With neighbours including Naples and Sorrento, Salerno is often overlooked – but it shouldn’t be. This lively coastal city brims with historic beauty, from its atmospheric old town to its palm-lined promenade. Marvel at botanic Minerva Gardens, the art-packed Salerno Cathedral, and the treasure-filled Archaeological Museum. With excellent transport links, all this and many popular destinations across the bay are in reach.
See Salerno and much more – from Naples to the Amalfi Coast, Matera and beyond – on Culture Trip’s bespoke 10-day southern Italy adventure, led by our Local Insider.
Head to the historic Rione Duomo district and you’ll find the Provincial Archaeological Museum, established in 1928. Formerly part of a Medieval abbey, the museum now bursts with artefacts found throughout the Salerno province, including Roman remains and a renowned bronze head of Apollo. You’ll find the detailed information interesting, with plenty to engage young and old over a fun afternoon.
Discover this baroque church, near the duomo, that houses a kaleidoscope of incredible artwork. Beautifully detailed frescoes and canvas paintings adorn nearly every surface, from golden archways to the dazzling dome. The San Giorgio complex – some of it developed by famous Neapolitan architect Ferdinando Sanfelice – is one of the city’s oldest monastic settlements, dating to the 9th century.
The Gulf of Salerno is one of the finest and most celebrated stretches of Italian coastline, encompassing the postcard towns of Amalfi and Positano, where colourful houses creep up dramatic hillsides. Salerno city is an authentic, affordable base for exploring the gulf with regular ferries sailing from the port to Amalfi in 30 minutes. The area’s spectacular Tyrrhenian Sea view is jaw-dropping.
Like any great city, Salerno only gets better when you try the food. Expect shining examples of home-cooked Italian dishes. Try fresh seafood pasta at renowned Cicirinella; spectacular steaks at Porca Vacca that are worth the walk from town; Vicolo della Neve’s traditional plates of parmigiana (an aubergine, cheese and tomato layer bake); and perfect pizzas in fried, Neapolitan style at Pizzeria La Smorfia. Wash it all down with local wine.