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Cloisters at San Francesco, Solerno
by Jesse Andrews

Detail of crypt
by Jesse Andrews

Port of Salerno

 Most photos on VisitsItaly are by Jesse Andrews. Please Contact VisitsItaly.Com for reproduction of any kind at:

Welcome to Salerno
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: 144,078
Official site:

Wikipedia: Salerno
Webcam: Salerno

Salerno, south from Naples on the A3, on the Bay of Salerno,  is a city of just over 144,000 inhabitants.  It is the largest city on the Amalfi Coast, and one of the least explored by English-speaking travelers.  That will change as more and more people "discover" the many historical, cultural, social, religious, culinary, architectural, and recreational delights the city has to offer.

Salerno's history dates from its establishment as a Roman town in about 194 BC after the wars with Hannibal the Great.  It is situated on a natural harbor which has facilitated trade from ancient times to the present, and which was used by the allied forces as a landing place during the Italian campaign in World War II.  Behind the city is a high rock surmounted by an ancient castle, the Castle of Arechi, which commands a view overlooking the city and the Bay.

Like other cities and towns in southern Italy, Salerno has been washed over by succeeding dynasties and empires, all of which have had an influence on the evolution of the city, physically and culturally.  After the Romans, the Samnites, followed by the Saracens and Lombards, and of course the Byzantines and Normans.

In 794 AD, a Bynantine Monastery spawned the oldest university in Europe, which was the most important medical school in medieval Europe, the Schola Medica Salernitana.  The school evolved into the modern day University of Salerno with two campuses where over 40,000 students study every year.

Here are some of things that travelers will want to see in this robust city, which, though steeped in history, continues to keep up with the times.

The Giuseppe Verdi Theatre
Piazza Luciani
Telephone (39) 089 662141 or 089 662142

On the 15th of December 1863, the Local Council approved the project of building the theatre in Largo S. Teresa and entrusted the project and direction of the works to the Architects Antonio D'Amore and Giuseppe Menichini who based their calculations on the dimensions and proportions of the San Carlo Theatre in Naples.  In 1869, the works of embellishing the building began under the direction of Gaetano d'Agostino, painter of academy repute and designer of great prestige, who invited the most illustrious names of the Parthenopean artistic world to join him.  Of great interest is the sculpture of Giovanni Battista Amendola which displays Pergolisi dying, placed at the centre of the peristyle, and Giocchino Rosssini is raffigured in the middle of the ceiling.  The curtain evokes the history of the city depicting a glorious scene from the past.  "The Purge of the Saracens from Salerno" the work of Domenico Morelli.  Of extraordinary beauty, furthermore, are the medallions depicting the figures of Italian composers, poets and painters on the parapet of the boxes.  On 27th of March 1901, the theatre was named after Giuseppe Verdi.

The Church of San Benedetto
Via S. Benedetto
Opening Times: 10:00 AM-12:00Pm 4:00PM-7:00PM
Admissions: Free of Charge

The Church was founded between the 11th and 13th century and was part of the monastery of the same name.  An imposing aqueduct was connected to the monastery, the traces of which are still evident in Via Arce.  Inside, the basillican structure is divided tree naves by two rows of columns and pillars connected by pointed arches.  After the suppression of the monastery in 1807 the Church was, strangely enough used as a theatre in the early 1800's then in 1857 it was consecrated as a Parish Church and given the name of SS. Crocefisso, in the memory of Christ, depicted with his head bowed and Pietro Barliario, sorcerer in the front of him, at the moment of his repentance.  The recent renovation of the Chuch shows traces of works done to enlarge the Chruch at different periods in the past.

The Archeological Museum
Via S. Benedetto
Telephone: 089 231 135
Opening Times: Weekdays, 9:00 AM - 7:30 PM.  Weekends, 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM.
Admission: Free of Charge

This museum contains a rich archive of documentation relating to the entire Province of Salerno covering the pre-historic period up to ancient times with archaelogical findings classified in chronological order and according to local traditions.  In a prominent position are the trappings of the princely tomb of Rossigno which dates back to the end of the 5th and 6th centuries BC, comprising of 40 objects including a silver and gold Kantharos, ceramic bells of Samnite and Lucania origin dating back to the Hellenistic era, Etruscan vases and bronze ornaments including the impressive head of Appolo, found in the waters of the Gulf of Salerno.  This is a precious original late Hellenistic find, dating back to the early part of the first century BC adn attributed to the Artist Pasiteles, who was born in the Magna Graecia. 

