Salerno

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Salerno
Comune
Comune di Salerno
Panorama of Salerno
Panorama of Salerno
Flag of Salerno
Flag
Coat of arms of Salerno
Coat of arms
Salerno within the Province of Salerno and Campania
Salerno within the Province of Salerno and Campania
Salerno is located in Italy
Salerno
Salerno
Location of Salerno in Italy
Coordinates: 40°40′44.50″N 14°45′23.90″E / 40.6790278°N 14.7566389°E / 40.6790278; 14.7566389Coordinates: 40°40′44.50″N 14°45′23.90″E / 40.6790278°N 14.7566389°E / 40.6790278; 14.7566389
CountryItaly
RegionCampania
ProvinceSalerno (SA)
Founded194 BC
Government
 • MayorVincenzo De Luca (PD)
Area
 • Total58 km2 (22 sq mi)
Elevation4 m (13 ft)
Population (30 September 2012)[1]
 • Total131,950
 • Density2,300/km2 (5,900/sq mi)
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code84100
Dialing code089
Patron saintSaint Matthew
WebsiteOfficial website
 
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Salerno
Comune
Comune di Salerno
Panorama of Salerno
Panorama of Salerno
Flag of Salerno
Flag
Coat of arms of Salerno
Coat of arms
Salerno within the Province of Salerno and Campania
Salerno within the Province of Salerno and Campania
Salerno is located in Italy
Salerno
Salerno
Location of Salerno in Italy
Coordinates: 40°40′44.50″N 14°45′23.90″E / 40.6790278°N 14.7566389°E / 40.6790278; 14.7566389Coordinates: 40°40′44.50″N 14°45′23.90″E / 40.6790278°N 14.7566389°E / 40.6790278; 14.7566389
CountryItaly
RegionCampania
ProvinceSalerno (SA)
Founded194 BC
Government
 • MayorVincenzo De Luca (PD)
Area
 • Total58 km2 (22 sq mi)
Elevation4 m (13 ft)
Population (30 September 2012)[1]
 • Total131,950
 • Density2,300/km2 (5,900/sq mi)
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code84100
Dialing code089
Patron saintSaint Matthew
WebsiteOfficial website

Salerno About this sound listen  is a city and comune in Campania (south-western Italy) and is the capital of the province of the same name. It is located on the Gulf of Salerno on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Salerno is the main town close to the Costiera Amalfitana (the "Amalfi Coast" on the Tyrrhenian, which includes the famous towns of Amalfi, Positano, and others) and is mostly known for its Schola Medica Salernitana (the first University of Medicine in the world). In the 16th century, under the Sanseverino family, among the most powerful feudal lords in Southern Italy, the city became a great centre of learning, culture and the arts, and the family hired several of the greatest intellectuals of the time.[2] Later, in 1694, the city was struck by several catastrophic earthquakes and plagues,[2] and afterwards a period of Spanish rule which would last until the 18th century. After that, Salerno became part of the Parthenopean Republic and saw a period of Napoleonic rule.[2]

In recent history the city hosted the King of Italy, who moved from Rome in 1943 after Italy negotiated a peace with the Allies in World War II. A brief so-called "government of the South" was then established in the town, that became the "capital" of Italy for some months. Some of the Allied landings during Operation Avalanche (the invasion of Italy) occurred near Salerno.

Today Salerno is an important cultural centre in Campania and Italy and has had a long and eventful history. The city has a rich and varied culture, and the city is divided into three distinct regions: the medieval sector with a modern state-of-the arts area, the planned 19th century district and the more densely populated post-war area, with its several apartment blocks.[2]

Geography[edit]

The city is situated at the north-western end of the plain of the Sele river, at the exact beginning of the Amalfi coast. The small river Irno crosses through the central section of Salerno.

The climate is mediterranean, with a hot and relatively dry summer (30 °C (86 °F) in August) and a rainy fall and winter (8 °C (46 °F) in January). Usually there is nearly 1,000 mm (39 in) of rain every year. The strong wind that comes from the mountains toward the Gulf of Salerno makes the city very windy (mainly in winter). However, this gives Salerno the advantage of being one of the sunniest towns in Italy.

History[edit]

Pre-Roman times[edit]

The area of what is now Salerno has been continuously settled since pre-historical times, although the first certain signs of human presence date to the period between the 9th and 6th centuries BC. We know the Oscan-Etruscan city of Irna (founded in the 6th century BC), situated across the Irno river, in today's Salernitan quarter of Fratte. This settlement represented an important base for Etruscan trade with the Greek colonies of Posidonia and Elea. It was occupied by the Samnites around the 5th century BC as consequence of the Battle of Cumae (474 BC) as part of the Syracusan Sphere of influence.

