Salerno is a port city to the south-east of Naples, the provincial capital. The province of Salerno, a thriving province full of history, culture and breathtaking landscapes. Just think of the Amalfi Coast, the Cilento, the Archaeological Excavations of Paestum and the wonderful Certosa di Padula.
Salerno is a beautiful city: rich in history, history and culture.
On the top of Mount Bonadies, the ancient Castle of Arechi offers marine views, as well as hosting a museum of pottery and medieval coins. The city's cathedral stands on the ruins of a Roman temple. Its distinctive traits are the Byzantine bronze portals, a baroque crypt and a marble altar. At the Minerva Terraced Garden, medicinal plants have been cultivated since the XIV century, but Salerno is still another
Why visiting Salerno?
Salerno - A dive between present and future
If you decide to visit Salerno, you will find the world in a province: a variety of landscapes and natural reality, rich in history, legend and traditions in waiting to be discovered. The city of Salerno enjoys a mild climate for most of the year and is known for its excellent cuisine. Here, tradition and modernity blend perfectly through recent urban transformations that integrate with the glorious past of the ancient Lombard principality.
Salerno - Between Architecture and Infrastructures
Salerno is one of the Italian tourist destinations that is implementing a program of urban transformation, which is changing, progressively and radically, the face of the city . A real urban revolution has been more and more visible for years, as well as involving the construction of important infrastructures, presenting extraordinary works of contemporary architecture. These high quality architectural projects are changing the destiny and life of the local community, as well as becoming important tourist attractions for Salerno in the world.
Salerno - Local products and gastronomy
In an area where Mother Nature has been so generous, during your visit it is not possible to forget to taste at least one of the innumerable typical dishes of the Salernitana cuisine that bring to mind a healthy life and the taste of genuine and fresh ingredients. The perfect combination of health and pleasure of sitting at the table with friends and relatives. A cuisine rich in vegetables, legumes, extra virgin olive oil, meat, fish and cheeses that frame the Mediterranean diet.
Salerno - Between the Amalfi Coast and Cilento
The province of Salerno makes tourism its strong point. Salerno boasts a history that can be read in the many monuments that represent a real "open-air museum", an unforgettable experience for the many tourists who love art and culture and spend busy summer holidays or pleasant Christmas holidays . From the Salerno railway station you can reach all the most interesting sites of the Amalfi Coast such as: Positano, Amalfi, Vietri Sul Mare, Ravello, as well as discovering the wilds of Cilento.
Visits to the Cathedral of Salerno are not allowed in hands-free mode, but it is necessary to use suitable instruments for earphones (for further information consult the 'Infopoint)
They are not allowed for guided tours during the Eucharistic celebrations and conferences, prayer meetings and the Holy Easter Triduum (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) .
Please keep cell phones switched off and do not use cameras with flash.
Clothing appropriate to the place, shorts or skimpy clothes are not allowed.
Access will be denied to anyone who does not respect these provisions.
Duomo di Salerno
The Cathedral of San Matteo in Salerno, or Cathedral of Salerno, was founded by Roberto il Guiscardo and consecrated by Pope Gregorio VII, officially inaugurated in March 1084. The current structure dates back to the earthquake of 5 June 1688, when it was completely rebuilt. The main entrance has been modified, its courtyard is surrounded by a covered passage supported by twenty-eight simple columns with arches and a series of Roman tombs around the walls. On the southern side of the cathedral is the bell tower which dates back to the 12th century.
The cathedral of Salerno presents a plan articulated in a longitudinal body with three naves with a horizontal one, the transept, with three apses and a quadriportico. The first element of novelty is given by the shape of the classroom crypt with the space marked by columns and with the apses corresponding to those of the upper transept. The crypt houses the mortal remains of San Matteo. The translation legend has it that the relics were brought to Salerno by Gisulfo I in the tenth century and later in 1081, when the new cathedral dedicated to the evangelist was built, they were placed in the crypt destined to house them.
The sculptural decoration of the whole Cathedral of Salerno is characterized by a strong presence of animals: starting from entrance, we find a lion and a lioness suckling her baby, symbols of the power and charity of the church; the lintel depicts not only the vine trellis, the dates caught by birds, an allusion to the spiritual nourishment of the soul, and also the monkey and the lion placed at the ends that symbolize, respectively, the heresy and the truth of the church; but also inside it offers decorative elements with animals typical of the medieval heritage: lions, horses, centaurs.
The Castello Arechi of Salerno is a medieval castle, located at a height about 300 meters above sea level, overlooking the city and the gulf. It is called Arechi because the construction of this fortification is associated, traditionally, with the Lombard Duke Arechi II.