The Castle of Arechi
Via Benedetto Croce
Telephone: 089 227 37
Opening Times: 9:00AM and an hour before sunset (depending)
Admission:  Free of Charge

The Castle, whose most ancient architectural features are attributed to the Byzantine craftsmen of the 6th Century AD, dominates the city of Salerno from 300 metters above sea level.  The Lombard Prince Arechi II in the 8th century, reinforced defences and fortified the castle giving the structure its present appearance.  Recent archaelogical digs have allowed the chronological classifying of the different strata of the living quarters up until the Norman, Angevin and Aragonese eras.  Acquired as pat of the patrimony of the provincial authorities of Salerno, the Castle has been renovated and during the process of renovation, a remarkable quantity of medieval ceramics and coins were recovered.  The Tower, called "The Bastiglia" was added to this monument structure and built to the north of the Castle as a watchtower over the entire Gulf of Salerno.

The Church of San Giorgio
Via Del Duomo 19
Telephone: 089 228918
Opening Times: 9:30 AM - 12:30PM weekdeays
Closed Weekends
Admission: Free of Charge

San Giorgio is the most beautiful Baroque church in existence in Salerno and rich in frescoes of the finest quality.  This church, up to the period of post-unity sppression, was part of the Convent of the same name which housed Benedictine nuns, today a Barracks for Finance Officials and "Carabinieri".  In the Chapel dedicated to the saints Tecla Archelaa and Susanna, in 1680, Francesco Solimente painted three murals illustrating these saints being led to their martyrdom. The vision of Suor Agata and the saints  in meditation constitute the first great works of the painter.

The Provincial Art Gallery
(Pinacoteca Provinciale)
Via del Mercanti, 63
Telephone: 089 258 3073
Opening Times: 9:00 AM-8:00PM daily
Closed Monday Mornings
Sunday: 9:00AM-1:00PM
Admission:  Free of Charge

The Pinacoteca Provinciale recently inaugurated in its new premises in Palazzo Pinto, boasts a collection of paintings that dates fromt eh Renaissance period to the early 1900's.  In the section relating to the Renaissance the 'tavole' of Andrea Sabatini da Salerno and the Maestro della incoronazione di Eboli, the paintings of 1600 by Giovanni Battista Caracciolo, Andrewa De Leoni and Carlo Rosa are of great interest.  The paintings of Francesco Solimene and his school date back to 1700.  A section is also dedicated to foreign artists whose works displayed were painted in Salerno.

Forte La Carnale

Via La Carnale
Telephone: 089 224744
Admission: Free of Charge

The Salernitan Medical School

Via dei Mercanti, Largo S. Gregorio
Opening Times: Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 AM to 12:00 Pm
Admission:  Free of Charge

Duomo of San Matteo

Piazza Duomo
Telephone: 089 231384
Opening Times: 9:00AM-6:00PM Daily
During Festivals: 1:00 PM- 6:00PM
Admissions: Free of Charge

The Gardens of Minerva

Via Turquato Tasso
Telephone:  0892586214
Opening Times: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays: 10:00AM-3:00PM;  Saturdays 5:00PM-9:00PM
Admission: Free of Charge

The Church of S. Pietro a Corte

Largo San Pietro a Corte
Opening Times: Saturdays and Sundays: 9:30AM-12:30Pm (excluding July and August) July and August: Saturday and Sunday: 6:30-9:30 PM
Admission: Free of Charge

The Diocesan Museum

Visits Must Be Booked
Telephone: 089 231 387

The Archeological Area of Fratte

Via Fratte
Telephone: 089 481 014
Opening Times: 9AM until one hour before sunset (depending)
Admission:  Free of Charge




By Car:
Take highway A3 from either the south or the north  and Exit at Salerno.

By train:
Salerno Central Staion

By airplane: Napoli Capodichino Airport  Km 40

By boat
: Salerno Marina



Campanile at the Duomo in Salerno
by Jesse Andrews



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