Salerno may not have the glamorous looks of the Amalfi Coast resorts, but its gritty centro storico (historic centre) is a kind of mini Naples without the mad motor scooters. Anchoring proceedings is an enthralling archeological museum and Norman cathedral worthy of a city twice the size.
If Salerno isn't grand or old enough for you, head 30 minutes south to Paestum, where some of the world's best-preserved Greek temples stand proud among meadows scattered with wildflowers.
Looming on the horizon is the Cilento region, one of this area’s lesser-known glories, split between a largely undeveloped coastal strip and a mountainous interior famed for its orchids. Both are protected within a little-visited national park where villages have a tangible stuck-in-a-time-warp feel and rough trails lure adventurous walkers who don't mind getting lost.