Salerno

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Salerno is a city and comune
Comune
In Italy, the comune is the basic administrative division, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality.-Importance and function:...

in Campania
Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

 (south-western Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

) and is the capital of the province of the same name
Province of Salerno
The Province of Salerno is a province in the Campania region of Italy.-Geography:The largest towns in the province are: Salerno, the capital, which has a population of 139,579; Cava de' Tirreni with a population of 53,488; Battipaglia with a population of 51,115; and Nocera Inferiore which has a...

. It is located on the Gulf of Salerno
Gulf of Salerno
The Gulf of Salerno is a gulf of the Tyrrhenian Sea in the coast of the province of Salerno in south-western Italy. The northern part of this coast is the touristic Costiera Amalfitana, including towns like Amalfi, Maiori, Positano and the city of Salerno itself.The Gulf of Salerno is separated...

 on the Tyrrhenian Sea
Tyrrhenian Sea
The Tyrrhenian Sea is part of the Mediterranean Sea off the western coast of Italy.-Geography:The sea is bounded by Corsica and Sardinia , Tuscany, Lazio, Campania, Basilicata and Calabria and Sicily ....

.

Salerno is the main town close to the Costiera Amalfitana (the "Amalfi Coast" on the Tyrrhenian, which includes the famous towns of Amalfi
Amalfi
Amalfi is a town and comune in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania, Italy, on the Gulf of Salerno, c. 35 km southeast of Naples. It lies at the mouth of a deep ravine, at the foot of Monte Cerreto , surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery...

, Positano
Positano
Positano is a village and comune on the Amalfi Coast , in Campania, Italy. The main part of the city sits in an enclave in the hills leading down to the coast.-History:...

, and others) and is mostly known for its Schola Medica Salernitana
Schola Medica Salernitana
The Schola Medica Salernitana was the first medieval medical school in the cosmopolitan coastal south Italian city of Salerno, which provided the most important source of medical knowledge in Western Europe at the time...

 (the first University of Medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 in the world). In the 16th century, under the Sanseverino
Sanseverino
Sanseverino is a surname, and may refer to:* Roscemanno Sanseverino, 12th century cardinal* Ferdinando Sanseverino , prince of Salerno and Italian condottiero* Gaetano Sanseverino , Italian theologian...

 family, amongst the most powerful feudal lords in Southern Italy, the city became a great centre of learning, culture and the arts, and the family hired several of the greatest intellectuals of the time. Later, in 1694, the city was struck by several catastrophic earthquakes and plagues, and afterwards a period of Spanish rule which would last until the 18th century. After that, Salerno became part of the Parthenopean Republic and saw a period of Napoleonic rule.

In recent history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 the city hosted the King of Italy, who moved from Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 in 1943 after Italy negotiated a peace with the Allies in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. A brief so-called "government of the South" was then established in the town, that became the "capital" of Italy for some months. Some of the Allied
Allies
In everyday English usage, allies are people, groups, or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out between them...

 landings during Operation Avalanche (the invasion of Italy) occurred near Salerno.

Today Salerno is an important cultural centre in Campania and Italy and has had a long and eventful history. The city has a rich and varied culture, and the city is divided into three distinct regions: the medieval sector with a modern state-of-the arts area, the planned 19th century district and the more densely-populated post-war area, with its several apartment blocks.

Geography


The city is situated at the north-western end of the plain of the Sele river, at the exact beginning of the Amalfi coast
Amalfi Coast
-In popular culture:The Amalfi Coast is a popular destination among tourists. It was featured in "Positano," a short story written by American author John Steinbeck in 1953...

. The small river Irno crosses through the central section of Salerno.

The climate is mediterranean, with a hot and relatively dry summer (30 °C (86 °F) in August) and a rainy fall and winter (8 °C (46 °F) in January). Usually there is nearly 1,000 mm of rain every year. The strong wind that comes from the mountains toward the Gulf of Salerno
Gulf of Salerno
The Gulf of Salerno is a gulf of the Tyrrhenian Sea in the coast of the province of Salerno in south-western Italy. The northern part of this coast is the touristic Costiera Amalfitana, including towns like Amalfi, Maiori, Positano and the city of Salerno itself.The Gulf of Salerno is separated...

 makes the city very windy (mainly in winter). However, this gives Salerno the advantage of being one of the most sunny towns in Italy.

Pre-Roman times


The area of what is now Salerno has been continuously settled since pre-historical
Prehistory
Prehistory is the span of time before recorded history. Prehistory can refer to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it refers to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing...

 times, although the first certain signs of human presence date to the period between the 9th and 6th centuries BC. We know the Oscan-Etruscan
Etruscan civilization
Etruscan civilization is the modern English name given to a civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany. The ancient Romans called its creators the Tusci or Etrusci...

 city of Irna (founded in the 6th century BC), situated across the Irno river, in today's Salernitan quarter of Fratte. This settlement represented an important base for Etruscan trade with the Greek colonies of Posidonia
Paestum
Paestum is the classical Roman name of a major Graeco-Roman city in the Campania region of Italy. It is located in the north of Cilento, near the coast about 85 km SE of Naples in the province of Salerno, and belongs to the commune of Capaccio, officially also named...

 and Elea
Velia
Velia is the Italian name of the ancient town of Elea located on the territory of the comune of Ascea, Salerno, Campania, Italy in a geographical sub-area named Cilento...

