Salerno (Italian: [saˈlɛrno] (listen); Salernitano: Salierne, IPA: [saˈljərnə]) is an ancient city and comune in Campania (southwestern Italy) and is the capital of the province of the same name. It is located on the Gulf of Salerno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The city is divided into three distinct zones: the medieval sector, the 19th century sector and the more densely populated post-war area, with its several apartment blocks.
Human settlement at Salerno has a rich and vibrant past, dating back to pre-historic times. The site has been one of the most important and strategic ports on the Mediterranean sea, yielding a rich Greco-Roman heritage. It was an independent Lombard principality, Principality of Salerno, in the early Middle Ages. During this time, the Schola Medica Salernitana, the first medical school in the world, was founded. In the 16th century, under the Sanseverino family, among 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. After a period of Spanish rule which would last until the 18th century, Salerno became part of the Parthenopean Republic.
In recent history the city hosted Victor Emmanuel III, the King of Italy, who moved from Rome in 1943 after Italy negotiated a peace with the Allies in World War II, making Salerno the home of the "government of the South" (Regno del Sud) and therefore provisional government seat for six months. Some of the Allied landings during Operation Avalanche (the invasion of Italy) occurred near Salerno. Today Salerno is an important cultural centre in Campania and Italy.
|Comune di Salerno|
Panorama of Salerno
Salerno within the Province of Salerno and Campania
Location of Salerno
Location of Salerno in Italy
|• Mayor||Vincenzo Napoli (PD)|
|• Total||59.85 km2 (23.11 sq mi)|
|Elevation||4 m (13 ft)|
|• Density||2,200/km2 (5,800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
84121 to 84135
|Patron saint||Saint Matthew|
The area of what is now Salerno has been continuously settled since pre-historical times, as the discoveries of Neolithic mummy remains documents.. The Oscan-Etruscan city of Irna (founded in the 6th century BC), is situated across the Irno river, in what is today the quarter of Fratte. This settlement represented an important base for Etruscan trade with the nearby Greek colonies of Posidonia and Elea. It was occupied by the Samnites around the 5th century BC as consequence of the Battle of Cumae (474 BC) as part of the Syracusan sphere of influence.
With the Roman advance in Campania, Irna began to lose its importance, being supplanted by the new Roman colony (197 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, which ran towards Lucania and Reggio Calabria.
Archaeological remains, although fragmentary, suggest the idea of a flourishing and lively city. Under the Emperor Diocletian, in the late 3rd century AD, Salernum became the administrative centre of the "Lucania and Bruttii" province.
In the following century, during the Gothic Wars, the Goths were defeated by the Byzantines, and the Salerno briefly returned to the control of Constantinople (from 553 to 568), before the Lombards invaded almost the whole peninsula. Like many coastal cities of southern Italy (Gaeta, Sorrento, Amalfi), Salerno initially remained untouched by the newcomers, falling only in 646. It subsequently became part of the Duchy of Benevento.
Under the Lombard dukes Salerno enjoyed the most splendid period of its history.
In 774 Arechis II of Benevento transferred the seat of the Duchy of Benevento to Salerno, in order to elude Charlemagne'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. 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 independence from Benevento, becoming the capital of a flourishing principality stretching out to Capua, northern Calabria and Apulia up to Taranto.
Around the year 1000 prince Guaimar IV annexed Amalfi, Sorrento, Gaeta and the whole duchy of Apulia 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 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 succeeded him, but the decline of the principality had begun. In 1077 Salerno reached its zenith but soon lost all its territory to the Normans.
On 13 December 1076, the Norman conqueror Robert Guiscard, who had married Guaimar IV's daughter Sikelgaita, besieged Salerno and defeated his brother-in-law Gisulf. In this period the royal palace of Castel Terracena and the cathedral were built, and science was boosted as the Schola Medica Salernitana, considered the most ancient medical institution of European West, reached its maximum splendour. At this time in the late 11th century, the city was home to 50,000 people.
Salerno played a conspicuous part in the fall of the Norman Kingdom. After the Emperor Henry VI's invasion on behalf of his wife, Constance, 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, Nicolò d'Aiello, that he abandoned the city and fled to 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 after his retreat from invasion in 1191 they had received letters about the events from Nicolò and betrayed Henry, attacked Constance at Castel Terracena and handed her over to King Tancred of Sicily, making the Empress captive for nearly one year. Her combined treachery and stubbornness cost Salerno much after the Hohenstaufen conquest. Henry's son, Frederick II, 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).
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 and the Aragonese royal houses with whom the local lords took sides alternatingly.