The Roman city[edit]

With the Roman advance in Campania, Irna began to lose its importance, being supplanted by the new Roman colony (194 BC) of Salernum, developing around an initial castrum. The new city, which gradually lost its military function in favour of its role as a trade center, was connected to Rome by the Via Popilia, which ran towards Lucania and Reggio Calabria.

Archaeological remains, although fragmentary, suggest the idea of a flourishing and lively city. Under the Emperor Diocletian, in the late 3rd century AD, Salernum became the administrative centre of the "Bruttia and Lucania" province.

In the following century, during the Gothic Wars, the Goths were defeated by the Romans, and the Salerno briefly returned to the control of Constantinople (from 553 to 568), before the Lombards invaded almost the whole peninsula. Like many coastal cities of southern Italy (Gaeta, Sorrento, Amalfi), Salerno initially remained untouched by the newcomers, falling only in 646. It subsequently became part of the Duchy of Benevento.

The Principality of Salerno in 1000

The Lombard city[edit]

Under the Lombard dukes Salerno enjoyed the most splendid period of its history.

In 774 Arechis II of Benevento transferred the seat of the Duchy of Benevento to Salerno, in order to elude Charlemagne's offensive and to secure for himself the control of a strategic area, the centre of coastal and internal communications in Campania.

With Arechis II, Salerno became a centre of studies with its famous Medical School. The Lombard prince ordered the city to be fortified; the Castle on the Bonadies mountain had already been built with walls and towers. In 839 Salerno declared independence from Benevento, becoming the capital of a flourishing principality stretching out to Capua, northern Calabria and Puglia up to Taranto.

Around the year 1000 prince Guaimar IV annexed Amalfi, Sorrento, Gaeta and the whole duchy of Puglia and Calabria, starting to conceive a future unification of the whole southern Italy under Salerno's arms. The coins minted in the city circulated in all the Mediterranean, with the Opulenta Salernum wording to certify its richness.

However, the stability of the Principate was continually shaken by the Saracen attacks and, most of all, by internal struggles. In 1056, one of the numerous plots led to the fall of Guaimar. His weaker son Gisulf II succeeded him, but the decline of the principality had begun. In 1077 Salerno reached its zenith but soon lost all its territory to the Normans.

Salerno under the Normans, Hohenstaufen and Anjou[edit]

On December 13, 1076 the Norman conqueror Robert Guiscard, who had married Guaimar IV's daughter Sichelgaita, besieged Salerno and defeated his brother-in-law Gisulf. This act put an end to hundreds of years of Lombard dominance, but did not check the city's vitality. In this period the royal palace (Castel Terracena) and the magnificent Arab-Gothic style cathedral were built, and science was boosted as the Salerno Medical School, considered the most ancient medical institution of European West, reached its maximum splendour. At this time in the late 1000s the city were home to 50,000 people.[3]

Salerno played a conspicuous part in the fall of the Norman kingdom. After the Emperor Henry VI's invasion on behalf of his wife, Constance, the heiress to the kingdom, in 1191, Salerno surrendered and promised loyalty on the mere news of an incoming army. This so disgusted the archbishop, Nicholas of Ajello, that he abandoned the city and fled to Naples, which held out in a siege. In 1194, the situation reversed itself: Naples capitulated, along with most other cities of the Mezzogiorno, and only Salerno resisted. It was sacked and pillaged, much reducing its importance and prosperity. Henry had his reasons, though. He had entrusted Constance to the citizens and they had betrayed him and handed her over to King Tancred. Her combined treachery and stubbornness cost Salerno much after the Hohenstaufen conquest. Henry's son, Frederick II, moreover, issued a series of edicts that reduced Salerno's role in favour of Naples (in particular, the foundation of the University of Naples in that city).

Following the advice of Giovanni da Procida (a famous citizen of that time), King Manfred of Sicily, Frederick II's son, ordered a dock that still now has his name, to be built.

Moreover Manfred founded Saint Matthew's Fair, which was the most important in the south of Italy. After the Angevin conquest the city was particularly beautified by the work of the famous sculptor, Boboccio da Piperno, admired by Queen Consort Margherita of Durazzo who took up her abode in Salerno and was buried in the monumental tomb, which is today in the cathedral.

The Schola Medica Salernitana in a miniature from Avicenna's Canon.

Salerno and the revival of medical learning in Western Europe[edit]

A noted medical school, or series of schools, existed at Salerno from at least the 10th century, and by the 11th century it was widely acknowledged by contemporaries as the centre of medical knowledge in western Europe, in much the same way as Alexandria had been in the ancient world.

