Two postcard attractions in Campania, in Salerno, here's what not to miss: the Arechi Castle and the Minerva Garden.
1944: February to August Salerno becomes the seat of the Italian government. Salerno Capital for six months! Few right? But they were enough to make them acquire a status and a mentality that go far beyond those of the usual large seaside cities in the South. So many and such have been the urban, architectural and cultural changes, to make it currently one of the most requested destinations, both summer and winter.
Thanks to the sea, Coastal Amalfinata/ Cilentana, the suggestive “Luci d'Artista” Christmas festival and good food, Salerno, I assure you, is always packed with tourists! There are not few times that I have tried to book, even in a "hole", without success: everything is packed.
Whenever I can I run away and I never get tired of walking through the alleys of the historic center, sul Corso so fashionable and glamorous or on the relaxing Lungomare. Like any self-respecting tourist city, Salerno has "its" costs, however there are many activities that a traveler can do in "low cost mode". Two of these are absolutely on the cover.
The Arechi Castle with 5 Euros
Reachable in a few kilometers from the motorway exit, this imposing medieval castle it is the must for those who love history, ancient architecture but, above all ... the panoramic views! The entrance to the castle can be reached after a very enjoyable walk in a dense and cool pine forest. The signs will take you to a dark and long stone corridor, at the end of which, you will enter an elevator with glass walls.
Click up and, what you will see shortly thereafter, will literally take your breath away! From a spectacular location, not surprisingly we also celebrate weddings (not low cost!), You will see the whole Gulf of Salerno: the beginning of the Amalfi Coast with Vietri sul Mare, up to Punta Licosa in the distance.
The Divine and the Savage in a single glance! And then the wonderful sea, a magnificent view of the Port and the whole city which, from above, seems truly immense. The stop on the panoramic terrace costs nothing. The entrance to the castle and its museum costs 5 Euros.
Personally, I recommend not to go into the "mess". Without a guide that illustrates its history, legends, etc., the Castle Arechis it may appear to the tourist as a collection of old stones. I attended one guided tour in costume complete with actors who recalled the facts and events concerning the millennial history of these walls. Really impressive. I don't generally like guided tours, however I realized that the words of a passionate guide (if you are lucky), can totally change the perception of what you are visiting.
The Minerva Gardens with 3 Euros
In full historical center, after a relaxing walk through the alleys, following the signs you will arrive at a panoramic lift (but how, another one ?!) that will lead you to this hidden wonder in the upper part of Salerno. A botanical garden dating back to the Middle Ages built in terraces. It was one of the first (if not the first) botanical garden used in didactic purposes as "Giardino dei Semplici", from which the elderly singers take their name.
Full of arcane symbologies, of ancient fountains and irrigation canals, medicinal plants and cultivated species have been practically there for centuries. The paths and stairs that you will walk on are the same that the ancient monks and doctors of Salerno used to walk. Sitting on the terrace of the herbal tea room in this garden, you can taste many “0 centimeter” infusions. The view from here is also spectacular. The Minerva Gardens host numerous exhibitions and themed events. I was lucky enough to visit the “Butterfly Show” which included direct contact with these living creatures, all in one truly fabulous scenery.