. It was occupied by the Samnites around the 5th century BC as consequence of the Battle of Cumae
Battle of Cumae
The Battle of Cumae was a naval battle in 474 BC between the combined navies of Syracuse and Cumae and the Etruscans.Hiero I of Syracuse allied with Aristodemus, the tyrant of Cumae, to defend against Etruscan expansion into southern Italy. In 474 they met and defeated the Etruscan fleet at Cumae...

 (474 BC) as part of the Syracusan Sphere of influence
Sphere of influence
In the field of international relations, a sphere of influence is a spatial region or conceptual division over which a state or organization has significant cultural, economic, military or political influence....

.

The Roman city


With the Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 advance in Campania, Irna began to lose its importance, being supplanted by the new Roman colony (194 BC) of Salernum, developing around an initial castrum. The new city, which gradually lost its military function in favour of its role as a trade center, was connected to Rome by the Via Popilia
Via Popilia
The Via Popilia is the name of two different ancient Roman roads begun in the consulship of Publius Popilius Laenas.The first road was an extension of the Via Flaminia from Ariminum around the north of the Adriatic through the region that later became Venice...

, which ran towards Lucania
Lucania
Lucania was an ancient district of southern Italy, extending from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Gulf of Taranto. To the north it adjoined Campania, Samnium and Apulia, and to the south it was separated by a narrow isthmus from the district of Bruttium...

 and Reggio Calabria
Reggio Calabria
Reggio di Calabria , commonly known as Reggio Calabria or Reggio, is the biggest city and the most populated comune of Calabria, southern Italy, and is the capital of the Province of Reggio Calabria and seat of the Council of Calabrian government.Reggio is located on the "toe" of the Italian...

.

Archaeological remains, although fragmentary, suggest the idea of a flourishing and lively city. Under the Emperor Diocletian
Diocletian
Diocletian |latinized]] upon his accession to Diocletian . c. 22 December 244  – 3 December 311), was a Roman Emperor from 284 to 305....

, in the late 3rd century AD, Salernum became the administrative centre of the "Bruttia and Lucania" province.

In the 5th century, after the fall or the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

, Salerno remained an important stronghold under the Ostrogoth
Ostrogoth
The Ostrogoths were a branch of the Goths , a Germanic tribe who developed a vast empire north of the Black Sea in the 3rd century AD and, in the late 5th century, under Theodoric the Great, established a Kingdom in Italy....

 domination of Italy.

In the following century, during the Gothic Wars
Gothic War (535–552)
The Gothic War between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy was fought from 535 until 554 in Italy, Dalmatia, Sardinia, Sicily and Corsica. It is commonly divided into two phases. The first phase lasted from 535 to 540 and ended with the fall of Ravenna and the apparent...

, the Goths were defeated by the Byzantines, whose domination however later lasted only fifteen years (from 553 to 568), before the Lombards
Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

 invaded almost the whole peninsula. Like many coastal cities of southern Italy (Gaeta
Gaeta
Gaeta is a city and comune in the province of Latina, in Lazio, central Italy. Set on a promontory stretching towards the Gulf of Gaeta, it is 120 km from Rome and 80 km from Naples....

, Sorrento
Sorrento
Sorrento is the name of many cities and towns:*Sorrento, Italy*Sorrento, Florida, United States*Sorrento, Louisiana, United States*Sorrento, Maine, United States*Sorrento, Victoria, a township on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia...

, Amalfi
Amalfi
Amalfi is a town and comune in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania, Italy, on the Gulf of Salerno, c. 35 km southeast of Naples. It lies at the mouth of a deep ravine, at the foot of Monte Cerreto , surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery...

), Salerno initially remained untouched by the newcomers, falling only in 646. It subsequently became part of the Duchy of Benevento
Duchy of Benevento
The Duchy and later Principality of Benevento was the southernmost Lombard duchy in medieval Italy, centred on Benevento, a city central in the Mezzogiorno. Owing to the Ducatus Romanus of the popes, which cut it off from the rest of Lombard Italy, Benevento was from the first practically...

.


The Lombard city



Under the Lombard dukes Salerno enjoyed the most splendid period of its history.

In 774 Arechis II of Benevento
Arechis II of Benevento
Arechis II was Duke of Benevento, in southern Italy, from 758 until his death....

 transferred the seat of the Duchy of Benevento to Salerno, in order to elude Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

's offensive and to secure for himself the control of a strategic area, the centre of coastal and internal communications in Campania.

