Introducing Salerno & the Cilento
Salerno can be visited on foot, but concentrate on the picturesque centro storico (historic centre) with its labyrinth of colourful earthy streets. This is the only area of the city that was miraculously spared during World War II bombing when the city was designated the capital of Allied Italy. Have a look, too, at the splendid waterfront promenade lined with palm trees. Then, allow at least three hours for the fascinating excavations at Paestum, among the best-preserved Greek temples in the world.
And don’t miss the Cilento region, one of this area’s unsung glories, with a largely undeveloped coastal strip and a beautiful national park. Villages here have a tangible stuck-in-a-time-warp feel, so be prepared for stares. It’s a burgeoning region for walkers, too, and agriturismi (farm-stay accommodation) make perfect bases. The region has some heavyweight sights as well, including an extraordinary monastery, an evocative archaeological site, and intriguing grottoes and caves.