It is close to touristic sites of international importance such as Pompeii and Herculaneum, Paestum, the Certosa di Padula, the National Park of Cilento and that of Vesuvius. It has rich history with many museums and landmarks that are worth visiting. It was once home to first medical school of the West. It also has many churches of various styles due to the many different cultures that have passed through the city, including Norman, Arab, Byzantine, and Roman.
The area of Salerno is continuously inhabited since pre-historical times. We have evidence of human presence from the 9th century BC. There was an Etrucan trading port in the area named Irna which was founded around 6th century BC. It was occupied by the Samnites around the 5th century after the Battle of Cumae (474 BC) during the Punic Wars. It lost its importance however with the Roman advances in Campania and withered away. In 194 BC it was supplanted by the Roman colony of Salernum. Originally a military colony, Salernum soon lost its military value and developed into a trading centre. The city prospered and in the late 3rd century AD, it became the administrative centre of the “Bruttia and Lucania” province under Emperor Diocletian.
With the Fall of the Western Roman Empire it came under the control of the gothic general Odoacer and then the Ostrogoths when they defeated the former. Soon however, the Eastern Roman Empire (also known as Byzantine Empire) launched the Gothic Wars under emperor Justinian against the Ostrogoths. With the end of the Gothic Wars, Salerno, indeed the entire Italian peninsula came again under Roman control. Italy was invaded by the Lombards in the late 6th century AD and conquered much of the peninsula. Salerno, like many other coastal cities initially resisted the invaders but it finally fell in 646 AD. It became part of the Lombard Duchy of Benevento.
Duke Arechis II of Benevento transferred his seat to Salerno in 774 due to the pressure that Emperor Charlemagne was placing on the Duchy. With Arachis II, Salerno was fortified and it also became a centre of studies with its famous Medical School. In 839 the city declared its independence from Benevento and became the capital of the Principality of Salerno, which stretched to Capua, northern Calabria and Puglia up to Taranto. The principality grew in strength and by 1000 AD it had annexed Amalfi, Sorrento, Gaeta and the Duchy of Puglia and Calabria. It was shaken however by a series of Saracen attacks and internal struggles. By the year 1077 AD the principality began to decline.
The Normans under the adventurer and conqueror Robert Guiscard arrived in Southern Italy to exploit the weakness and infighting. On December 13, 1076, Robert Guiscard besieged and captured Salerno, putting an end to centuries of Lombard rule. He constructed the royal palace and a magnificent Arabo-Gothic style Cathedral while also supporting the Salerno Medical School, which was by then the most ancient and great medical institution of the West.
After a succession dispute, Emperor Henry VI invaded the Norman Kingdom on behalf of his wife Constance, who was the heiress to the throne in 1191. During the war, Salerno was sacked and pillaged and its importance and prosperity reduced. The Hohenstaufen dynasty established themselves as rulers of Southern Italy and Henry’s son, Frederick II further reduced Salerno’s importance in favor of Naples. Some works were built during that period however. King Manfred of Sicily constructed a dock and founded Saint Matthew’s Fair.
From the 14th century onwards, the province of Salerno became the territory of the Princes of Sanseverino. The city again became a battleground in the 15th century between the Angevin dynasty and the Aragonese Crown. In the late 17th century Salerno was struck by plague and a powerful earthquake. The recovery began in the 18th century with the construction of many refined houses and churches in the city’s historical centre.
During the Napoleonic era, Joseph Bonaparte and Joachim Murat ascended to the Neapolitan throne. The latter closed the Salerno Medical School that had been declining for decades. The city expanded beyond its walls and a road network was constructed linking it to Vietri and Naples. During the Risorgimento (Unification of Italy), Salerno was a centre of Carbonari activities supporting the unification and in 1861 many joined Giuseppe Garibaldi in his struggle to unify Southern Italy to the already unified north.
After the unification, the city saw a continuous urban and economic development. It grew from about twenty thousand inhabitants in 1861 to eighty thousands in the early 20th century. Foreign industries also moved in during the time industrializing the city. Textiles mills, dye factories, flour mills and pasta factories were built.
In September 1943, Salerno was the site of Operation: Avalanche, a large-scale allied amphibious landing. It caused great damage to the city. From February to July 1944 it hosted the government of Marshal Pietro Badoglio and was the temporary capital of Italy.
The city recovered from the Second World War and continued to grow. It grew from 80.000 inhabitants in 1946 to 160.000 in 1976. Now it is one of the most important cities in the world for contemporary architecture.
Музеи - Достопримечательности
Salerno’s long history makes it home to many museums exhibiting important artifacts of the city’s history.
The Museo Archeologico Provinciale is the oldest museum of the city, opened in 1927 and renovated in 2013. it is house from 1964 in the Palazzo Durazzo, also known as Castelnovo Reale, the historic home of Queen Margarita. In the museum you can find numerous artifacts from the era of the Samnites, the Etruscans and the Romans that were found in the area or in the city proper. Among the most beautiful pieces displayed is the head of Apollo, attributed to Pasiteles, discovered in 1930 after being caught in the nets of some fishermen.