Around 1060 a Benedictine monk and native of Carthage, Constantine the African, arrived at the Abbey of Monte Cassino, 100 mi (161 km) to the north of Salerno. With his knowledge of Arabic and Greek as well as Latin, he began to translate many of the medical texts from ancient Greece and Rome from the surviving Arabic translations into Latin. Constantine translated around twenty major works himself, such as Galen's Ars Parva, Hippocratic work including the Aphorisms and the Prognostics and the great encyclopedic work known as the patengi. However, his most significant translation was probably the Isagoge of Johannitius, which would serve as an introduction to medical theory and practice for centuries.

Salerno in a print from the 17th century.

The Princes of Sanseverino[edit]

From the 14th century onwards, most of the Salerno province became the territory of the Princes of Sanseverino, powerful feudal lords who acted as real owners of the region. They accumulated an enormous political and administrative power and attracted artists and men of letters in their own princely palace. In the 15th century the city was the scene of battles between the Angevin and the Catalan-Aragonese royal houses with whom the local lords took sides alternatingly.

In the first decades of the 16th century the last descendent of the Sanseverino princes, Ferdinando Sanseverino, was in conflict with the viceroy of the king of Spain, mainly because of his opposition to the Inquisition, causing the ruin of the whole family and the beginning of a long period of decadence for the city. The years 1656, 1688 and 1694 represent sorrowful dates for Salerno: the plague and the earthquake which caused many victims.

A slow renewal of the city occurred in the 18th century with the end of the Spanish dominion and the construction of many refined houses and churches characterising the main streets of the historical centre.

In 1799 Salerno was incorporated into the Parthenopean Republic. During the Napoleonic era, first Joseph Bonaparte and then Joachim Murat ascended the Neapolitan throne. The latter decreed the closing of the Salerno Medical School, that had been declining for decades to the level of a theoretical school. In the same period even the religious Orders were suppressed and numerous ecclesiastical properties were confiscated.

The city expanded beyond the ancient walls and sea connections were potentiated as they represented an important road network that crossed the town connecting the eastern plain with the area leading to Vietri and Naples.

Unification of Italy[edit]

Salerno was an active center of Carbonari activities supporting the Unification of Italy in the 19th century.[4]

The majority of the population of Salerno supported ideas of the Risorgimento, and in 1861 many of them joined Garibaldi in his struggle for unification.[5]

19th century industrialization[edit]

After the unification of Italy a slow urban development continued, many suburban areas were enlarged and large public and private buildings were created. The city went on developing till the Second World War. Its population rose from 20 thousand people around 1861s unification to 80 thousand in early 20th century.

During 19th century foreign industries start settling in Salerno: in 1830 a first textile mill was established by the Swiss entrepreneur Züblin Vonwiller, followed by Schlaepfer-Wenner's textile mills and dye factories; the Wenner family settled permanently in Salerno

At same time Dini's flour mills and pasta factories were founded.

The Allied landing at Salerno (September 1943).

In 1877 the city was the site of as many as 21 textile mills employing around ten thousand workers; in comparison with the four thousand employed in Turin's textile industry, Salerno was sometimes referred to as the "Manchester of the two Sicilies".

World War II, "Salerno Capital" and actual developments[edit]

In September 1943, Salerno was the scene of the Operation Avalanche and suffered a great deal of damage.[6] From February 12 to July 17, 1944, it hosted the Government of Marshal Pietro Badoglio. In those months Salerno was the temporary "Capital of the Kingdom of Italy", and the King Victor Emmanuel III lived in a mansion in its outskirts.

The post-war period was difficult for all the Italian cities, but Salerno managed to improve little by little and to aim at becoming a modern European city. In recent years the town administration has taken great strides giving a great impulse to the revaluation of the whole urban territory. The city's population doubled in a few years, from 80,000 in 1946 to nearly 160,000 in 1976.

Brand Salerno

In the last two decades, Salerno became one of the most important cities in the world for great contemporary architecture. In fact, there are operas designed by architects as Zaha Hadid (maritime terminal), Ricardo Bofill (Liberty Square and Crescent), Santiago Calatrava (Marina d'Arechi Port Village), David Chipperfield (judiciary citadel), Massimiliano Fuksas and Renzo Piano. The municipal theatre called Giuseppe Verdi has one of the best lyrical programming of Italy and the city of Salerno is the first city in Italy, for its range of population, for the cycle of rubbish and recycle. The luminous and artistic installations of Christmas period, called Luci d'Artista and prepared with collaboration of Turin, are famous in all Europe. In November 2011 the famous designer Massimo Vignelli, designed a turistic brand for the city of Salerno.

