Heading to the Amalfi Coast? 8 reasons to stay in Salerno.

April 27, 2011

The Amalfi coast is one of Italy’s most popular, and most beautiful, destinations. And when it comes to where to stay in the Amalfi, most people—and guidebooks—have one big suggestion: Sorrento.

It’s true that Sorrento is pretty. And it’s convenient, especially with regards to the 5 must-see sights of the Amalfi coast. But it’s also really touristy… and expensive.

The good news? We’ve found an alternative to Sorrento. It’s just as convenient, cheaper, less touristy, and, in our opinion, it has even more things to do, from museums and restaurants to a big, central beach and provides easy access to Positano.

Our alternative?

Salerno. Here’s why.

Eight reasons to stay in Salerno over Sorrento on any trip to the Amalfi Coast:

1. Unlike Sorrento or elsewhere in the Amalfi coast, Salerno is on the main train line from Rome.

That means you don’t need to change trains in Naples, or anywhere at all. And it’s faster. The fastest train from Rome to Salerno is just 2 hours; slowest, 3 hours 30 minutes. To get to Sorrento, meanwhile, you have to take a train from Rome to Naples (fastest: 1 hour 10 minutes, slowest: 2 hours 45 minutes), then take the Circumvesuviana from Naples to Sorrento in around 1 hour.

In other words? With the amount of time it takes to switch trains, you can get to Salerno faster, for roughly the same amount of money as Sorrento. Or, if you’re comparing the cheapest trains, you can pay around €10 more and get to Salerno about 30-45 minutes sooner.

Other towns on the Amalfi coast, meanwhile, aren’t even connected to the Circumvesuviana, so if you were staying in, say, Amalfi Town, you’d have to take the Circumvesuviana to Sorrento, then switch to a bus.

2. Salerno is super-convenient for getting to other Amalfi coast towns

Salerno bus ride to Amalfi Town in Italy

In fact, that Amalfi coast bus ride that starts at Sorrento? It ends in Salerno. That doesn’t just mean that it’s every bit as easy to get to Positano and Amalfi Town from Salerno as from Sorrento. It also means that, in a lot of ways, it’s better. Since everyone stays in Sorrento, not Salerno (yet!), you’re going in the opposite direction as everyone else —and the buses are less crowded. (What’s that? You don’t know about Positano? Read our blog to find out why you can’t visit the Amalfi Coast without seeing Positano)

In fact, when we took the bus in the morning, from Salerno to Amalfi Town, the only other people on it were locals doing their shopping. We were even able to get the front-of-the-bus seats. If you’ve ever been on the Amalfi bus before, you know that you’re much more likely to wind up without a seat, hanging on for dear life, strangers’ elbows digging into you, than to get a seat with such a great view.

There is one caveat: Unless you take the line all the way to Sorrento (which you can do!), you’ll miss that spectacular scenery that comes up when you’re heading inland, across the mountains between the northern, Bay of Naples coastline to the southern, Amalfi coastline. But, instead, you get more views of the spectacular coastline itself. And the chance to see and even stop in a couple of towns between Salerno and Amalfi Town that are completely missing from the guidebooks… but look every bit as gorgeous as their touristy counterparts to the west.

Read More: How to Get the Most out of the Amalfi Coast 

3. There are other cool places that are easier to explore from Salerno. Like this one.

Paestum, an ancient Greek city founded in the 7th century B.C., has some of the best ancient Greek ruins found anywhere in the world. It’s one of the gems of Italian archeology that many travelers don’t know about but it should be on every list of things to see in Italy.  Its Temple of Hera dates to 550 B.C. (500 years earlier than many of the buildings you’d see at Pompeii!)

Paestum, easy to get to from Salerno, on Italy's Amalfi Coast

From the Amalfi coast, though, Paestum can be tough to get to. And to get there from Sorrento, it requires at least one, if not two, changes in transport. (Here’s an example of just one traveler grappling with how to get to Paestum from Sorrento).