The Museo Diocesano is the most interesting and rich of the city. It is located in the former archdiocesan seminary, which exhibits works from the 12th to the 18th century. Of particular importance is the section of the religious art of the Medieval Ages, among which are the ivories of Salerno, the most complete collection of ivory in the world. Among the paintings of the museum are works of Francesco Solimena, Andrea Sabatini, Luca Giordano and Cesare da Sesto.
The Provincial Art Gallery was built on a Palazzo of the 17th century. It contains works from the Renaissance to Futurism. Among the artists are Andrea Sabatini, Francesco Solimena, Giovannin Battista Caracciolo, Carlo Rosa, and Luca Giordano. In the art gallery there is also space dedicated to foreign artists who are attracted by the colours and by the landscape of the province of Salerno.
The Museo Virtuale della Scuola Medica Salernitana is connected to the illustrious history and tradition of the Salerno Medical School. It is located in the Church of San Gregorio of the 11th century. It was completely renovated in 2009. It hosts a remarkable exhibition of ancient medical instruments and reproductions of the medieval codices of the city.
The Museo Roberto Papi is located in the historic Palazzo Galdieri. It hosts a collection of tools and medical-surgical instruments dating to the 17th and 20th century donated to the city of Salerno by the family of Roberto Papi, a collector who died prematurely.
The Musei del Castello d’Arechi are located in the castle of Arechi. They are an archaeological museum which houses pottery and ceramics belonging to the period between the 12th and 15th centuries in addition to glass objects, coins and weapons. The second is a multimedia museum, opened in 2009 that presents through videos historical and social recostructions.
The Museo dello sbarco e Salerno Capitale is located in the Gallotta Institute. The exhibits (from the collection of the Memorial Park Association of Campania) are approximately 200, amongst them unedited videos of the allied Salerno landings, photographs, medals, uniforms of the Nazi and American armies, objects, weapons, an M4 Sherman tank a Willys Jeep and an armoured railroad car taken from the Concentration Camp in Auschwitz.
The Creative City Museum is located in former warehouses, now converted into exhibition venues. Finally the Ceramic Museum Alfonso Tafuri was founded on the initiative of a private collector. It contains a rich collection of “riggiole” (tiles) of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as well as various working tools of the thirteenth century.
The Baia Beach is located past the port of Salerno in the direction of Vietri, La Baia Beach is one of the largest and most easily accessible beaches in Salerno. One section is set aside as free access, while the other part is managed by the Lloyd's Baia Hotel, and offers umbrellas and chairs for rent. To the right of the beach is the seaside tower of Crestarella. It is a large sandy stretch which is easily accessible from Salerno. But since it's in the vicinity of the port and city, it's water isn't crystalline year round. It does get full sun for most of the day, though, so it good for those who are interested in tanning without navigating the windy narrow road of the Amalfi Coast.
Церкви и монастыри
Most of the churches of artistic and architectural importance are located in the historic center. Many of them have medieval origins and have arisen as part of the ancient monasteries to which they were attached. The predominant style is baroque, overlapping the ancient medieval architecture, still visible and well documented in many buildings.
The most important religious building in the city is the Catholic Christian Salerno Cathedral, built in the eleventh century by the Norman Robert Guiscard and the bishop Alfano, probably on the site of an earlier building of a pagan religion.
It was altered several times, as at the end of the seventeenth century by the Sanfelice and Guglielmelli, the plan follows the Abbey of Montecassino. One of the creators of the cathedral, Alfano was a frequent visitor. It also follows the old St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. Interestingly from the point of view of architecture and art, its bell tower is of Arab-Norman style, 52 meters high. It was commissioned in the twelfth century by the Archbishop William of Ravenna.
From the Lombard period are the churches of Sant'Andrea de Lavina , built in honor of its patron saint, and Santa Maria de Lama, reopened to the public in 1996 and built on a previous Roman era building. The latter has the only traces of Lombard painting that still exist in the city. Very important from the standpoint of historical and archaeological interest, is the Church of San Pietro a Corte.
Also of note is the Church of the Holy Cross of the thirteenth century, a basilica once connected to the monastery of St. Benedict. It is of the Lombard period and in the Romanesque style. The Church of the Mount of the Dead and the Church of St. Philip Blacks are both from the sixteenth century. The Church of St. George is also important. It was built in the 17th century and is called the most beautiful baroque church of the city. It guards the relics of the holy martyrs Salerno Santa Tecla, Archelaa and Susanna, and also has paintings of Andrea Sabatini.
The Church of the Annunciation was built in 1627 to replace an earlier church building that was destroyed by an earthquake. It stands out for the impressive bell tower designed by Ferdinando Sanfelice.
The upper part of the old town is also home to numerous convents, most of the Lombard era or medieval, reworked over the centuries. Amongst them is the Convent of St. Nicholas of La Palma, completely restored in 2013. It hosts the EBRI (European Institute of Biomedical Research) and is built on an existing spa. The convent of San Lorenzo, dating from the tenth century is located in Via De Renzi, which houses the headquarters of the Municipal Historical Archive.