The City of Salerno

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The City of Salerno – City of Princes, City of Medicine

_DSC0397_20131019_1829_Carlo_CavaliereSalerno is located in a very special position, squeezed between the mountains and the sea. The city was born in 197 BC, as a Roman outpost, to contain the riots of the nearby Etruscan-Picena town of Picentia. From the second half of the year 700 AD, was ruled by the Lombards who, afterwards, chosen it to become the capital of their principality in the 839 After Christ. The sovereigners made great and powerful Salerno, so much that was defined “opulenta” for its economical wealth, and the city began to having its own currency. The medieval age were also the years of the Medical School of Salerno, the most important one of all the Europe back then. In addition to this, Salerno’s Medical School could be considered as the very first University in Europe. Indeed, in Salerno people didn’t studied only medicine, but also studied law, philosophy, history, theology and many other subjects. Around the 1000 After Christ, the “Opulenta Salernum” was the capital of a kingdom which included almost every area of Southern Italy. Then, came the Normans, with “Roberto il Guiscardo” (Robert the Cleaver) that made Salerno the capital of a vast territory stretching from Campania to Sicily. Even today, there are several signs of the illustrious past of Salerno. The old city, it’s also considered “medieval jewel” (as the local poet Alfonso Gatto loved to define it) for its richness of churches and palaces of the Lombard and Norman period. Noteworthy also the Lombard castle, situated on a hill about 300 meters, which offers amazing views on the Salerno’s Gulf. Also worh of mentioning, the Etruscan area in Fratte, where were located the Irnithi a mysterious Etruscan-Samnitic population who settled the hills surrounding Salerno in the sixth century Before Christ.


Local food & speciality

Salerno is full of restaurants and pizzerias located in the streets of the city center, including some of them really worthy, because mentioned in the best guides of the business (Michelin, Gambero Rosso, Slow Food). The street food is a must (mostly rotisserie), and the ice creams and local cakes are so tasty as well. 

Don’t forget to try “cuoppo di mare”, pizza and the local cakes (especially the “scazzetta del cardinale”)!

Special events

Salerno becomes a magic garden full of lights every winter! From the firs days of november until the second half of january, you can visit Salerno and enjoy the special event called “Luci D’Artista”, when the most beautiful places of the city center and the old town are garnished with lot of lights, bulbs and wires assembled and organised in a very charming and particular way.

The suggested trail

The visit of Salerno winds through its monuments of considerable importance as the Cathedral, the Museum of the School of Medicine, passing thourgh the Lombard churches, and reaching out the diocesan archive and the Minerva’s Garden. The old town is quite vast, and full of narrow alleys and points of interest. The best way to enjoy it, is Just being curious and explore it! It is also highly reccomended to visit the Castle of Salerno (known as Castle of Arechi), an ideal point from where to enjoy breathtaking views that range from the Amalfi Coast to Cilento coast. Also is suggested a walk along the sea promenade, in the city center, letting being enchanted by the many shops in the main boulevard (Corso Vittorio Emanuele) and in the ancient Via dei Mercanti.

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Questo post è disponibile anche in: itItaliano (Italian)