With Arechis II, Salerno became a centre of studies with its famous Medical School
Schola Medica Salernitana
The Schola Medica Salernitana was the first medieval medical school in the cosmopolitan coastal south Italian city of Salerno, which provided the most important source of medical knowledge in Western Europe at the time...

. The Lombard prince ordered the city to be fortified; the Castle on the Bonadies mountain had already been built with walls and towers. In 839 Salerno declared independent from Benevento, becoming the capital of a flourishing principality stretching out to Capua
Capua
Capua is a city and comune in the province of Caserta, Campania, southern Italy, situated 25 km north of Naples, on the northeastern edge of the Campanian plain. Ancient Capua was situated where Santa Maria Capua Vetere is now...

, northern Calabria
Calabria
Calabria , in antiquity known as Bruttium, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro....

 and Puglia up to Taranto
Taranto
Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base....

.

Around the year 1000 prince Guaimar IV
Guaimar IV of Salerno
Guaimar IV was Prince of Salerno , Duke of Amalfi , Duke of Gaeta , and Prince of Capua in Southern Italy over the period from 1027 to 1052. He was an important figure in the final phase of Byzantine authority in the Mezzogiorno and the commencement of Norman power...

 annexed Amalfi
Amalfi
Amalfi is a town and comune in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania, Italy, on the Gulf of Salerno, c. 35 km southeast of Naples. It lies at the mouth of a deep ravine, at the foot of Monte Cerreto , surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery...

, Sorrento
Sorrento
Sorrento is the name of many cities and towns:*Sorrento, Italy*Sorrento, Florida, United States*Sorrento, Louisiana, United States*Sorrento, Maine, United States*Sorrento, Victoria, a township on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia...

, Gaeta
Gaeta
Gaeta is a city and comune in the province of Latina, in Lazio, central Italy. Set on a promontory stretching towards the Gulf of Gaeta, it is 120 km from Rome and 80 km from Naples....

 and the whole duchy of Puglia and Calabria, starting to conceive a future unification of the whole southern Italy under Salerno's arms. The coins minted in the city circulated in all the Mediterranean, with the Opulenta Salernum wording to certify its richness.

However, the stability of the Principate was continually shaken by the Saracen
Saracen
Saracen was a term used by the ancient Romans to refer to a people who lived in desert areas in and around the Roman province of Arabia, and who were distinguished from Arabs. In Europe during the Middle Ages the term was expanded to include Arabs, and then all who professed the religion of Islam...

 attacks and, most of all, by internal struggles. In 1056, one of the numerous plots led to the fall of Guaimar. His weaker son Gisulf II
Gisulf II of Salerno
Gisulf II was the last Lombard prince of Salerno ....

 succeeded him, but the begin of the decline for the principality had begun. In 1077 Salerno reached its zenith but soon lost all its territory to the Normans.

Salerno under the Normans, Hohenstaufen and Anjou


On December 13, 1076 the Norman conqueror Robert Guiscard
Robert Guiscard
Robert d'Hauteville, known as Guiscard, Duke of Apulia and Calabria, from Latin Viscardus and Old French Viscart, often rendered the Resourceful, the Cunning, the Wily, the Fox, or the Weasel was a Norman adventurer conspicuous in the conquest of southern Italy and Sicily...

, who had married Guaimar IV's daughter Sichelgaita, besieged Salerno and defeated his brother-in-law Gisulf. This act put an end to hundreds of years of Lombard dominance, but did not check the city's vitality. In this period the royal palace (Castel Terracena) and the magnificent Arab-Gothic style cathedral were built, and science was boosted as the Salerno Medical School
Schola Medica Salernitana
The Schola Medica Salernitana was the first medieval medical school in the cosmopolitan coastal south Italian city of Salerno, which provided the most important source of medical knowledge in Western Europe at the time...

, considered the most ancient medical institution of European West, reached its maximum splendour.

Salerno played a conspicuous part in the fall of the Norman kingdom. After the Emperor Henry VI
Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry VI was King of Germany from 1190 to 1197, Holy Roman Emperor from 1191 to 1197 and King of Sicily from 1194 to 1197.-Early years:Born in Nijmegen,...

's invasion on behalf of his wife, Constance
Constance of Sicily
Constance of Hauteville was the heiress of the Norman kings of Sicily and the wife of Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor...

, the heiress to the kingdom, in 1191, Salerno surrendered and promised loyalty on the mere news of an incoming army. This so disgusted the archbishop, Nicholas of Ajello, that he abandoned the city and fled to Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, which held out in a siege. In 1194, the situation reversed itself: Naples capitulated, along with most other cities of the Mezzogiorno, and only Salerno resisted. It was sacked and pillaged, much reducing its importance and prosperity. Henry had his reasons, though. He had entrusted Constance to the citizens and they had betrayed him and handed her over to King Tancred
Tancred of Sicily
Tancred was King of Sicily from 1189 to 1194. He was an illegitimate son of Roger III, Duke of Apulia, the eldest son of King Roger II, and of Emma, daughter of Achard II, Count of Lecce...

