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Placed on a hill of approx. 564 metres above sea level, Casteltermini takes its name from the family that founded the hamlet “Castello dei Termini”. The town, a little over 8000 inhabitants, was indeed founded in 1629 by Giovanni Vincenzo Maria Termini e Ferreri, baron of Chiuddia, descendant of a noble Catalan family that had moved to Sicily in 1209, with the entourage of Queen Constance, who had travelled to the island to marry Fredrick II.  On visiting Casteltermini, one is struck by the beauty of the big Piazza Duomo overlooked by the majestic Chiesa Madre and, at the end of Corso Umberto, by the spectacular baroque façade of the Saint Joseph’s church, built on a rock slab, which is accessible through a monumental staircase. But the history of this town starts even before its foundation. In fact, at about three kilometres from town, you can visit the ancient Eremo di Santa Croce, the only church that has no exact date of foundation, which holds a big wooden cross that, according to recent tests with C14, dates back to 12 A.D., a date that grants it the title of Paleochristian Cross and of the most ancient wooden cross in the world. It is centuries that, to celebrate the finding of this Cross, Casteltermini holds on the fourth Sunday of May, the “Sagra del Tataratà” or “Festa di Santa Croce”. It is a feast whose rite is still full of mystery, but can be related to the spring propitiatory rituals performed by ancient Arab tribes living in the surrounding territories and come down to us with its characteristic war dance performed to the rhythmic beat of a big drum.


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Progetto Cofinanziato dall’Unione Europea
Programma Operativo FESR – Fondo Europeo di Sviluppo Regionale Sicilia 2007/2013 Asse 3
Obiettivo Operativo 3.3.3 – Linea di Intervento 3.3.3 A, Attività C
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