Salerno sightseeing


Salerno, the second largest city in the Italian region of Campania, stands in the shadow of the metropolitan city of Naples, 50 kilometers away. Like Naples, Salerno is a destination for cruise ships in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Their passengers appreciate the destination as an ideal starting point for excursions to the ancient sites of Paestum and Pompei and to beautiful scenic destinations such as Amalfi, Capri or Positano.

Salerno - panorama

Salerno - panorama


Sights in Salerno

The old town - Centro Storico

Salerno has an old town as we would like it to be. In contrast to busy and often chaotic-looking Naples, Salerno, with its 126.000 inhabitants, is remarkably quiet even on working days.

The narrow shopping street Via dei Mercanti is a must-see. The street turns into the wide, clean pedestrian zone of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. The corso ends in front of the train station in Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Those who are looking for shopping experiences not only in chain stores are in good hands in the alleys and in the squares of the old town. An inviting square is the Piazza Flavio Gioia with its dolphin fountain and the Porta Nova. The historic city gate allows the passage to the narrow Via Portanova.

Salerno - corner of Via Mercanti and Via Antonio Mazza
Salerno - Corso Vittorio Emanuele II
Salerno - Piazza Flavio Gioia - with the dolphin fountain
Salerno - Piazza Flavio Gioia - with the Porta Nova

The cathedral of the Evangelist Matthew

The Cattedrale di San Matteo is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Salerno-Capagna-Acerno. The three-aisled cathedral is dedicated to Salerno's patron, St. Matthew. The cathedral, built by the Normans, is an impressive example of medieval architecture in southern Italy. Salerno's main church was completed in 1085 after five years of construction. The severe earthquakes in the second half of the 17th century brought about renovations in the Baroque style.

Two massive staircases lead to the square forecourt of the cathedral. Church visitors enter the atrium, which is surrounded on three sides by a two-storey colonnade, through a gate guarded by two marble lions.

Salerno - Cathedral of the Evangelist Matthew - Lions in the entrance area
Salerno - Cathedral of the Evangelist Matthew - Atrium
Salerno - Cathedral of the Evangelist Matthew - Atrium
Salerno - Cathedral of St. Matthew the Evangelist - Portal

The imposing, 50 meter high bell tower shows Arabic and Norman style elements. The top level of the tower is crowned by a turret with 12 round arches.

The cathedral connects to the atrium. Access is provided by two doors on both sides of the front. The main central gate generally remains locked. The magnificent bronze door with Byzantine elements was cast in Constantinople.

Salerno - Cathedral of the Evangelist Matthew - central nave
Salerno - Cathedral of the Evangelist Matthew - main altar
Salerno - Cathedral of the Evangelist Matthew - Ambone and organ
Salerno - Cathedral of the Evangelist Matthew - middle apse

The bright central nave is kept in a simple baroque style. Two pulpits face each other on either side of the central nave. The mosaics of the apses and the magnificent baroque crypt are particularly worth seeing. According to tradition, it contains the bones of St. Matthew.

Salerno - Cathedral of the Evangelist Matthew - Crypt


Salerno - Cathedral of the Evangelist Matthew - Crypt


Salerno - Cathedral of the Evangelist Matthew - Crypt


Salerno - Cathedral of the Evangelist Matthew - Crypt 


Location: Piazza Alfano I. Opening times 9:30am to 18:00pm 

The Diocesan Museum

Next to the cathedral is the former diocesan seminary. It preserves rich collections that show the diversity of the religious culture of the Campania region. The museum has the largest and most complete ivory collection from the Christian Middle Ages. The globally recognized collection consists of 64 panels. More than half of the tablets depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments.

Salerno - Templo di Pomona - the Archbishop's Palace


Salerno - Templo di Pomona - the Archbishop's Palace


Salerno - Templo di Pomona - the Archbishop's Palace


Salerno - Templo di Pomona - the Archbishop's Palace 


School of Salerno

One of the oldest universities in Europe is the Salerno School. The Schola Medica Salernitana emerged from a hospital founded by Benedictine monks in Salerno. The sick and injured were cared for in the hospital. The institution was the nucleus of one of the first medical universities in Europe.

School of Salerno

School of Salerno


In the Museo Virtuale of the Medical Faculty of the Università degli Studi di Salerno, the historical techniques of the scholars as well as the ancient medical faculty are presented.
Location: Via Mercanti 74

Salernos palaces and fortresses

In Salerno there are palaces and fortresses that were built between the 8th and 19th centuries.

Palazzo San Massimo

One of the oldest buildings in the city is the Palazzo San Massimo, whose origins date back to the 9th century AD. In the past, the building complex was used as a monastery, church (Church of San Massimo) and as a city palace. The building owned by the city looks neglected.
Location: Largo San Massimo

Palazzo di Città di Salerno

A monumental building is the "Prefettura", called Palazzo di Città di Salerno, built by the Italian fascists. The building covers an area of ​​5.000 square meters.