. Her combined treachery and stubbornness cost Salerno much after the Hohenstaufen
Hohenstaufen
The House of Hohenstaufen was a dynasty of German kings in the High Middle Ages, lasting from 1138 to 1254. Three of these kings were also crowned Holy Roman Emperor. In 1194 the Hohenstaufens also became Kings of Sicily...

 conquest. Henry's son, Frederick II
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick II , was one of the most powerful Holy Roman Emperors of the Middle Ages and head of the House of Hohenstaufen. His political and cultural ambitions, based in Sicily and stretching through Italy to Germany, and even to Jerusalem, were enormous...

, moreover, issued a series of edicts that reduced Salerno's role in favour of Naples (in particular, the foundation of the University of Naples in that city).

Following the advice of Giovanni da Procida
John of Procida
John of Procida was an Italian medieval physician and diplomat.He was born at Salerno, educated in the Schola Medica as a physician. He was a noted physician for his age and received at professorial chair at this university...

 (a famous citizen of that time), King Manfred of Sicily
Manfred of Sicily
Manfred was the King of Sicily from 1258 to 1266. He was a natural son of the emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen but his mother, Bianca Lancia , is reported by Matthew of Paris to have been married to the emperor while on her deathbed.-Background:Manfred was born in Venosa...

, Frederick II's son, ordered a dock that still now has his name, to be built.

Moreover Manfred founded Saint Matthew's Fair, which was the most important in the south of Italy. After the Angevin conquest the city was particularly beautified by the work of the famous sculptor, Boboccio da Piperno, admired by Queen Consort Margherita of Durazzo
Margherita of Durazzo
Margaret of Durazzo was Queen of Naples and Hungary and Princess of Achaea as the spouse of Charles III of Naples, and later regent of Naples during the minority of her son....

 who took up her abode in Salerno and was buried in the monumental tomb, which is today in the cathedral.

Salerno and the revival of medical learning in Western Europe


A noted medical school
Schola Medica Salernitana
The Schola Medica Salernitana was the first medieval medical school in the cosmopolitan coastal south Italian city of Salerno, which provided the most important source of medical knowledge in Western Europe at the time...

, or series of schools, existed at Salerno from at least the 10th century, and by the 11th century it was widely acknowledged by contemporaries as the centre of medical knowledge in western Europe, in much the same way as Alexandria had been in the ancient world.

Around 1060 a Benedictine monk and native of Carthage, Constantine the African
Constantine the African
Constantine the African was a Tunisian doctor of the eleventh century. The first part of his life was spent in Tunisia and the rest in Italy. In Salerno, Italy, he became a professor of medicine and his work attracted widespread attention...

, arrived at the Abbey of Monte Cassino
Monte Cassino
Monte Cassino is a rocky hill about southeast of Rome, Italy, c. to the west of the town of Cassino and altitude. St. Benedict of Nursia established his first monastery, the source of the Benedictine Order, here around 529. It was the site of Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944...

, 100 miles to the north of Salerno. With his knowledge of Arabic and Greek as well as Latin, he began to translate many of the medical texts from ancient Greece and Rome from the surviving Arabic translations into Latin. Constantine translated around twenty major works himself, such as Galen
Galen
Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus , better known as Galen of Pergamon , was a prominent Roman physician, surgeon and philosopher...

's Ars Parva, Hippocratic
Hippocrates
Hippocrates of Cos or Hippokrates of Kos was an ancient Greek physician of the Age of Pericles , and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine...

 work including the Aphorisms and the Prognostics and the great encyclopedic work known as the patengi. However, his most significant translation was probably the Isogoge of Joanittius, which would serve as an introduction to medical theory and practice for centuries.


The Princes of Sanseverino


From the 14th century onwards, most of the Salerno province became the territory of the Princes of Sanseverino, powerful feudal lords who acted as real owners of the region. They accumulated an enormous political and administrative power and attracted artists and men of letters in their own princely palace. In the 15th century the city was the scene of battles between the Angevin
Capetian House of Anjou
The Capetian House of Anjou, also known as the House of Anjou-Sicily and House of Anjou-Naples, was a royal house and cadet branch of the direct House of Capet. Founded by Charles I of Sicily, a son of Louis VIII of France, the Capetian king first ruled the Kingdom of Sicily during the 13th century...

 and the Catalan-Aragonese
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

 royal houses with whom the local lords took sides alternatingly.

In the first decades of the 16th century the last descendent of the Sanseverino princes, Ferdinando Sanseverino
Ferdinando Sanseverino
Ferdinando Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno was an Italian condottiero.-Biography:Born in Naples, he was the son of Roberto Sanseverino and a noble girl from a Salerno family. Fernando Sanseverino was the last of the Sanseverino Princes of Salerno.He fought for Emperor Charles V in Germany and France...

