It is one of the most important municipalities of the province of Catanzaro, situated on the plain of St. Eufemia (also known as of Lamezia), on the Tyrrhenian coast, overlooking the gulf with the same name. It was founded in 1968 by the administrative unification of the municipalities of Nicastro, Sant' Eufemia Lamezia and Sambiase. The city's name derives partially from the one of the oldest political community in the territory, already attested in Proto-history Ages, the Lametìnoi, that settled near the river Làmetos (Amato) while, the second part of the name, recalls the presence of thermal springs and baths in the district of Caronte.
The settlement of Sambiase was built in the X century A.D. around the Basilian monastery of San Biagio and from the Norman period to 1806 it annexed to the nearby Nicastro. It became an independent municipality only in 1811, during French rule.
The origins of Nicastro, date back to period of the Byzantine presence in the region, in the VIII century. The city flourished under the Norman and Swabian dominations. It was seat of the Angevin Royal court, until it was ceded to the Caracciolo and D'Aquino Families. The old center spreads around the Swabian castle (actually, of Norman origins).
The village of St. Euphemia was built near Ternia, a historic market town already at the times of Magna Graecia. Unfortunately the first reliable records only date back to the Norman times and was the site of a bailiwick (an area with a special jurisdiction) awarded to the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta.
Not to miss:
- the Norman castle, where Frederico II imprisoned his rebellious son Henry, and of which, today, remain only part of the fortified walls and tower. From its summit, it is possible to enjoy a splendid view of the entire region;
- the archpriest Church of St. Pancrazio, with its XVII century origins, develops at the center of the town of Sambiase. Severly damaged by the earthquake of 1638, in 1735 began the works of reconstruction, which were completed in 1800; The interior is articulated into one major nave and two aisles with a shallow transept and features a series of frescoes in the vault;
- the Church dell'Immacolata in Sambiase, probably founded in the XVII century, it presents an XVIII century portal, while the interior decorations date between the XVIII and XIX centuries;
- the XV century Church of San Francesco di Paola, with its adjoining convent, built by Giovanni da Senatore, archdeacon of the cathedral of Nicastro, at the end of '400 and later donated to the monks order of the "padri minimi" in 1508;
- Palazzo Cerra (formerly Palazzo Fiore), which features XVIII century stucco decorations on both sides of the building and that, originally, also embellished the interior staircase and the loggia;
- the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, rebuilt between 1640-1642 with the original features of the older cathedral, built by Norman Princess Ermengarde and destroyed by an earthquake in 1638. Noteworthy are the decorations of the three portals and the pillars that divide the nave. It is flanked by a XVII century Bell tower with a quadrangular shape divided into two levels. The interior, a Neoclassical remake, is divided into one major nave and two aisles and features a fine Neapolitan school marble altar in the chapel of the Holy Sacrament and a XVII century crucifix;
- the Seminary, located next to the Cathedral and today seat of the Diocesan Museum;
- the Church of San Domenico, rebuilt in 1640 on the ruins of the original one, and reconfigured in the XVIII century. The facade, built in neoclassical style is dated 1840. Inside the vault is decorated with frescoes by Francesco Colelli and the organ, completed in 1607, is an artwork of the Neapolitan master Gerolamo De Amato;
- the Church of St. Catherine, preceded by a superb staircase and built on the remains of a church built in the previous century. Inside It features frescoes on the ceiling, which are the artworks of Francis Colelli, while the stucco decorations are of Pietro Joele di Fiumefreddo Bruzio;
- the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, built next to the Capuchins convent in the XV century. Inside are present admirable paintings by father Fedele da San Biagio and Giacomo Stefanoni;
- the arch of Sant'Antonio, built near the bridge over the stream Canne.