In the first decades of the 16th century, the last descendant of the Sanseverino princes, Ferdinando Sanseverino, was in conflict with the viceroy of the king of Spain, mainly because of his opposition to the Inquisition, causing the ruin of the whole family and the beginning of a long period of decadence for the city.
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, first Joseph Bonaparte and then Joachim Murat ascended the Neapolitan throne. The latter decreed the closing of the Schola Medica Salernitana, 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.
Salerno was an active center of Carbonari 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.
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 until World War II. Its population rose from 20,000 people around 1861s unification to 80,000 in the early 20th century.
During the 19th century, foreign industries started settling in Salerno: in 1830 a first textile mill was established by the Swiss entrepreneur Züblin Vonwiller, followed by Schlaepfer-Wenner's textile mills and dye factories; the Wenner family settled permanently in Salerno. In 1877 the city was the site of as many as 21 textile mills employing around ten thousand workers; in comparison with the four thousand employed in Turin's textile industry, Salerno was sometimes referred to as the "Manchester of the two Sicilies".
In September 1943, during World War II, Salerno was the scene of Operation Avalanche, the invasion of Italy launched by the Allies of World War II, and suffered a great deal of damage. Henry Wellesley, 6th Duke of Wellington, who was killed in Action during the fighting, is buried in Salerno War Cemetery. From 12 February to 17 July 1944, it hosted the Government of Marshal Pietro Badoglio. In those months Salerno was the provisional government seat of the Kingdom of Italy, and the King Vittore Emanuele III lived in a mansion in its outskirts.
After the war the population of the city doubled in a few years, going from 80,000 in 1946 to nearly 160,000 in 1976.
The city is situated at the northwestern end of the plain of the Sele Rriver, at the exact beginning of the Amalfi coast. The small river Irno crosses through the central section of Salerno. The highest point is "Monte Stella" with its 953 metres (3,127 ft).
Salerno has a Mediterranean climate, 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 (39 in) of rain every year. The strong wind that comes from the mountains toward the Gulf of Salerno makes the city very windy (mainly in winter). However, this gives Salerno the advantage of being one of the sunniest towns in Italy.
In 2007, there were 140,580 people residing in Salerno, located in the province of Salerno, Campania, of whom 46.7% were male and 53.3% were female. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totaled 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 Salerno is 7.77 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births.
As of 31 December 2010, there were 4,355 foreigners in Salerno. The largest immigrant group came from other European countries (mainly Ukraine and Romania). The population is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic.
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 and food production and treatment.
Salerno station is the main railway station of the city. It is connected to the high-speed railway network via the Milan-Salerno corridor. The main bus stop of Salerno is also at the train station, with both CSTP buses and SITA buses.
A new Maritime Terminal Station was completed in 2016 and will be opened for the 2017 cruise season. Salerno features three marinas: Manfredi Pier, Masuccio Salernitano, and Marina di Arechi (newly opened in 2015).
Salerno hosted the oldest medical school in the world, the Schola Medica Salernitana, the most important source of medical knowledge in Europe in the early Middle Ages. It was closed in 1811 by Joachim Murat.
In 1944 king Vittorio Emanuele III established Istituto Universitario di Magistero "Giovanni Cuomo". In 1968 the university became state-controlled. Today University of Salerno is located in the neighboring town of Fisciano and has about 34,000 students and ten faculties: Arts and Philosophy, Economics, Education, Engineering, Foreign language and literature, Law, Mathematics, Physics and Natural Sciences, Medicine, Pharmacy and Political Science.
The city's main football team is U.S. Salernitana 1919, that plays in Serie B (the second highest football division in Italy). Their home stadium is Stadio Arechi, opened in 1990 and with a capacity of 37,245.
The most successful team in the city is the women's handball team PDO Handball Team Salerno, with its four national titles, four national cups and two national supercups; other noteworthy teams are Arechi in rugby and Rari Nantes Salerno in water polo.
The city has also a good tradition in motorsport.
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, Paestum and Positano). This peculiarity gives Salerno special tourist characteristics that are increased by the many local points of tourist interest like the Lungomare Trieste (Trieste Seafront Promenade), the Castello di Arechi (Arechis' Castle), the Duomo (cathedral) and the Museo Didattico della Scuola Medica Salernitana (Educational Museum of the Salernitan Medical School).
