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Trip to Salerno

Published in Out of Town
02 March 2017

A small town that appears to take you back to the times of medieval merchants. Gateway to the Amalfi Coast and to Cilento, from the historical center to the waterfront, there are many attractions to admire

Gateway to the Amalfi Coast and Cilento, Salerno is certainly not a place to simply transit, but a well-established tourist destination, with its beautiful historical center, its striking monuments and its environmental livability.

If you want to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city and its Gulf, we recommend a visit to the medieval Castello di Arechi. From its summit, in fact, 300 meters above sea level, the view stretches from the tip of the Amalfi Coast to Agropoli. The castle, which owes its name to the Lombard Duke Arechi II, who ordered its construction, is now owned by the Province of Salerno (www.ilcastellodiarechi.it). 

Proceeding towards the ancient heart of Salerno, the succession of narrow streets and shops bring you back to the times of medieval merchants. There are many narrow streets and historic buildings that tell the city's past. The most famous and characteristic one is that of the Merchants, in the heart of the shopping area. This is where the educational museum of the Salernitana Medical School lies, Europe's first medical institution to which the reputation of the entire city of Salerno is linked.

In Piazza Alfano I, here is the Cathedral, built in Gothic style, and dedicated to St. Matthew, whose remains are preserved in a crypt inside. Its beautiful bell tower is 52 meters high and its sculptural decorations are very special, characterized by a strong presence of animals already starting from the entrance, where a lion and a lioness feeding her cub seem to guard the entrance. A monument to admire in silence.

The old town is also home to the lovely “Giardino della Minerva”, the first botanical garden of Europe created by the eminent doctor of the Medical School of Salerno Matteo Silvatico for the cultivation of plants used for medical purposes. Silvatico enriched it with rare species and exotic discoveries in the course of his travels, and the garden is still home to many unique species such as the legendary mandrake plant that was thought to have extraordinary powers. It is a magical place in which there are exquisite infusions and where you can taste many types of teas, drinks, and biscuits (www.giardinodellaminerva.it).

A little further on, in front of us, the view of the beautiful waterfront promenade Trieste, a two-kilometer walk linking the marina to the commercial area. A pleasant walk, lined with benches from which to enjoy a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Salerno and the Amalfi Coast. The perfect place to relax a bit after a day of exploring the city.

Behind the garden stands the municipal park, which from spring to summer hosts several cultural events and, in the winter, becomes an enchanted garden, thanks to the luminous installations of “Luci d'Artista”, which illuminate the streets of the city during Christmas time. In the center, the famous fountain of Don Tullio, or of Esculapio, built in 1790 to provide refreshment to the people coming from the sea and the street wanderers.

Of particular interest to tourists is also the Maritime Station of Salerno, located on the Manfredi pier, to which we have dedicated an entire article in this magazine.