Piana Lametina faces the Tyrrhenian coasts
of Calabria, flowing into the S. Eufémia Gulf.
Lamezia Terme is a recent enough toponym, being a municipality
which came about in 1968 by the aggregation of Nicastro, Sambiase
and Sant'Eufemia Lamezia.
The most important history relates to the capital town of
Nicastro, the ancient Neócastrum (new castle) of Byzantine
The centre was founded during the time of Saracen raids (IX-X
century), pushing coastal inhabitants to move to surrounding
higher fortified ground.
However, many finds dating back to the Neolithic age and Magno-Greek
era (IV century BC) have emerged. Furthermore, after the end
of the Roman Empire, Basilian monks arrived in the area in
escape from Eastern persecution (VIII century), giving new
religious and cultural impulse to the High-Medieval centres
in the South.
Shortly afterwards they were joined by Benedictine monks who
subsequently constructed the S. Eufemia Abbey (1062) during
The centre became an Episcopal seat midway through the IX
The area was conquered by the Normans, but Nicastro revolted
against Robert Guiscard and his brother Ruggero. Having dominated
the revolt, the new nobiliary had the Castle built, which
was later restored by Frederick II of Swabia (XIII century),
who then imprisoned his rebellious son Enrico (Henry), there.
Under the Angioinians, Nicastro enjoyed the title of Royal
Directional City until 1417, when it was granted to the Caracciolo
family. The latter ruled it until the Centelles Revolt, after
which the village, raised in status to an Earldom (county),
passed to the heir of the throne, Frederick of Aragona (1482).
When Frederick ascended to the throne of Naples, he once again
conceded Nicastro to the Caracciolo family (1496).
During the XVI century, a defensive system was erected to
defend the city from Turkish attacks. Today, only the Bastion
of Malta remains (1550).
In 1608, the Earldom was sold to the D'Aquino family, who
ruled it until 1799, the year the revolution of the Republic
of Naples broke out.
On 27th March 1638, an earthquake hit the Piana Lametina,
bringing death and destruction. There were twelve thousand
victims and the Norman Cathedral in Nicastro, the S. Eufemia
Byzantine Abbey and the Norman Castle collapsed, burying Prince
The earthquakes were followed by the plague and floods (1792),
distressing the inhabitants of the planes.
The nobility adhered to Republican ideals brought by the French
(1799), but the population sided with the Bourbons. Nicastro
re-entered as part of the Royal Estate.
Later on, the population adhered to Risorgimental ideals and
the Unitarian movements of 1860.
Sambiase came about around the X century, around the San Biagio
Monastery from which it takes its name.
In 1482, the village was annexed to the Earldom of Nicastro,
from that moment on sharing the same historical and political
Sant'Eufemia came about at the the beginning of the XX century
on the edges of the railway tracks and in a territory where
the land was not well reclaimed.
A visit to the City
Its architectonic and historical patrimony was gravely mutilated
by the 1638 earthquake. Only a few ruins remain of the Norman
Castle. The SS Pietro and Paolo Cathedral was reconstructed
as were many other churches like the Madonna delle Grazie
Church, built in 1601, and which in one day, became the oldest
church of Nicastro; for this reason it assumed the name of
The Palazzo del Seminario Vescovile, now accommodates the
premises of the Diocesano Museum, while in Via Garibaldi,
one can visit the Archaeological Museum, containing collections
of Neolithic and Magno-Greek finds.
Ascending, one can visit the Rione or district of S. Teodoro,
where the remains of the Norman Castle lay.
Instead, the Bastion of Malta, is practically perfect. It
was part of the defensive structure built on the wishes of
Pietro di Toledo in 1550, to defend the planes from Turkish
The Caronte Thermal Baths, dating back to the II century AD,
can be found in Sambiase.
Place of interest
- Cattedrale dei SS. Pietro e Paolo (1640)
- Ruderi del Castello Normanno
- Bastione di Malta (1550)
- Palazzo del Seminario Vescovile
- Chiesa di S. Teodoro (XIV sec.)
- Chiesa della Veterana o Madonna delle Grazie (1601)
- Chiesa di S. Domenico (1650)
- Chiesa di S. Francesco
- Chiesa di S. Pancrazio (XVII sec.)
- Chiesa di S. Caterina (XVIII sec.)
- Chiesa di S. Antonio (XVII sec.)
- Chiesa e Convento dei Cappuccini
- Resti dell'Abbazia benedettina di S. Eufemia (1062), località
- Badia dei S.S. Quaranta
- Rovine della città greca di Terina
- Aquae Angae, terme romane
- Piana Archeologica di S.Eufemia
- Teatro Grandinetti
- Teatro Umberto
- Torri costiere
- Resti dell'abbazia di S. Maria di Corazzo
- Museo Archeologico, via Garibaldi
- Museo Diocesano, Palazzo del Seminario Vescovile
- Luogo della Memoria in Largo Ferruccio 3, Sambiase di Lamezia
- Piccolo Museo del Tirion, Bastione di Malta
- Parco Letterario Costabile, Municipio
- Fieragricola in Sambiase tra gennaio e febbraio
- Fiera di San Biagio a inizio febbraio
- Fiera di Sant'Antonio il 12, 13, 14 giugno, Quartiere Nicastro
- Fiera di San Francesco di Paola a fine maggio, inizio giugno,
- Festa di San Pietro e San Paolo il 27, 28, 29 giugno.