Palazzo di Città di Salerno


Palazzo di Città di Salerno


Palazzo Provincia di Salerno


Palazzo Provincia di Salerno 


The building was badly damaged when Allied troops landed in 1943. In the course of its repairs in the 1950s, many of the original martial, fascist structural elements were dispensed with.
Location: Piazza Amendola

Castle Arechis

The medieval Castello di Arechi is enthroned in an outstanding strategic location at 260 meters above the Gulf of Salerno. Construction of the fortress began in the 8th century AD. From the top there is a spectacular view of the city. The castle houses the medieval museum and serves as an event location.

Castle Arechis

Castle Arechis


Location: Località Croce
The fortress can be reached from Salerno's Piazza XXIV Maggio by bus number 19.
Opening times: The Castello is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday between 9:00am and 17:00pm

Salernos Public Parks

Minerva Gardens

The terraced botanical garden Giardino della Minerva is in an elevated position in the heart of the city. The gardeners of the complex grow plants that were used in the Middle Ages by the Schola Medica Salernitana to cure diseases. Medicinal plants and various types of tea are sold in a small shop in the garden. Small refreshments are also offered. The garden is located on a hill about 300 meters north of the city park Villa Comunale di Salerno.

Salerno - Giardino della Minerva area
Salerno - History of the Giardino della Minerva
Salerno - Giardino della Minerva
Above the roofs of Salerno


Location: Vicolo Ferrante Sansevereno 1
The garden is easy to reach from the cathedral. A public elevator (Ascensore Comunale) leads from Piazza d'Aniello to Via Torquato Tasso. From there it is only a few meters to the entrance to the facility.

Salerno - Ascensore Pubblico
Salerno - Ascensore Pubblico


Opening times: daily until 13pm and from 00pm The times vary depending on the season. The garden is closed on Mondays.

Villa Comunale di Salerno

The public park Villa Comunale di Salerno is well-kept and offers its visitors many types of Mediterranean plants as well as a pond with turtles. During the winter, between November and February, artistic light installations shine in the city garden. A small, historical kiosk offers drinks and ice creams.

Salerno - Villa Comunale di Salerno
Salerno - Villa Comunale di Salerno - Statue of Giovanni Nicotera
Salerno - Villa Comunale di Salerno - Fontana di Ton Tullio
Salerno - Villa Comunale di Salerno - the turtle pond


The gardens are within sight of the cruise terminal next to the Teatro Verdi, the Prefettura and the Questura.

The waterfront - the Lungomare Trieste

The waterfront promenade, which was built after 1950 and rebuilt in 1990, is approximately two kilometers long. It begins in the west at the Piazza della Liberta, next to the Stazione Marittima, and ends at the Piazza della Concordia at Porto Turistico. Trees provide shade and strollers enjoy the view of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the passing boats.

Salerno - Lungomare Trieste


Salerno - Lungomare Trieste


Salerno - Porto Turistico


Salerno - Porto Turistico 


 

 

Day trips - sights outside of Salerno

Amalfi and the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi is 25 kilometers west of Salerno. The picturesque place has 5.000 inhabitants (Census 2011). Today it is inconceivable that between the 10th and 13th centuries Amalfi was one of the four great Italian maritime republics, alongside Genoa, Pisa and Venice, that controlled the movement of goods in the Mediterranean with their merchant fleets. Amalfi lost its rank after it was defeated by Normans and also devastated by a storm.

Amalfi

Amalfi


The picturesque place, leaning against rocks, enchants its visitors with a small harbor, dreamy alleys and the houses winding up the mountain landscape. The disadvantage of so much beauty is that crowds from all over the world torment their way through the place every day. You can only escape them by entering the maze of side streets, corridors and alleys.

Amalfi - Porta della Marina city gate
Amalfi - Piazza Duomo
Amalfi - upper residential areas
Amalfi - Via Lorenzo D'Amalfi
Amalfi - Via Lorenzo D'Amalfi
Amalfi - Via Lorenzo D'Amalfi with the fountain de Cape e Ciucci
Amalfi - Fountain de Cape e Ciucci
Amalfi - Piazza Municipio - Monument to the Fallen

Amalfis landmarks

Paper Museum

The Museo della Carta paper museum reminds us that from the 12th century the city was an important center of papermaking.
Location: Via delle Cartiere 23

Cathedral Sant'Andrea Apostolo

Amalfi's Cathedral is a must for many day visitors. The visitors who came with the liners walk from the jetty along Via Lorenzo D'Amalfi. After a short walk, a wide flight of stairs leads up to the cathedral on the right side of the street.