, was in conflict with the viceroy of the king of Aragon, mainly because of his opposition to the Inquisition
Inquisition
The Inquisition, Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis , was the "fight against heretics" by several institutions within the justice-system of the Roman Catholic Church. It started in the 12th century, with the introduction of torture in the persecution of heresy...

, causing the ruin of the whole family and the beginning of a long period of decadence for the city. The years 1656, 1688 and 1694 represent sorrowful dates for Salerno: the plague and the earthquake which caused many victims.

A slow renewal of the city occurred in the 18th century with the end of the Spanish dominion and the construction of many refined houses and churches characterising the main streets of the historical centre.

In 1799 Salerno was incorporated into the Parthenopean Republic. During the Napoleonic era
Napoleonic Era
The Napoleonic Era is a period in the history of France and Europe. It is generally classified as including the fourth and final stage of the French Revolution, the first being the National Assembly, the second being the Legislative Assembly, and the third being the Directory...

, first Joseph Bonaparte
Joseph Bonaparte
Joseph-Napoléon Bonaparte was the elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who made him King of Naples and Sicily , and later King of Spain...

 and then Joachim Murat
Joachim Murat
Joachim-Napoléon Murat , Marshal of France and Grand Admiral or Admiral of France, 1st Prince Murat, was Grand Duke of Berg from 1806 to 1808 and then King of Naples from 1808 to 1815...

 ascended the Neapolitan throne. The latter decreed the closing of the Salerno Medical School
Schola Medica Salernitana
The Schola Medica Salernitana was the first medieval medical school in the cosmopolitan coastal south Italian city of Salerno, which provided the most important source of medical knowledge in Western Europe at the time...

, that had been declining for decades to the level of a theoretical school. In the same period even the religious Orders were suppressed and numerous ecclesiastical properties were confiscated.

The city expanded beyond the ancient walls and sea connections were potentiated as they represented an important road network that crossed the town connecting the eastern plain with the area leading to Vietri and Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

.

Unification of Italy


Salerno was an active center of Carbonari
Carbonari
The Carbonari were groups of secret revolutionary societies founded in early 19th-century Italy. The Italian Carbonari may have further influenced other revolutionary groups in Spain, France, Portugal and possibly Russia. Although their goals often had a patriotic and liberal focus, they lacked a...

 activities supporting the Unification of Italy in the 19th century.

The majority of the population of Salerno supported ideas of the Risorgimento, and in 1861 many of them joined Garibaldi in his struggle for unification.

19th century industrialization


After the unification of Italy a slow urban development continued, many suburban areas were enlarged and large public and private buildings were created. The city went on developing till the Second World War. Its population rose from 20 thousand people around 1861s unification to 80 thousands in early 20th century.

During 19th century foreign industries start settling in Salerno: in 1830 a first textile mill was established by the Swiss enterpreneur Züblin Vonwiller, followed by Schlaepfer-Wenner's textile mills and dye factories; the Wenner family settled permanently in Salerno

At same time Dini's flour mills and pasta factories were founded.


In 1877 the city was the site of as many as 21 textile mills employing around 10 thousand workers; in comparison with the four thousand employed in Turin's textile industry, Salerno was sometimes referred to as the "Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 of the two Sicilies".

World War II, "Salerno Capital" and actual developments


In September 1943, Salerno was the scene of the Operation Avalanche and suffered a great deal of damage. From February 12 to July 17, 1944, it hosted the Government of Marshal Pietro Badoglio
Pietro Badoglio
Pietro Badoglio, 1st Duke of Addis Abeba, 1st Marquess of Sabotino was an Italian soldier and politician...

. In those months Salerno was the temporary "Capital of the Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

", and the King Victor Emmanuel III lived in a mansion in its outskirts.

The post-war period was difficult for all the Italian cities, but Salerno managed to improve little by little and to aim at becoming a modern European city. In recent years the town administration has taken great strides giving a great impulse to the revaluation of the whole urban territory. The city's population doubled in a few years, from 80,000 in 1946 to nearly 160,000 in 1976.

Main sights



Salerno is located at the geographical center of a triangle nicknamed Tourist Triangle of the 3 P (namely a triangle with the corners in Pompei
Pompei
Pompei is a city and comune in the province of Naples in Campania, southern Italy, famous for its ancient Roman ruins. As of 2010 its population was of 25,671.-History:...

, Paestum
Paestum
Paestum is the classical Roman name of a major Graeco-Roman city in the Campania region of Italy. It is located in the north of Cilento, near the coast about 85 km SE of Naples in the province of Salerno, and belongs to the commune of Capaccio, officially also named...

 and Positano
Positano
Positano is a village and comune on the Amalfi Coast , in Campania, Italy. The main part of the city sits in an enclave in the hills leading down to the coast.-History:...

). This peculiarity gives Salerno special tourist characteristics that are increased by the many local points of tourist interest like the Lungomare Trieste, the Castello di Arechi, the Duomo and the Museo Didattico della Scuola Medica Salernitana.