Salerno is twinned with:
The 116th Street crew, also known as the Uptown crew, is a powerful crew within the Genovese crime family. In the early 1960s, Anthony Salerno became one of the most powerful capos in the family. Salerno based the crew out of the Palma Boys Social Club located 416 East 115th Street in East Harlem, Manhattan. By the late 1970s and early 1980s, the 116th Street crew had absorbed and initiated many former members of the vicious East Harlem Purple Gang, an Italian-American murder for hire and drug trafficking gang operating in 1970s Italian Harlem and acting generally independent of the Mafia.Allied invasion of Italy
The Allied invasion of Italy was the Allied amphibious landing on mainland Italy that took place on 3 September 1943 during the early stages of the Italian Campaign of World War II. The operation was undertaken by General Sir Harold Alexander's 15th Army Group (comprising General Mark W. Clark's Fifth Army and General Bernard Montgomery's British Eighth Army) and followed the successful invasion of Sicily. The main invasion force landed around Salerno on 9 September on the western coast in Operation Avalanche, while two supporting operations took place in Calabria (Operation Baytown) and Taranto (Operation Slapstick).Amalfi
Amalfi is a town and comune in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania, Italy, on the Gulf of Salerno. It lies at the mouth of a deep ravine, at the foot of Monte Cerreto (1,315 metres, 4,314 feet), surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery. The town of Amalfi was the capital of the maritime republic known as the Duchy of Amalfi, an important trading power in the Mediterranean between 839 and around 1200.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Amalfi was a popular holiday destination for the British upper class and aristocracy.
Amalfi is the main town of the coast on which it is located, named Costiera Amalfitana (Amalfi Coast), and is today an important tourist destination together with other towns on the same coast, such as Positano, Ravello and others. Amalfi is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
A patron saint of Amalfi is Saint Andrew, the Apostle, whose relics are kept here at Amalfi Cathedral (Cattedrale di Sant'Andrea/Duomo di Amalfi).Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast (Italian: Costiera Amalfitana) is a stretch of coastline on the northern coast of the Salerno Gulf on the Tyrrhenian Sea, located in the Province of Salerno of southern Italy.
The Amalfi Coast is a popular tourist destination for the region and Italy as a whole, attracting thousands of tourists annually. In 1997, the Amalfi Coast was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Anthony Salerno
Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno (August 15, 1911 – July 27, 1992) was an American mobster who served as underboss and front boss of the Genovese crime family in New York City from 1981 until his conviction in 1986. Usually seen wearing a fedora and chomping on a cigar, he was nicknamed "Fat Tony" due to his size.List of railway stations in Campania
This is the list of the railway stations in Campania owned by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, a branch of the Italian state company Ferrovie dello Stato.Naples–Salerno high-speed railway
The Naples–Salerno high-speed railway line (also known in Italian as the Linea a Monte del Vesuvio, meaning the "line up Mount Vesuvius") is a link in the Italian high-speed rail network opened in June 2008. The 29 kilometre-long line is one of the new high-speed lines being built to strengthen rail transport system in Italy and in particular freight and passenger transport in Campania. The line is part of Corridor 1 of the European Union's Trans-European high-speed rail network, which connects Berlin and Palermo.Nicola Salerno
Nicola Salerno, also known as Nisa (11 March 1910 – 22 May 1969) was an Italian lyricist. He formed a famous songwriting duo with Renato Carosone.Operation Avalanche
Operation Avalanche was the codename for the Allied landings near the port of Salerno, executed on 9 September 1943, part of the Allied invasion of Italy. The Italians withdrew from the war the day before the invasion, but the Allies landed in an area defended by German troops. Planned under the name Top Hat, it was supported by the deception plan Operation Boardman.
The landings were carried out by the US Fifth Army, under American General Mark W. Clark. It comprised the U.S. VI Corps, the British X Corps and the US 82nd Airborne Division, a total of about nine divisions. Its primary objectives were to seize the port of Naples to ensure resupply, and to cut across to the east coast, trapping the Axis troops further south.
In order to draw troops away from the landing ground, Operation Baytown was mounted. This was a landing by the British Eighth Army in Calabria in the 'toe' of Italy, on 3 September. Simultaneous sea landings were made by the British 1st Airborne Division at the port of Taranto (Operation Slapstick). British General Bernard Montgomery had predicted Baytown would be a waste of effort because it assumed the Germans would give battle in Calabria; if they failed to do so, the diversion would not work. He was proved correct. After Baytown the Eighth Army marched 300 miles (480 km) north to the Salerno area against no opposition other than engineer obstacles.
The Salerno landings were carried out without previous naval or aerial bombardment in order to achieve surprise. Surprise was not achieved. As the first wave approached the shore at Paestum a loudspeaker from the landing area proclaimed in English, "Come on in and give up. We have you covered." The troops attacked nonetheless.
The Germans had established artillery and machine-gun posts and scattered tanks through the landing zones which made progress difficult, but the beach areas were captured. Around 07:00 a concerted counterattack was made by the 16th Panzer Division. It caused heavy casualties, but was beaten off. Both the British and the Americans made slow progress, and still had a 10 miles (16 km) gap between them at the end of day one. They linked up by the end of day two and occupied 35–45 miles (56–72 km) of coastline to a depth of 6–7 miles (9.7–11.3 km).