The external features of the church are black and white marble decorations. The gable shows luminous mosaic work. To the left of the cathedral rises the 12th century campanile. The cathedral church is of more recent origin. A devastating landslide destroyed the cathedral in 1861. It was then rebuilt in the original style. The cathedral unites two churches. The first church was the Cappella del Crocifisso, built in the 10th century. Today it is used as a cathedral museum.

Amalfi Cathedral
Amalfi - central nave of the cathedral
The main altar of the Amalfi Cathedral
Amalfi Cathedral - Capella della Riconciliazione

A three-aisled main church built in the 11th century forms the basis of the cathedral. Like Salerno's Cathedral, Amalfi's Cathedral has a bronze portal made in Constantinople. The crypt, built in the baroque style, houses the reliquary of St. Andreas. The cloister once served as a cemetery for wealthy Amalfi residents.

Amalfi - Paradise cloister of the cathedral


Amalfi - Paradise cloister of the cathedral


Amalfi - Cathedral Museum


Amalfi - Cathedral Museum 


The recommended Tour of the cathedral opens up the following stations:
the main church;
the little cloister of paradise;
the crucifix basilica with the museum;
the crypt.
Opening times: daily outside of church service times.
Entrance fee: 3 euros.
How do visitors get from Salerno to Amalfi?
With the Car via the winding, exciting coastal road "Amalfitana". The coastal road is one of the most beautiful in Europe:
With the Fast ferry from Salerno. The ferries run regularly.
With The bus from Salerno. Entry points are Vietri sul Mare or Via Vinciprova. - Both bus stations are a considerable distance from the cruise terminal. It is easier to go to Porto Turistico on the Lungomare and take the fast ferry to Amalfi. The buses are then available for the return journey. You'll stop near the cruise terminal on the way back.

Ravello

Seven kilometers east of Amalfi is the world-famous town of Ravello at an altitude of 300 meters. It has been a retreat for the wealthy and the rich since the 5th century AD. First came the Romans, then the European nobility and finally Richard Wagner, who was inspired by the set design for the second act of his opera Parsifal in the gardens of Villa Rufolo.

The ruins of Pompeii

The ancient city of Pompeii, along with the cities of Herculaneum, Stabiae and Oplontis, was buried under masses of lava and ash in AD 79 after an eruption of the Vesuvius volcano. According to historical sources, there were signs of an outbreak in advance. Whoever could left the place. Those who did not flee suffocated or were killed by rocks. Volcanic ash and pumice stone preserved what was available of buildings and original life in Pompeii. Scheduled excavation work began in 1748. Everything that made up the ancient city was found and scientifically interpreted: arches of honor, the forum, statues, temples and theaters. Things of everyday life were also found: flour mills, the market hall, water pipes, thermal baths, houses and villas of the residents, brothels, necropolises and more.

How do visitors get to Pompeii?
With the Car: Salerno and Pompeii are 36 kilometers apart; just a short distance back to the ancient world.
With Trenitalia: Trains run regularly from Salerno. The journey takes between 27 and 45 minutes. We recommend getting off the train in Pompeii at Villa dei Misteri station.

The city of Naples

“See Naples and die”, nothing really explains where this catchphrase comes from. In case of doubt, it will have been Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who made the “Italian Journey” after a visit to the city Naples expressed his enthusiasm in 1786. We, too, were already enthusiastic about Naples, but without envy we acknowledge that the prince poet is linguistically superior to us.

Naples sea of ​​houses

Naples sea of ​​houses


How to get there?
55 kilometers or an hour's drive separate Salerno from Naples. Cruise ships destined for Salerno offer eight-hour trips to Naples. We believe that Salernos visitors should make better use of their time.

The excavations of Paestum / Pestum

The ruins, praised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are located south of Salerno. Greeks founded the place in the year 600 before the new era. Trading activities created considerable wealth within a few generations. The residents built impressive temples. Buildings from Greek times are the Hera and Athene temples. The later ruling Romans were also not idle. Under her aegis, a small amphitheater, a comitium called a meeting place for the citizens, thermal baths and other public buildings were built.

In the 6th century AD, the area silted up and swamped. Diseases broke out and the residents left the place. Paestum was forgotten. That changed when the remains of the city were discovered in 1752. Over time, the temples and the almost five kilometers long city wall have been preserved. Finds from the area around Paestum are exhibited in a museum. Most of these are grave finds, such as grave slabs, vases and weapons.

How to get there?
With the Car: The distance between Salerno and Paestum is 40 kilometers.
With Trenitalia: several train connections are offered daily.
With The bus: the bus lines CSTP, SCAT and GIULIANO offer various connections from Salerno.

Update May 2021