Lay sights

  • Lungomare Trieste. This Promenade was created from the sea during the 1950s and it is one of the best in Italy, at the level (and imitation) of those in the French Riviera
    French Riviera
    The Côte d'Azur, pronounced , often known in English as the French Riviera , is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France, also including the sovereign state of Monaco...

    . It has an extension of nearly five miles with many rare palms.
  • Castello di Arechi ("Arechis Castle") is a massive castle commanding the city from a 300 m (984.25 ft) hill. It was enlarged by Arechis II over a pre-existing Roman-Byzantine construction. Today it houses rooms for exhibitions and congresses. The Castle offers a complete and spectacular view of the city and the Gulf of Salerno
    Gulf of Salerno
    The Gulf of Salerno is a gulf of the Tyrrhenian Sea in the coast of the province of Salerno in south-western Italy. The northern part of this coast is the touristic Costiera Amalfitana, including towns like Amalfi, Maiori, Positano and the city of Salerno itself.The Gulf of Salerno is separated...

    .

  • Centro storico di Salerno. The "Historical Downtown Salerno" is believed to be one of the best maintained in the Italian peninsula. Its "Via dei mercanti" (merchant street) is even today the main bulk of the shopping in the city. The Duomo is its centre.
  • Giardino della Minerva. The "Garden of Minerva" is situated in the fringes of the Castle hill that dominates the old Salerno. In it can be found the medieval "Hortus sanitatis" of the Schola Medica Salernitana
    Schola Medica Salernitana
    The Schola Medica Salernitana was the first medieval medical school in the cosmopolitan coastal south Italian city of Salerno, which provided the most important source of medical knowledge in Western Europe at the time...

    , that was the first European "Orto Botanico" (botanic garden).
  • Parco del Mercatello. The "Park of Mercatello" is situated in the eastern section of the city. It was made in 1998 and with its ten Ha is one the biggest in Italy.
  • Forte La Carnale. The "Castle La Carnale" got his name from a medieval battle against the Arabs and is part of a sport complex (with pool, tennis courts and hockey). Actually it is used as a cultural center for expositions and meetings.
  • Villa Comunale di Salerno. The garden of the old city hall is actually a huge recreation area in front the Salerno Theater (the "Teatro Verdi"), with a fountain (called "Don Tullio") done in 1790.
  • Colle Bellara, a hill from which it is possible to see the Amalfi Coast
    Amalfi Coast
    -In popular culture:The Amalfi Coast is a popular destination among tourists. It was featured in "Positano," a short story written by American author John Steinbeck in 1953...

     up to the Cilento
    Cilento
    Cilento is an Italian geographical region of Campania in the central and southern part of the Province of Salerno and an important tourist area of southern Italy.-Geography:...

    .
  • Teatro Verdi. The Salerno Theater ("Teatro Verdi") was done in 1872 and is decorated with paintings of Gaetano D'Agostino. The theater was heavily damaged during the 1980 earthquake and rebuilt in 1994, during the celebrations for the fifty years of "Salerno Capital of Italy".

  • Palazzo di Città di Salerno (Town Hall). It was constructed in 1936 in typical Fascist style. Its main saloon, the "Marmol Saloon" was the meeting room for the first Government of the Kingdom of Italy
    Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
    The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

     after the fall of Fascism
    Fascism
    Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

     in 1943.
  • Palazzo Genovese. In baroque style of the 17th century, was rebuilt by the arquitect Ferdinando Sanfelice
    Ferdinando Sanfelice
    Ferdinando Sanfelice was an Italian late Baroque architect and painter.Sanfelice was born in Naples and died there. He was one of the principal architects in Naples in the first half of the 18th century. He was a student of Francesco Solimena.Sanfelice was known primarily for temporary displays...

    .
  • Palazzo Pinto. It is situated in the middle of the "Via dei Mercanti" (merchant street) and has the "Pinacoteca Provinciale" (Paintings Museum of the Province).
  • Palazzo De Ruggiero. Noble building done in the 16th century, situated near the Cathedral.
  • Castel Terracena, built by Robert Guiscard in 1076–1086 as a Royal Mansion, next to the Eastern walls. Only scarce remains (mainly tower-houses in tuff
    Tuff
    Tuff is a type of rock consisting of consolidated volcanic ash ejected from vents during a volcanic eruption. Tuff is sometimes called tufa, particularly when used as construction material, although tufa also refers to a quite different rock. Rock that contains greater than 50% tuff is considered...