Over 12–14 September the Germans organized a concerted counterattack by six divisions of motorized troops, hoping to throw the Salerno beachhead into the sea before it could link with the British Eighth Army. Heavy casualties were inflicted, as the Allied troops were too thinly spread to be able to resist concentrated attacks. The outermost troops were therefore withdrawn in order to reduce the perimeter. The new perimeter was held with the assistance of naval and aerial support, although the German attacks reached almost to the beaches in places. Allied fighter pilots slept under the wings of their aircraft, in order to beat a hasty retreat to Sicily in the event German forces broke the beachhead.Padula
Padula (Cilentan: A Parula) is a comune in the province of Salerno in the Campania region of south-western Italy. It is the home of the Carthusian monastery Certosa di San Lorenzo, sometimes referred to as the Certosa di Padula. As of 2011 its population was of 5,279.Pagani, Campania
Pagani (Neapolitan: Pavan) is a town and comune in Campania, Italy, administratively part of the Province of Salerno. It had 35,834 inhabitants, as of 2016.Policastro Bussentino
Policastro Bussentino (or simply Policastro) is an Italian town and hamlet (frazione) of the municipality of Santa Marina (of which it is the its seat) in the province of Salerno, Campania region. It is a former bishopric, now titular see, and has a population of 1,625.Principality of Salerno
The Lombard Principality of Salerno was a South Italian state, formed in 851 out of the Principality of Benevento after a decade-long civil war.
The port city of Salerno owed allegiance to the Western Emperor, but throughout its history was practically independent and for brief periods even entered into the vassalage of the Byzantine Empire.Province of Salerno
The Province of Salerno (Italian: provincia di Salerno; Campanian: pruvincia 'e Salierno) is a province in the Campania region of Italy.Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Salerno-Campagna-Acerno
The Archdiocese of Salerno-Campagna-Acerno (Latin: Archidioecesis Salernitana-Campaniensis-Acernensis) is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical territory in Campania, southern Italy, created in 1986. The historic Archdiocese of Salerno was in existence from the tenth century, having been elevated from a sixth-century diocese. The Diocese of Acerno was combined with the archdiocese in 1818.On Thursday, June 10, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Luigi Moretti, until then the vice-gerent of the Vicariate of Rome, as Archbishop, succeeding Archbishop Gerardo Pierro.Salerno Costa d'Amalfi Airport
The Salerno Costa d'Amalfi Airport (IATA: QSR, ICAO: LIRI), located in the municipality of Pontecagnano Faiano and close to Bellizzi, is an airport in southern Italy, near to Salerno and the west coastal areas of Amalfi to the north and Cilento to the south. It is also commonly known as Salerno-Pontecagnano Airport.U.S. Salernitana 1919
Unione Sportiva Salernitana 1919, commonly referred to as Salernitana, is
an Italian football club based in Salerno, Campania. Salernitana returned to Serie B in 2015, having finished first in Lega Pro Prima Divisione - Girone C.
The club is the legitimate heir of the former Salernitana Calcio 1919 and there is a sports continuity also with the former Salerno Calcio in the 2011–12 season which restarted from Serie D rather than from Terza Categoria, thanks to Article 52 NOIF of FIGC.The club – named Salerno Calcio – was promoted to Lega Pro Seconda Divisione as it re-obtained the original name of U.S. Salernitana 1919. It was promoted to Lega Pro Prima Divisione the following season.University of Salerno
The University of Salerno (Italian: Università degli Studi di Salerno, UNISA) is a university located in Fisciano and in Baronissi. Its main campus is located in Fisciano while the Faculty of Medicine is located in Baronissi. It is organized in ten faculties.Velia
Velia was the Roman name of an ancient city of Magna Graecia on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was founded by Greeks from Phocaea as Hyele (Ancient Greek: Ὑέλη) around 538–535 BC. The name later changed to Ele and then Elea (; Ancient Greek: Ἐλέα) before it became known by its current Latin and Italian name during the Roman era. Its ruins are located in the Cilento region near the modern village Velia, which was named after the ancient city. The village is a frazione of the comune Ascea in the Province of Salerno, Campania, Italy.
The city was known for being the home of the philosophers Parmenides and Zeno of Elea, as well as the Eleatic school of which they were a part. The site of the acropolis of ancient Elea was once a promontory called Castello a Mare, meaning "castle on the sea" in Italian. It now lies inland and was renamed to Castellammare della Bruca in the Middle Ages.
Cities in Italy by population