Salerno is a city with a population of approximately of 200,000 people on a beautiful bay; 40 miles south from Naples, 3 hours by train south from Rome. Connections from the tourist harbour to the towns of Amalfi Coast, Paestum and Capri... are available. Salerno has escaped mass tourism, and it is therefore "authentically Italian" with a beautiful historic centre, where it is possible to admire both the traces of its ancient history and the fervour of artisan shops and places for cultural and musical aggregation attended by thousands of people. Noteworthy is also the long seafront promenade, with magnificent views over the Gulf. A high rock surmounted by an ancient castle, the Castle of Arechi, overlooks the city and the Bay. Due to Salerno's marvellous year-round climate and beautiful weather, it is possible for the people to enjoy a "typical Italian" outdoor lifestyle.
Salerno's history dates from its establishment as a Roman town in about 194 BC. It is located on a natural harbour which facilitated trade from ancient times to the present.
Like other cities and towns in southern Italy, Salerno has been washed over by succeeding dynasties and empires, all of which have had an influence on the evolution of the city, physically and culturally. After the Romans, the Samnites, followed by the Saracens and Lombards, and of course the Byzantines and Normans. In 794 AD, a Byzantine Monastery spawned the oldest university in Europe, which was the most important medical school in medieval Europe, the Schola Medica Salernitana. This school evolved into the University of Salerno with two campuses where over 40,000 students study every year.
During the second world war, Salerno was chosen by western allied forces as a landing site for the Italian campaign. Salerno, for about five months, played the role of capital in the forming of a new Italian State.
Salerno is a fascinating example of what the Mediterranean has to offer all those who wish to have a closer knowledge of it. The town presents itself as a friendly comunity to visitors and tourists from all over the world. Night-life takes place right here in the old town. The town hall has made the opening of many restaurants and places of entertainment possible. At weekends the many pubs are filled with youngsters till the early hours. In the summer however, people prefer the fresh air of the seafront which is just a few metres away. The coast is also not short of discotheques and places of entertainment.