It’s widely know that Italy is a country full of history, culture, amazing food and stunning sights. In fact, there are so many amazing places to visit, that some of the lesser known cities can be some of the best. Think less crowds, better value for money and the chance to experience a different side to the country.
Located in Campania, Southern Italy, Salerno is a city often overlooked in favour of nearby Naples. It doesn’t have a huge reputation as a tourist hotspot, and before visiting I didn’t really know much about the area. I’m thankful for that now because the first trip along the seafront afforded the surprise of absolutely breathtaking views of the Amalfi Coast. Stunning in the day, stunning as the sun sets, it is just…stunning.
The pathway along the waterfront runs for quite a way. It’s a lovely walk with the sea on one side, mountains in the background and pretty gardens on the other side. Pieces of artwork are dotted along the walk, and there’s even a small beach area close to one of the harbours.
Once you step away from the seafront and into the maze of side streets in the old town, the colourful buildings keep you company as you attempt to find your way.
It wouldn’t be an Italian city if there weren’t a number of churches and cathedrals to explore. Salerno Cathedral sits in the heart of the old town, and dates back to around 1080. It has withstood a great deal since that time, and while not as impressive from the outside as some others, don’t forget we should never judge a book by its cover. Or, you know, a church by its exterior. The courtyard outside is pretty and modest, which only gives the inside a bigger wow factor.
One of the biggest perks of Salerno is the location. For those wanting to visit the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii, Naples is often the choice to use as a base and explore from there. But the quieter city of Salerno is an excellent alternative, with Amalfi, Positano and Pompeii all among the places within easy reach for a day trip. The transport links of Salerno mean you can visit the nearby popular sights by just jumping on a train or ferry.
While Salerno itself doesn’t have the huge tourist checklist of sights that some of the larger cities do, it is still well worth a visit. You could easily fill a long weekend here, with a couple of days to explore the city itself and a couple of days to venture out and visit Pompeii or the Amalfi Coast.
I booked to stay in Salerno instead of Naples as I wasn’t sure how safe I’d feel in Naples as a solo female traveller, and Salerno offered the perfect alternative. If I went again, I’d still pick Salerno as I fell in love with the city, and met some of the kindest and most helpful people there. Plus, the fact that everything is so beautiful helps!
I had the best time in Salerno, despite getting locked in my B&B and getting attacked by wasps while eating dinner on the waterfront. It was great, you can see what I got up to here.