Salerno is a lovely city, southeast of Naples and it is very often overshadowed by the Amalfi coast and the renown Naples. However, it is actually a better destination than Naples, especially if you wish to visit the Amalfi coast and want to spend the nights somewhere in a larger city and not so expensive. Many people choose Naples for this, but I believe Salerno is the better choice.
First of all, it is much cheaper than Naples. Secondly, it is cleaner 🙂 After spending a couple of nights in Naples, then in the gorgeous Positano, I headed for two nights in Salerno, without knowing anything about this city. After just one hour ferry ride from Positano, you reach the large harbor of Salerno.
Our accommodation was just 10 minute-walk from the harbor, very close to the center of Salerno with its cozy streets, outside cafes, shops, street performers and lots of colorful buildings.
The beach is right next to the harbor and unlike Naples, where you have to walk a lot to find just a small corner with sand, in Salerno you have plenty of spaces to enjoy the sun, play, listen to music, swim and relax. From having fun to exploring the narrow streets in the historical center, here are some things not to miss while you are there:
This beautiful promenade is more than 1 km long and you can walk amongst the palm trees, while enjoying the beautiful view. Lots of piazzas with fountains, statues and benches greet you on the way, so you can have a stroll at sunset or even during the day.
Villa Comunale di Salerno
Located in the historical center, this breathtaking park takes you in the middle of an exotic land. It reminds me of Marrakech or the gardens of Alcazar in Seville, as they seem like the gardens of a palace.
It was built in the 19th century and used to be part of the town hall until it became a natural open space. This park is full of exotic trees, a pond and marvelous statues that help you disconnect from all the dazzling rhythm of the city. During the hot summer days, you will also find here plenty of shade and you can refresh.
The Historical Center
If you have arrived at Villa Comunale, then you are right in the heart of the historical town center of Salerno. Around the beautiful gardens you will see the town hall, the theater, the Duomo and you can wander around the narrow beautiful streets. Head into Rione Duomo district and climb up to Il Giardino della Minerva. They are really beautiful but even more stunning is the view from up there.
Castello di Arechi
This impressive castle that overlooks Salerno was built in the Medieval times. It was constructed for defense and it is amazing to see that most of the construction still stands today. Some parts have been restored, but most of it dates back from then and is the original construction.
Enjoy the Pizza
We all know that food in Italy is an experience itself. Apart from all the beauty, art and history, food is a big part of any travels to Italy. Pizza originated in Naples and it is true that I ate the most delicious pizza there. However, pizza from Salerno is just as good as the Neapolitan pizza. I highly recommend an amazing place, called In Rada, where the pizza is absolutely delicious. They can be found in Via Roma 172, Salerno.
Beautiful and very welcoming people, lovely restaurants and cafes, nice beach, very affordable experiences and charming historical places, you have all the reasons to visit Salerno. Moreover, the Amalfi coast is right there so you can take every day a ferry to discover another city on the coast. I have really enjoyed Salerno and I highly recommend it!
From Salerno, you can easily reach Bari. There are buses every day and in about 4 hours you are on the other side of Italy, which is absolutely amazing! Stay tuned for the next travel stories from Puglia!