
new energy to the City and constructed a City wall.
It passed hands to the Normans in the 11th Century, becoming
a governing City. They heavily fortifyied it by constructing
city walls and a castle.
In 1535, the Emperor Charles 5th stayed there, and installed
a new surrounding wall, of which no trace remains.
Termini therefore became a point of arrival and embarkation
of grain, guaranteeing its wealth until the 20th Century.
The ancient Roman City is identified with the higher part
of todays Termini Imerese, where one can recognise the main
elements: the forum (today’s Piazza Duomo), the Cardo
and the Decuman.
Not too far from the City, one can find the remains of the
Places of interest to visit in the City: the Church of S.
Maria di Gesù (1472) and San Nicola di Bari, and the
Duomo of Termini.