From the Arechi Castle to the Trieste Promenade to discover the beauty of Salerno. A urban trekking path will introduce you to the ancient via dei Mercanti, which crosses the historical center, the Provincial Art Gallery, the Duomo, the Complex of Santa Sofia, the Minerva Gardens and the Villa Comunale. So you can admire the characteristics of a city that was home to the first and most important medical school of Europe, capital of the homonymous Longobard principality during the Middle Ages and the capital of Italy during the Second World War.
No words! That’s how is going to leave you the first impact with the view from the Castello Arechi, that overlooks the Salerno Gulf, an authentic example of medieval architecture.
How to reach the arechi castle
You can use a public bus or preferibly a taxi, leaving at the central station the price will be around 10€ for a single run.
Owned by the Province of Salerno, the castle today presents itself in all its glory, from here you can enjoy an amazing and breathtaking view that stretching from the Amalfi Coast to the Cilento coast. The property is surrounded by a beautiful park that includes nature trails. In the restored area there is an exhibition hall, a conference hall and a museum that collects a first exhibition of ancient castle remains with medieval ceramics and coins.
CURIOSITY: A tragedy of Ugo Foscolo, the Ricciarda, takes place in the Arechi Castle.
Back in town, just outside the old town, start the real urban itinerary, at via Arce you can begin, this time on foot, the discovery of Salerno's Medieval Aqueduct, popularly renamed "Bridges of the Devil", it is said that it was built in a single night, with the help of demons, by the magician of the twelfth century Pietro Barliario. The popular superstition considered also that venturing under the arches between dusk and dawn would bring to the meeting with devils or evil spirits.
Salerno Art Gallery
Proceeding through the evocative and ancient Via de' Mercanti, main shopping street, which goes through the whole old town, you can reach the Provincial Art Gallery of Salerno which is located on the first floor of the seventeenth-century Pinto Palace, aristocratic residence of one of the most important noble families in Salerno. The history of the gallery is actually crucial to the provincial administration of Salerno, committed not only in the recovery in the enhancement of the paintings but also in the restoration of the same building container. The exhibition inside is divided into three sections, divided chronologically: from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, Salernitani and Coast people, and Foreign Artists.
TIPS: In front of the Art Gallery you may take advantage of the proximity of the new Medical School Virtual Museum.
Leaving the gallery and continuing towards the left until the intersection with Via Duomo, at this point we turn right to reach the Cathedral of Salerno which is in Piazza Alfano I. It is the main place of Catholic worship in the city of Salerno, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Salerno-Campagna-Acerno. It has the dignity of minor basilica. The cathedral was built in Romanesque style in the eleventh century and later modified several times.
CURIOSITY: In the crypt there is the stump on which, according to tradition, where three martyrs were beheaded: Caio, Ante and Fortunato, and placing your ear on it you can still hear the sound of blood flowing.
Santa Sofia Complex
Leaving the Duomo, you continue to climb Piazza Alfano I and turning left there is Piazza Abate Conforti hosting the Monumental Complex of Santa Sofia. Built in the late tenth century, originally it housed the Benedictine Order dedicated to Santa Sofia, from which it takes its name. After the restructuring it is used as a venue for hosting events, exhibitions and events. It has hosted exhibitions of painters and personalities of international renown, such as Picasso, Miro, Caravaggio, Warhol and Pierluigi Nervi. Each year there are also events, projects and exhibitions related to the various organizations and public festivals such as the Linea D'Ombra Festival and the Fair of the found Crucifix.
From here continuing along Via Torquato Tasso you reach the Gardens of Minerva, a magnifique paradise since the twelfth century belonged to the family of Matteo Silvatico, eminent doctor of the Schola Medica, an expert of plants used for the production of medicines. It is a terraced garden that runs along the axis that goes from the Villa Comunale to the Castello di Arechi. The garden, now open in all its glory, was the first Botanical Garden of Europe for the cultivation of plants for medicinal purposes.
The gardens really worth a visit, you will enjoy it, guaranteed!
TIPS: Once in the middle of the gardens, close your eye and take a breath, you will be wrapped by the plants scent and the smell of the sea breeze.
The Villa Comunale of Salerno is the "garden" of the city. The Villa Comunale is home to several events for years. In April there is the traditional "Exhibition of Minerva", a market-exhibition of rare plants and items for the garden. Over the weekend are organized conferences, seminars, courses and workshops on the world of plants, as well as guided tours of the Garden of Minerva. In winter the villa, however, is transformed into an Enchanted Garden, with the light installations of Luci D'Artista, an exhibition of bright artworks that traditionally lights salernitane nights over the Christmas period.
MUST SEE: A fantastic and sparkling garden with a thousand wonders that surprises and delights with its lights and colors who is walking in it.
After the visit at the Villa Comunale, and having dined in some typical downtown restaurant as the conclusion of our trip, we can not certainly miss a long and relaxing walk at the Salerno Promenade, one of the landmarks of the city. Its benches facing the sea offers a breathtaking view over the Gulf of Salerno. The cliff, the small wharf for boats docking and the artistic lighting are the characteristic features of this lovely promenade.
MUST SEE IN THE EVENING: there is no better place to fall in love.
- who loves walking and discovering art and architecture
- those want to relax