Termoli, Province of Campobasso, Molise

Presently the largest and most important seaside resort in Molise, Termoli consists of a newer part, all along the coastline and in the hinterland, and of an ancient borough, a typical fishing village, called "Borgo Vecchio", up on a rocky promontory. Given the position of the place, on clear days it is possible to see the Gulf of Vasto and the Majella reliefs to the North, and the Tremiti Islands and the Gargano promontory to the South.


  • Altitude: 21 m a.s.l
  • Territory: hilly, coastline
  • Population: about 33,000 inhabitants in 2018
  • Zip/postal code: 86039
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0875
  • Patron Saint: St. Basso, celebrated on 3-4-5 August
  • Frazioni & Localities: Airino, Litorale Nord, Mucchietti, Porticone, Rio Vivo, Santa Maria degli Angeli (Difesa Grande), Santa Maria Valentino.


Termoli Archeological excavations that brought to life an italic necropolis in the areas called Porticone and Difesa Grande, next to the Sinarca river, showed that the area was inhabited since very early times, and it seems, from the study of Roman historians, that here rose the center called Interamnia, meaning in Latin between streams, namely the Biferno and the Sinarca rivers. Another etymology derives the name from "thermae", which suggests there might have been Roman spas in the area, which however have not been found so far.

History - the Middle Ages

With the fall of the Roman empire then most probably the population took refuge on the promontory where today the old Termoli rises, and in Lombard times was included in the Duchy of Benevento, and later on in that of Spoleto.

In the early 13th century the feudal lord was Duke Bartolomeo di Capua, followed by the son of king Robert of Anjou. For centuries Termoli often attacked by Saracens pirates and by the Venetians. In the 15th century the fiefdom passed to Carlo di Gambatesa, who was followed by the Di Capua-D'Altavilla family, who kept the title until 1806.

History - Modern Times

It was more a place of immigration than emigration, passing from 5000 inhabitants in the early 20th century to the present 33,000. This growth is explained with its key position along the Adriatic Sea, with the flourishing tourist developments and a number of successful small and middle-sized industries.

For centuries mainly a fishing port, in the 1950s a Fiat automobile factory started a remarkable industrial development, and there is presently also a University for Tourism.

What to see

  • The massive Swabian Castle, 12th century, that from its privileged position controlled the Adriatic and hosted a military garrison to protect the population from the attacks of Saracen pirates and Venetian merchants.
  • The Cathedral of San Basso, 13th century, containing the relics of San Basso, bishop of Nice, who was a martyr, according to the tradition, in Provence, on 5 December 250 AD. The saint's relics were brought to Termoli probably around the 10th century AD, and buried under the church, then somehow the place of the burial was lost for centuries, until in 1761 during restoration works the ancient marble urn was found again. The cathedral hosts also the relics of St. Timoteo, the disciple of St. Paul, that were probably brought to the Cathedral of Termoli at the time of the Crusades.

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Provinces of Molise
Molise region
Surnames in the Provinces of Molise