Main sights[edit]

Main tourist sites of Salerno.

Salerno is located at the geographical center of a triangle nicknamed Tourist Triangle of the 3 P (namely a triangle with the corners in Pompei, Paestum and Positano). This peculiarity gives Salerno special tourist characteristics that are increased by the many local points of tourist interest like the Lungomare Trieste (Trieste Seafront Promenade), the Castello di Arechi (Arechis' Castle), the Duomo (cathedral) and the Museo Didattico della Scuola Medica Salernitana (Educational Museum of the Salernitan Medical School).[7]

Lay sights[edit]

"Lungomare Trieste" promenade.
The "Teatro Verdi". In the background—on a hill—can be seen the "Castle of Arechis"

Churches[edit]

Ambone D'Ajello, a pulpit inside the Salerno Cathedral.
The Natività (Nativity) of Andrea Sabatini (called "Andrea da Salerno" when he worked in the Cappella Sistina) can be seen inside the "Palazzo Pinto" of the "Pinacoteca Provinciale"
The bell tower of the Cathedral. Inside the Duomo of Salerno is the tomb of the Apostle Matthew
The port of Salerno.
Via Botteghelle in the old "lombard" area

Monuments[edit]

Museums and galleries[edit]

Archeology[edit]

Culture[edit]

Salerno hosted the oldest university in Europe, the Schola Medica Salernitana, the most important source of medical knowledge in Europe in the early Middle Ages.

The University Institute of Magistero "Giovanni Cuomo", founded in 1944, received, therefore, the distinguished heritage of an ancient tradition.

Since 1968, when the University of Salerno became public, enrollment has increased substantially. Today the two campuses of Fisciano and Baronissi take in over 40,000 students attending the wide range of subjects offered by the 10 Faculties: Economics, Pharmaceutics, Law, Engineering, Humanities, Foreign Languages, Political Science, Natural Science, Mathematics and Physics, Education Science. Now Medicine and Surgery has been added next to the main Hospital of Salerno in the San Leonardo area.

Demographics[edit]

In 2007, there were 140,580 people residing in Salerno, located in the province of Salerno, Campania, of whom 46.7% were male and 53.3% were female. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled 19.61 percent of the population compared to pensioners who number 21.86 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06 percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners). The average age of Salerno residents is 42 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Salerno grew by 2.02 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.85 percent.[8] The current birth rate of Catania is 7.77 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births.

As of 2006, 98.05% of the population was Italian. The largest immigrant group came from other European countries (particularly from Ukraine and Poland): 1.20%. There are very small numbers of North Africans, Asians, and migrants from the Americas. The population is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic.

Economy[edit]

The economy of Salerno is mainly based on services and tourism, as most of the city's manufacturing base did not survive the economic crisis of the 1970s. The remaining ones are connected to pottery and food production and treatment.

The port of Salerno is one of the most active of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It moves some 7 millions of tons of goods a year, 60% of which is made up by containers.

Transportation[edit]

The Salerno airport at Pontecagnano, in the souther outskirt of the city, started international passenger traffic in July 2008. There were direct flights to Milan Malpensa (Italy), Barcelona (Spain) and Bucharest Baneasa (Romania). From October 2011 there are only direct flights to Milan Malpensa operated by Alitalia.[9]

From 2013 there is a "Metropolitan railway service" connecting the historical center with the new eastern areas of the town (and, in the future, the airport at Pontecagnano).[10]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Salerno is twinned with:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Population data from Istat
  2. ^ a b c d http://www.sitiunesco.it/index.phtml?id=674
  3. ^ http://books.google.dk/books?id=Cg7JYZO_nEMC&pg=PA161&dq=amalfi+70,000+population&hl=da&sa=X&ei=8slBU5C2BuLo7AaDjYGQAg&ved=0CEIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=amalfi%2070%2C000%20population&f=false
  4. ^ (Italian) The support for the "Risorgimento" in Salerno
  5. ^ Seton-Watson, "Italy from Liberalism to Fascism, 1870–1925".
  6. ^ In the section "Salerno ieri ed oggi" of the website [1] there are many photos of the fighting and destruction of Salerno during the Allies' landing.
  7. ^ (Italian) [2] - here you can find detailed informations about the "historical downtown" of Salerno
  8. ^ http://demo.istat.it/bil2007/index.html
  9. ^ http://www.aeroportosalerno.it
  10. ^ Page at Salerno municipal website

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]