    ) can be seen today, as it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1275.
  • Palazzo Fruscione. Medieval Palace erected in the 12th century. It includes walls of the Arechis II Royal Mansion.
  • Palazzo Copeta. It is situated in the Lombard section of the city. It hosted the last lessons of the Schola Medica Salernitana
    Schola Medica Salernitana
    The Schola Medica Salernitana was the first medieval medical school in the cosmopolitan coastal south Italian city of Salerno, which provided the most important source of medical knowledge in Western Europe at the time...

     during Napoleon times.
  • Palazzo d'Avossa. Noble Palace rebuilt in the 17th century by the arquitect Ferdinando Sanfelice
    Ferdinando Sanfelice
    Ferdinando Sanfelice was an Italian late Baroque architect and painter.Sanfelice was born in Naples and died there. He was one of the principal architects in Naples in the first half of the 18th century. He was a student of Francesco Solimena.Sanfelice was known primarily for temporary displays...

    . It has frescoes inspired by Torquato Tasso
    Torquato Tasso
    Torquato Tasso was an Italian poet of the 16th century, best known for his poem La Gerusalemme liberata , in which he depicts a highly imaginative version of the combats between Christians and Muslims at the end of the First Crusade, during the siege of Jerusalem...

    's Gerusalemme liberata
  • Palazzo Ruggi d'Aragona. Palace built in the 15th century near the "Via dei Mercanti" (merchant street).
  • Palazzo Morese. Built in the 14th century and later renovated in Baroque style, facing the Cathedral.

Churches





  • The Salerno Cathedral
    Cathedral of Salerno
    Salerno Cathedral is the main church of the city of Salerno in southern Italy. It is considered the main tourist attraction of the city.It is dedicated to Saint Matthew, one of the four Evangelists, whose tomb is inside the Cripta....

     dominates with the characteristic Bell-Tower the historical downtown Salerno. In the Cripta there it is the tomb of one of the twelve apostles of Cristo
    Christ
    Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

    , Saint Matthew the Evangelist. The Cathedral is the main tourist attraction of the city.
  • Chiesa della SS. Annunziata (14th century) located near the northern entrance of medieval Salerno (called "Portacatena"). It has a beautiful tower-bell done by the arquitect Ferdinando Sanfelice
    Ferdinando Sanfelice
    Ferdinando Sanfelice was an Italian late Baroque architect and painter.Sanfelice was born in Naples and died there. He was one of the principal architects in Naples in the first half of the 18th century. He was a student of Francesco Solimena.Sanfelice was known primarily for temporary displays...

    .
  • Chiesa di San Gregorio. The church was built in the 10th century near the "Via dei Mercanti" (merchant street): a document states its existence in 1058. Actually is the home of the "Museo didattico della Scuola Medica Salernitana" (Museum of the Salerno Medical School).
  • Chiesa di San Giorgio. The Church of San Giorgio is the most beautiful Baroque church of Salerno. It has paintings of Andrea Sabatini and high-quality frescoes by Francesco
    Francesco Solimena
    Francesco Solimena was a prolific Italian painter of the Baroque era, one of an established family of painters and draughtsmen.-Biography:Francesco Solimena was born in Canale di Serino, near Avellino....

     and Angelo Solimena (late 17th century). It is related to one of the most ancient monasteries of the city, dating back to the early 9th century, in which remains of apse frescoes have been recently brought to light.
  • Chiesa di San Pietro in Vinculis. It is located on the "Piazza Portanova" (Square Portanova) and has Renaissance
    Renaissance
    The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

     paintings.
  • Chiesa di San Benedetto The St. Benedict church was originally part of monastery from 7th-9th centuries, connected to a massive aqueduct whose remains are still visible today. After the Saracen destruction in 884, it was rebuilt by Abbot Angelarius with a nave and two aisles. Remains of an entrance quadriporticus can still be seen.
  • Chiesa di Sant'Agostino. The church is renowned for the "Madonna di Costantinopoli" (Virgin of Costantinopole) inside.
  • Chiesa di Sant'Apollonia.
  • Chiesa del Santissimo Crocifisso. The church located in the "Via dei Mercanti" (merchant street) has a "Cripta" of the 10th century.
  • Chiesa di San Pietro a Corte. A Lombard church from the 10th century, it was part of Arechis II's Royal Mansion with the name "Cappella Palatina".
  • Chiesa dell'Annunziatella. The church is located near the old Roman Forum
    Roman Forum
    The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum...

     and has a beautiful fountain of the 16th century near the entrance.

Monuments

  • Faro della Giustizia. Monument of the Judiciary Citadel of Salerno, near the "Colle Bellara.
  • Monumento al Marinaio. Monument to the sailors, situated in Concordia square, in front of the tourist port "Masuccio Salernitano".

Museums and galleries

  • Museo Archeologico Provinciale. The Museum is located inside the old "San Benedetto Monastery" and is internationally renowned for its "Testa di Apollo" (head of Apollo
    Apollo
    Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in Greek and Roman mythology...

    ).
  • Museo Didattico della Scuola Medica Salernitana. Located inside the Lombard church of San Gregorio. The Museum has noteworthy documents from the Schola Medica Salernitana
    Schola Medica Salernitana
    The Schola Medica Salernitana was the first medieval medical school in the cosmopolitan coastal south Italian city of Salerno, which provided the most important source of medical knowledge in Western Europe at the time...

