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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Italy is a country that is filled with romance and beautiful historical sites, with intriguing cities built along the sides of mountains making their way down to the coast. It is the home of the city of Salerno, located on a gulf of the same name on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was, up until 1943, the city that was home to the King of Italy and was temporarily the country’s capital during World War II. It is also the city that was the closest to the Allied invasion of Italy.  

The city of Salerno experiences the variety of seasons with a dry summer with an average temperature of 74 degrees Fahrenheit and a rainy autumn and winter at 47 degrees Fahrenheit. The city is windy in the winter but always sunny, something very few cities anywhere else can claim. The river Irno crosses the centre of the city and it is located on the north-western end of the plain of the Sele River.

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Why visit Salerno ?

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An archaeologist’s dream

Salerno is one of those Italian cities offering you a wonderful holiday with plenty to do

As with all of Italy, the city has been settled since pre-historic times. The city grew under the hand of the Romans and there are many archaeological ruins that indicate the city was bustling even then. The city became a centre for studies and the first medical school was built there. There are coins in the museums in the Mediterranean that have the words ‘Opulenta Salernum’ printed on them – an indication of how rich the city was during the early centuries.  

Today, the city is the geographical centre of what the inhabitants call the tourist triangle of the 3P – Pompeii, Paestum, and Positano. It makes the city the perfect base for touring this area of Italy and it offers guests hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, and self-catering options. The Lungomare Trieste, the Castello di Arechi, the Duomo, and the Museo Didattico della Scuola Medica Selernitana are all accessible to visitors from Salerno.  

From castles to volcanic ruins, the city is filled with constructions that cover pre-existing Roman and Byzantine buildings, making the entire area an archaeologist’s dream. The historical downtown area is considered one of the best maintained and it offers guests to the city plenty of shopping opportunities. There are also sports complexes for visitors to use and the garden in the old city hall is now a recreation area for tourists and residents alike.  

Cathedrals and churches are popular tourist attractions in Europe and Salerno is no different. The Salerno Cathedral looms large over the city and the Bell-Tower is one of the most prominent sites. The crypt holds the tomb of St Matthew, one of the twelve apostles of Christ. This cathedral is considered to be the principal tourist attraction of the city. One of the churches located in the city near the entrance to Salerno holds the museum of the city’s medical school. Solimena, a later 17th century monastery, has beautiful frescoes that were recently opened to the public. Salerno holds its fair share of museums and the Museo Archeologico Provinciale holds the head of Apollo, one of the most famous pieces of sculpture in the world. The Museo Diocesano di Salerno near the Cathedral holds numerous pieces of religious art.  

With its own necropolis outside the city, Salerno is one of those Italian cities offering you a wonderful holiday with plenty to do.

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