9 things to see in Salerno

What to see a few steps from your Bed and Breakfast in Salerno? Here are the 9 most important things.

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The Cathedral of Salerno

Salerno Cathedral is revealed only upon entering. A four-sided portico immediately welcomes you, the only Italian example together with that of Sant’Ambrogio in Milan.

The feeling is that of having been transported to an Arab country or to Andalusia: the colonnade with columns from the ancient Roman Forum, the arches decorated with volcanic stone inlays, the loggia with mullioned windows. The feeling is that of being in a very rare place, especially in the South. It is no coincidence that this portico is considered to be the first example of Mediterranean architecture. The interior is affected by the various changes made over the centuries and the crypt which houses the remains of St. Matthew, one of the four evangelists, patron saint of Salerno, is of great interest. Rebuilt in Baroque style at the beginning of the 17th century, the crypt is frescoed with scenes from the Gospel of Matthew and some episodes of Salerno’s history. The Arab-Norman bell tower almost 52 meters high with a base of about ten meters on each side.

Opening hours and ticket prices

Basilica – weekdays: from 8.30 to 20.00

public holidays: from 8.30 to 13.00 and from 16.00 to 20.00

Crypt – weekdays: from 9.00 to 19.45

public holidays: from 8.30 to 13.00

from 16.00 to 18.00

Cost of the ticket: free

Historic Center and Via Mercanti

Salerno has a mainly pedestrian historic center, dotted with shops, bars, restaurants and craft shops that make it an ideal place for those who love to walk and shop windows. You start from the station and walk along Corso Vittorio Emanuele which runs parallel to the Lungomare.

Prima di arrivare alla parte più storica una piccola svolta per via Velia conduce a Piazza Flavio Gioia, piccolo gioiello rotondo con al centro una fontana. Tornati sul corso, quando la strada si restringe fino a diventare un vicolo, si entra nella parte più antica di Salerno: Via dei Mercanti. Larga al massimo 5 metri, Via dei Mercanti e dal tempo dei Longobardi la principale strada commerciale di Salerno. Veniva chiamata Drapparia perché c’erano i negozi che vendevano drappi, cioè tessuti. Lungo Via dei Mercanti ci sono Palazzo Pinto con la Pinacoteca Comunale e a metà strada circa il Duomo poco distante (vedi punto 1). Nel periodo natalizio, come tutta la Salerno, anche Via dei Mercanti si addobba con le Luci d’Artista (vedi punto 7). Diverse le strade caratteristiche: via Botteghelle, via dei Barbuti, vicolo della Neve. Uno dei monumenti più famosi del centro è la fontana dei Pesci a Sedile del Campo, attribuita a Luigi Vanvitelli.

The Minerva Garden and Salerno Medical School

Wool, milk, bed: warm, light food and rest. If you have ever heard this saying that it recommends the method to recover from fever, know that it was born in the Medical School of Salerno, the first university of medicine in Europe. In the year 1000, the doctors of Salerno had already found some remedies for common diseases, so much so that they were considered the first professors of medicine in the modern world. They were practical remedies, born from experience, in which women (Mulieres Salernitanae) played a fundamental role. According to legend, the School was born on a stormy night under the arches of the Salerno aqueduct where the four founders met by chance: the Arab Adela, the Greek Pontus, the Hebrew Elino and the Latin Salerno. In the center of Salerno, the Minerva Garden that the Salerno Medical School used to teach students the use of medicinal herbs is perfectly preserved and can be visited. For this reason it is considered as the first of all the botanical gardens that were born in Europe. In the garden there is a herbal tea room with panoramic tables overlooking the Gulf of Salerno!

Opening hours and ticket prices

Cost of the ticket: € uro 3.00.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: from 9.30 to 16.30.

Monday: weekly closure for works.

How to get there: Vicolo Ferrante Sanseverino n ° 1, from the historic center on foot.

Arechi Castle

5Salerno was a Lombard capital for three centuries: it was Arechi II, a Lombard prince, who transferred the capital of the duchy from Benevento to Salerno.

To live in Salerno he chose a fortress 300 meters above sea level that had been there since Roman times. Arechi had it reinforced by creating a practically unassailable castle, unique in southern Italy. For Arechi II, therefore, it was only necessary to strengthen the manor, and insert it into a more articulated urban defensive system. After being a Norman and then Aragonese fortress, it was completely abandoned during the 19th century. Today it houses a medieval museum with weapons, coins and ceramics that tell the story of Salerno and its ancient crafts. The Castello di Arechi is worth a visit if only for the panorama that you can admire that goes from the Amalfi Coast to Calabria.

Castello Arechi opening hours and ticket prices

Where: in the upper part of Salerno. Location Croce.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9.00 to 17.00. Sunday from 9.00 to 15.30. Monday closed.

Ticket price: Adults: € 4

Complex of San Pietro a Corte

Crossing Via dei Mercanti you reach Larghetto San Pietro a Corte, one of the most important places in the history of Salerno: this space is occupied by the complex of San Pietro in Corte which over the centuries has performed various functions.

Born as a spa complex for the Romans, it became a small church and cemetery during the first centuries of the Christian era and then a private chapel dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul and for the exclusive use of Prince Arechi II. In the Middle Ages it became a Parliament and a place for the conferral of degrees to the students of the Salerno Medical School. Overall, all the eras are more or less visible: there is the ancient Roman frigidarium where the Christians later created a church and also used it as a private funeral chapel for an important figure of Byzantine Salerno. At the end of the 10th century an external bell tower was added and then in 1775 a small external chapel.

Opening hours and ticket prices

Where: Larghetto San Pietro

Opening time: Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am – 6.30pm (last admission 6.00pm)

Sunday 10.00 – 19.00 (last admission 18.30)

Monday closed

Opening of the Palatine Chapel (Confraternity of Santo Stefano) by the Salerno Archaeological Group Association

Winter period from 25 September to 30 June:

Saturday 10.00 – 13.00 / 18.00 – 21.00

Sunday 10.00 – 13.00

Summer period from Saturday 1st July to Sunday 24th September

Saturday 18.00 – 21.00

Sunday 10.00 – 13.00

Cost of the ticket: free

Luci D’Artista in Salerno

The discovery (or rediscovery) of Salerno as a tourist destination is due to the Luci D’Artista event which every year illuminates Salerno’s Christmas with spectacular lights.

From the beginning of November to the end of January the main squares of Salerno, the large and small streets, the parks and the municipal villa are embellished with themed Christmas lights. Almost one million people move from Italy and abroad every year to admire a unique show of its kind. The event also includes several Christmas markets distributed in various points of the city with typical southern products. Starting from Christmas 2016, the largest Ferris wheel in Europe with a view of the sea will also be installed on the Lungomare Trieste!

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