Cardinal Romeo was born on February 20, 1938 in Acireale, Italy.
He was ordained a Priest on March 18, 1961 Acireale, Italy, and on December 17, 1983, he was appointed Titular Archbishop of Vulturia and Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti. His ordination as Bishop took place on January 6, 1984.
On April 24, 1990 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Colombia. He was also appointed as Apostolic Nuncio to Canada on February 5, 1999, and just two years later, on April 17, 2001, he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Italy and San Marino.
On December 16, 2006 he was appointed Archbishop of Palermo, Italy, and was installed there on February 10, 2007.
He was elevated to Cardinal on November 20, 2010 and appointed Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria Odigitria dei Siciliani. He was installed on January 22, 2011.