Seas and slopes

Salerno is between the Amalfi Coast (to the west) and the Sele Plain (to the east) in a wonderful area between seas and slopes.

The symbol of Salerno is the Castello di Arechi (Arechi Castle). It is a fortification whose origins date back to the Greek-Gothic war. It was developed first by Prince Arechi II (promoter of a triangular defensive system of walls that has never been taken), then by the Aragonese (builders of the huge buildings in the eastern area) and by the Normans (who built the Bastiglia, dating back to the XVI century).

Among the military constructions, the towers are worth mentioning. For example, there is the Carnale, a “cavallaria” tower (a watchtower provided with horses) built in 1569 and used as anarmory. Worth visiting are also these towers: Torre Angellara on the eastern coast, Torre del Gualferio and Torre del Centrangolo.

The most representative buildings are in the historical centre, for example some Norman buildings -Palazzo Fruscione or Palazzo Pinto, and the Municipal Theatre “Giuseppe Verdi”, the most important in the city. Here you can find the most typical shops and places full of life.  In the centre, there are the most important religious buildings in Salerno. Although the most part of the churches have a Baroque style, the most important religious construction is without a doubt the Cattedrale romanica di Santa Maria degli Angeli, San Matteo e San Gregorio Magno (the Romanic Cathedral of St. Mary of the Angels, St. Matthew and St. Gregory the Great). It was built in the XI century and its shape is similar to the Abbey in Montecassino. One of its most characteristic elements is the bell tower (added in the XII century, in Arabian Norman style), 52 meters high. On September 21st, the Festival of St. Matthew takes place every year and it celebrates the saint patron of the city. It is the most important event in Salerno. On that occasion,six crews row in the sea and there areband concerts and fireworks.

It is good to mention that there are dozens of annual events, like the “Festival Salerno Letteratura” (literature festival), the “Festival del Cinema di Salerno” (a film festival whose origins date back to1946), but in particular the event called  “Luci d’Artista”, which takes place at Christmas – the historical centre lights up thanks to artistic paths of great beauty.

In the end,Salerno boasts what has been considered for years as the “most beautiful promenade in the Mediterranean Sea”. Its design dates back to1948 and is 1,3 kilometres long with its beaches and different tree species (for example oleanders, plane and palm trees). Another important green area are the “Giardini della Minerva” (Minerva Gardens), that is the oldest botanic garden in Europe. Its history has been connected to the Scuola Medica Salernitana (Medical school of Salerno) for centuries and it is the heart of the historical centre. There are more than 300 species, such as some relevant medical specimens.

For those who love trips we suggest visiting Monte San Liberatore (Mount San Liberatore), which is near Vietri sul Mare. It overlooks the city at 466 meters – this is the ideal destination both for people who love trekking (it has different routes with different levels of difficulty) and for art and history lovers (once on the top they can visit an ancient church used to welcome pilgrims).