For a long time, Salerno was a city you could best avoid. These days are long gone; the city council has buckled down to give the old city center a facelift and constructed a boulevard along the sea. From being a city that was merely a passage on the way to Pompeii or seaside resorts along the Costiera Amalfitana (Amalfi Coast), Salerno is now a tourist attraction itself.
The city has approximately 140,000 inhabitants.
Salerno is located on the Gulf of the same name, part of the Adriatic Sea, just southeast of Naples. The famous Amalfi Coast (with seaside resorts like Amalfi and Positano) stretches out west of town.
Salerno's economy was hit hard in the seventies of the previous century, when most industry disappeared from the city. This caused the city's decline; nowadays there are only pottery and food factories. Since the city center was done up, tourism has increased significantly and many people are now employed in the service sector. Salerno's port is also important for local economy. It's mainly a container port.
Salerno Costa d'Amalfi Airport is situated near Pontecagnano, about 15 kilometers southeast of the city center. It's easily reachable by rental car via the Tangenziale di Salerno (SS18) or highway A3.
Buses leave from Salerno for seaside resorts on the Amalfi Coast. In summer months, the road is very busy, and for a more relaxed experience it's better to take the ferry. From Salerno there are ferry connections with Positano and Amalfi, and in summer months also with Maiori and Minori.
Salerno is a busy city and drivers behave Italian. In other words, once you're used to it, you can easily move around. Finding a free parking place in the city center isn't easy, but fortunately there are some parking lots, for example near the Salerno train station, near the marina. This parking lot lies at the end of the Via Santi Martiri Salernitani.
Salerno has a good choice of accommodations, but the better hotels and resorts lie further west, along the Amalfi Coast. In the city itself you'll mainly find budget guesthouses and midrange hotels. Some are excellent; others dubious. Check your room before booking it. There are also hotels along the beaches southeast of town and in Vietri sul Mare, on the west side of the commercial port.
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