The oldest phase of construction, according to some archaeological investigations, dates back to the 6th century and is the work of Goto-Byzantine artisans during the Narses period. Other scholars have declared that the first fort on the Bonadies hill was built in the third century, in the late Roman era. The castle, however, took on great military importance in the eighteenth century, with the Lombard prince Arechi II who, even if he did not introduce major changes to the fort, made it the city's defense system. In 774 this prince examined the strategic position of the city of Salerno and made it the residence of the court of the Duchy of Benevento. In fact, the city represented a bridgehead for trade and to control trade with other Mediterranean regions. Hence his attention to the fortifications: the castle became the summit of a triangle defense system, the walls fell along the slopes of the Bonadies hill girding all the ancient Salernum towards the sea.
The castle consists of a central section protected by towers, joined together with a crenellated walls. To the Norman-Angioino period belongs the tower of the Bastille, on a hill overlooking the mountain Bonadies to the north; built to ensure the control of the castle on the same side, it was so called in 800 because it mistakenly considered a prison, while the prisons were inside the same castle.
After a long period of neglect following the unification of Italy, the castle, while privately owned and inhabited by a family of factors, it became, in 1960, by the will of the President Girolamo Bottiglieri, owned by the Province of Salerno, which began the restoration work.
Recently (2001) the nearby Bastille has been reopened. On 1 March 1992, Poste Italiane dedicated a stamp.
Giardino della Minerva
The Garden of Minerva was created in the 18th century by Matteo Silvatico, an important doctor of the famous Salernitana Medical School , the oldest university of medicine in the world , among the biggest titles of pride of the city of Salerno. Dr. Silvatico created in this garden the first example of a botanical garden: an educational area where doctors taught students to recognize the "simple" plants used to treat diseases. A garden that Silvatico enriched with rare and exotic species discovered during his countless trips.
After the restoration of 2001 in the garden many plants have been planted, even rare, giving particular importance to those species mentioned in the Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum and the Opus Pandectarum Medicinae, which were used in the Middle Ages as medicinal plants. In particular, the legendary mandrake is present in the garden, a plant that was believed to have extraordinary powers.
Today, the historic Minerva Gardens represent one of the most important and significant pieces of the rebirth of the historic center of Salerno. Developed in the nineties, they are a milestone in all the main city tours.
The garden, in synergy with the "Fondazione Scuola Medica Salernitana", and with some associations local, offers animated guided tours, reception services and cultural refreshment, in line with the history of the places and the memory of the Medical School of Salerno. Educational and scientific activities are also held.
Inside the Giardino della Minerva, you can find some medieval painted tiles, discovered during the restoration of Palazzo Capasso. The garden hosts exhibitions and events of particular interest in all seasons. The restaurant is managed by Nemus Association, specialized in the preparation of herbal teas with local and certified products. On May 3, 2008, the Museum of Pharmacy in memory of Rosario Mazzella was inaugurated in Salerno, in the Garden of Minerva. Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Maria Antonietta Petruzzi Mazzella who, with the aim of creating an exhibition, has granted on loan to the municipal administration period materials belonging to the father, an esteemed pharmacist; valuable materials and books are on display in Palazzo Capasso.
The construction of the Giuseppe Verdi Municipal Theater of Salerno was approved by the City Council the December 15, 1863, on the proposal of the then Mayor Matteo Luciani.
The design and direction of the works were assigned to the architects Antonio D'Amora and Giuseppe Manichini who based their theory on the measurements and proportions of the San Carlo Theater of Naples. The decoration works were instead directed by Gaetano D'Agostino. The theater was inaugurated on April 15, 1872 with the representation of Rigoletto; while on 27 March 1901 the theater was named after Giuseppe Verdi, who died on 1 January of that year.
The Verdi theater in Salerno was closed for 14 years due to the 1980 earthquake, until 6 July 1994, during the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Salerno Capitale, it was reopened to the public.
The restoration brought to light the historical and artistic detail that make it the most precious 19th century theater, among the few in Italy, perfectly preserved .
The theater is today the venue, in addition to the opera season, ballets and concert music, theater seasons, festivals, concerts, events for young people, laboratories and research seasons. Thousands of students have learned to know and appreciate the theater, thanks to the guided tours. The sensitivity of the municipal administration has meant that the city can finally find a temple of music and culture. To mark the end of a historical music journey, the appointment of an artistic director of the caliber of Daniel Oren, who gave the Teatro Verdi an adequate international resonance, reached the tenth anniversary.