    .
  • Museo Diocesano di Salerno. It is located near the Salerno Cathedral and has many precious objects of religious art.
  • Pinacoteca Provinciale. Located inside the "Palazzo Pinto" in the "Via dei Mercanti" (Merchant street). It has many Renaissance
    Renaissance
    The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

     paintings (like those of Andrea Sabatini, who worked in the Cappella Sistina).

Archeology

  • Area archeologica etrusco-sannitica di Fratte. The archeological area (in Fratte) of the etruscans and "Sanniti" is the most southern in Italy and is located in the eastern outskirts of Salerno. It has a huge "necropolis".

Culture


Salerno hosted the oldest university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, the Schola Medica Salernitana
Schola Medica Salernitana
The Schola Medica Salernitana was the first medieval medical school in the cosmopolitan coastal south Italian city of Salerno, which provided the most important source of medical knowledge in Western Europe at the time...

, the most important source of medical knowledge in Europe in the early Middle Ages.

The University Institute of Magistero "Giovanni Cuomo", founded in 1944, received, therefore, the distinguished heritage of an ancient tradition.

Since 1968, when the University of Salerno
University of Salerno
The University of Salerno is a university located in Salerno, Italy. It is organized in 10 Faculties.-History:Salerno, a city in which, as Michelet said, “emperors, kings, popes, and the richest barons all had their own doctor”, developed during the Middle Ages around its prestigious School of...

 became public, enrollment has increased substantially. Today the two campuses of Fisciano and Baronissi take in over 40,000 students attending the wide range of subjects offered by the 10 Faculties: Economics, Pharmaceutics, Law, Engineering, Humanities, Foreign Languages, Political Science, Natural Science, Mathematics and Physics, Education Science. Now Medicine and Surgery has been added next to the main Hospital of Salerno in the San Leonardo area.

Demographics


In 2007, there were 140,580 people residing in Salerno, located in the province of Salerno, Campania
Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

, of whom 46.7% were male and 53.3% were female. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled 19.61 percent of the population compared to pensioners who number 21.86 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06 percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners). The average age of Salerno residents is 42 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Salerno grew by 2.02 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.85 percent. The current birth rate of Catania is 7.77 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births.

As of 2006, 98.05% of the population was Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

. The largest immigrant group came from other Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an countries (particularly from Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

): 1.20%. There are very small numbers of North Africans, Asians, and migrants from the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

. The population is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic.

Economy


The economy of Salerno is mainly based on services and tourism, as most of the city's manufacturing base did not survive the economic crisis of the 1970s. The remaining ones are connected to pottery
Pottery
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

 and food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

 production and treatment.

The port of Salerno is one of the most active of the Tyrrhenian Sea
Tyrrhenian Sea
The Tyrrhenian Sea is part of the Mediterranean Sea off the western coast of Italy.-Geography:The sea is bounded by Corsica and Sardinia , Tuscany, Lazio, Campania, Basilicata and Calabria and Sicily ....

. It moves some 7 millions of tons of goods a year, 60% of which is made up by containers.

Transportation


The Salerno airport at Pontecagnano, in the souther outskirt of the city, started international passenger traffic in July 2008. There were direct flights to Milan Malpensa (Italy), Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

 (Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

) and Bucharest Baneasa (Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

).
From October 2011 there are only direct flights to Milan Malpensa operated by Alitalia
Alitalia
Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. , in its later stages known as Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. in Extraordinary Administration, was the former Italian flag carrier...

.
In 2010 the "Metropolitan railway service" connecting the historical center with the new eastern areas of the town (and, in the future, the airport at Pontecagnano) was completed. , it has still be activated.

Twin towns — Sister cities


Salerno is twinned with:
Tōno
Tono, Iwate
is a city located in Iwate, Japan. The city of Tōno lies near the center of Iwate Prefecture in the floodplain of the Sarugaishi River. It is known as "The City of Folklore" for its rural nature, its preservation of traditional culture and especially for the collection of folktales, Tōno...

 (Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, since 1984) Rouen
Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

 (France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, since 2003)

See also


  • List of Princes of Salerno
  • Principality of Salerno
    Principality of Salerno
    The Lombard Principality of Salerno was a South Italian state, centered on the port city of Salerno, formed in 851 out of the Principality of Benevento after a decade-long civil war....

  • Schola Medica Salernitana
    Schola Medica Salernitana
    The Schola Medica Salernitana was the first medieval medical school in the cosmopolitan coastal south Italian city of Salerno, which provided the most important source of medical knowledge in Western Europe at the time...


  • Salerno railway station
    Salerno railway station
    Salerno railway station serves the Italian city of Salerno and was opened in 1866.-Overview:It is located at the junction of several lines, including two major national lines, the Naples–Salerno line and the Salerno–Reggio Calabria line. It is also served by two regional lines, the...

  • Salerno Calcio
  • Operation Avalanche


External links