Terrasini is located in the Palermo province at 34m asl. It was founded in 1836, coming about by the joining of the two hamlets of Terrasini and Favarotta. It enjoys a fine position on the coast, bathed by crystal-like waters and closed-in behind by a lofty red cliff which intermittently shelters little beaches and sweet little rocky creeks.
The tour of the town can begin in the Town Museum. This is divided into three sections, the most significant being the natural history section (at 8 Via Cala Rossa), comprisin, among other things, the well-endowed Orlando collection of birds with species ranging from crows, nocturnal birds, storks, raptors and species approaching extinction or considered rare like the Griffon Vulture, Golden Eagle and Capercaillie. The archaeological section displays relics recovered from wrecks found off Terrasini – mainly fragments of amphorae from the 3rd century BC and objects from a 1st century AD Roman ship. The ethnological section (at 42 Via C.A. Dalla Chiesa) provides a small but excellent display of Sicilian carts, among which are some truly remarkable examples from Palermo and Trapani.
Terrasini has other interesting secular buildings such as the Palazzo D’Aumale, built by Henri d’Orleans, Duke of Aumale, two 1700’s palazzi belonged to the family of Princes La Grua – one bearing the family’s name now accommodates the Town Hall; the second named Palazzo Cataldi is a public building and houses the Town Library – and the Liberty-style Villa Fassini.
Several watch-towers are scattered along the coast, once guarding against enemy or suspect vessels. Among these two, Torre Alba and Torre San Cataldo, are particularly worthy of note.
Terrasini’s religious buildings are as much interesting. The Chiesa Madre is dedicated to the patron saint Maria Santissima delle Grazie. Inside, are statues representing the titular saint, St. Joseph and St. Peter. Divided into nave and aisles it contains twelve chapels dedicated to the Saints protectors of arts and crafts, and other two Chapels dedicated respectively to he Holy Saviour and the Patron Saint.