Salerno & Paestum
Salerno & Paestum
OPERATING FROM 01 APRIL TILL 31 OCTOBER – DEPARTURE FROM SORRENTO
Operating on the following days: Tuesday
-Air Conditioned Coach
Not included: Optional meals and entrance fees
An excursion from Sorrento to Paestum and Salerno is capable of satisfying all of a tourist’s needs: it includes a visit to one of Italy’s most beautiful and evocative archaeological sites, shopping in a modern and vibrant city, and a visit to a colourful, mediaeval historic centre rich with artwork. With excursions leaving daily, this is surely one of the most rewarding day tours from Sorrento.
Salerno lies 50km from Sorrento and is easily reached in an hour via the motorway. The Romans founded Salerno on the bank of the River Irno (which still runs through the city today), but it was during the early Middle Ages that Salerno attained its highest glory, first under the reign of the Lombardians and then the Normans. The Lombard Prince Arechis of Benevento, in conflict with the emperor Charlemagne (who was also his brother-in-law, as they had married two sisters), moved the capital of his large principality to the coast. Arechis’ work made Salerno the most important city in southern Italy under his ancestors, a seat of merchant traffic and home of the first medical school in Europe (La Scuola Medica Salernitana), in which the Greek, Arab, Hebrew and Latin traditions were merged. Salerno was conquered in the eleventh century by the Norman Robert Guiscard and his armies, who continued to make improvements in the city and to promote the medical school.
All of this history is represented in the city’s historic centre, whose mediaeval urban structure has remained intact. There are narrow streets, ancient workshops and mansions belonging to the nobility that contain the remains of doorways and friezes. Look out for ancient columns, churches that tell a thousand stories and the splendid, romantic cathedral, whose interior contains exceptional works of art. Beyond the historical centre is Salerno’s modern town centre, with a beautiful promenade that extends for 4km, with views of the Amalfi Coast, as well as many modern shops selling the best Made in Italy products.
Less than an hour from Salerno lies Paestum, where you are sure to be wowed by the three large, Greek temples. Large, mighty and structured in magnificent white marble, the temples provide a beautiful reminder of ancient Greek civilisation. Beyond the temples, however, other delights are in store: archaeologists have excavated an entire Graeco-Roman city, which is now open to visitors. Those wishing to visit the museum will see the enormous collection of Greek and Lucani (the ancient people who took the city from the Greeks) vases, as well as the only example of a Greek fresco still in existence: the exceptional Tomb of the Diver. Your excursion from Sorrento to Paestum is sure to be an unforgettable trip.