You will find Salerno and its eponymous commune in Southwestern Italy, in the region of Campania. It lies within the Gulf of Salerno, and looks out over the Tyrrhenian Sea.
This city has a long and important history. In fact, here you will find the oldest medical school in the world. The Schola Medica Salernitana was founded in the early Middle Ages (roughly 9th Century). This propensity for learning continued well into the 16th Century, where, under the Sanseverino family, Salerno became a center for culture and the arts. Today, this legacy is still visible. Heading to the Chiesa di San Giorgio, for example, you will find one of Salerno’s most impressive baroque churches. It also exhibits some Sabatini paintings, as well as frescoes by Francesco and Angelo Solimena.
For more Ancient history, visitors can head towards the Cattedrale di Salerno. In this cathedral’s crypt you will find the tomb of St Matthew the Evangelist, one of the twelve disciples of Christ. Moreover, the Museo Archeologico Provinciale in Salerno hosts the famous Testa di Apollo. This bust has traveled to the states and back as one of the world’s most significant hellenistic bronze pieces. In addition to this, the Castello di Arechi overlooks the town from just under 1000ft. Not only an important remainder of history, this castle also gives a stunning view over the Gulf of Salerno and the city itself.
Salerno also exhibits one of Europe’s most beautiful promenades. Built in the 1950s, in imitation of those on the French Riviera, the Lungomare Trieste is a great place to stroll along and take in the gentle waters of the bay. Another interesting destination within the city is the Giardino della Minerva. It lies at the bottom of the castle hill, and houses the Hortus Sanitatis, which was the Schola Medica‘s ‘health’ garden, and Europe’s first botanical garden.
Nature lovers can also find plenty to do in this area. With so much sea, there are plenty of water sports on offer. Moreover, the surrounding countryside and coastal paths make for great trekking terrain. To relax after a busy day exploring, you can furthermore take a visit to one of Salerno’s thermal centers and spas!
In the evenings, head to the historical center. Here, amongst the history of the city, you will find many wine bars, restaurants, and boutique shops.
You can easily reach the city by car and train, given that it is the capital of the province. It is also very close to the Amalfi Coast, should visitors wish to make excursions to or from this area.