From Salerno? It’s painless. These direct buses take you there in about 50 minutes.

4. It’s also really easy to get to Pompeii.

Thanks to the Circumvesuviana, you can easily reach Pompeii from Sorrento. But you can get to Pompeii from Salerno by train, too. In as little as 20 minutes, you wind up at Pompeii town’s station; a 10- or 15-minute walk brings you to the Pompeii excavation entrance.

5. Ferries also leave from Salerno. But if you’re planning on Capri, there’s a caveat.

Capri is one of the best day trips in Italy. If you want to go by boat, Salerno has lots of options. Take a ferry along the Amalfi coast for a great, and different, view of the coastline. The ferry to Positano from Salerno takes a little over an hour; the ferry to Amalfi Town, 35 minutes.

You can also get to Capri by boat from Salerno. Here, though, is one major benefit to staying in Sorrento instead: It’s closer to Capri. The fastest boat from Sorrento takes just 20 minutes. Capri-bound boats are also more frequent. From Salerno, the fastest boat is 1 hour, 10 minutes; the normal ferry, 2 hours.

Then again, you could always go to Paestum (see #3) or Salerno’s own beach (#6) instead.

6. Salerno’s beach is big… and central.

Since it sits on a clifftop, Sorrento isn’t known for its beaches. The closest beach is very small (and very crowded); the next-closest beach is a 15-minute walk from the center. The nicest beaches in the area are reachable only by bus.

In Salerno, though, the beaches are much bigger. They don’t quite make it onto our list of Italy’s best beaches, but they’re far more convenient. They’re a stone’s throw from the historic center, so you can walk to them right from your hotel. That also means that they’re close to Salerno’s more-industrial port, but hey: At least it’s a little more interesting than the cruise shops that populate Sorrento’s harbor.

7. Salerno is much cheaper than Sorrento.

After all, Salerno is our little secret. Okay, it’s not really a secret, but is has far fewer visitors and fewer tourists = lower prices. For everything. Dinner, coffee, you name it. As far as accommodation goes, we got a lovely triple in a charming bed and breakfast, in the heart of the historic center, breakfast included, with a private balcony, for €85 per night. At the start of high season – and that was one of the pricier places.

8. We think Salerno’s one of the most interesting towns on the Amalfi coast.

Of course, there’s a caveat: If you’re looking for every shop to sell limoncello, postcards, and kitsch, then don’t come here. Salerno is an authentic local’s town. It’s tough to find a postcard (but limoncello abounds!). But here are just a few of the things you can see instead:

  • One of the best-preserved historical centers on the peninsula, characterized by medieval, winding streets. (Sorrento technically has a “centro storico,” but we’re not sure you’d know that’s what it was unless you were told!).
  • A castle, Castello di Arechi, dating back to the 6th century.
  • A number of museums, including the Museo Diocesano, with works of art including everything from medieval illuminated manuscripts to 17th-century paintings by Caravaggio’s followers; the Pinacoteca Regionale with paintings by artists like Andrea Sabatini (who worked with Raphael in the Vatican); and the Provincial Archaeological Museum (currently closed for renovations), with finds including a 6th-century B.C. crown of silver and gold.
  • And all of the benefits that go with a town that’s not tourism-based, like people-watching that lets you take in the locals, rather than other guidebook-clutching travelers, and restaurants that cater to local tastes, rather than serving up the spaghetti and meatballs that they think you think is “real” Italian food.

Read More: The Biggest Mistake People Make When Planning a Trip to Italy (And How to Avoid it)

by Walks of Italy

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Show Comments

279 responses to “Heading to the Amalfi Coast? 8 reasons to stay in Salerno.”

  1. RJ Davis says:

    Loved this article! So much useful and interesting information.

    • Tamra says:

      Thank you so much for this blog. I was starting to regret spending 5 nights in Salerno-(we booked an airbnb positively reviewed private apartment with kitchen for $78/night US) after several trip advisor posts berating our decision to stay in salerno. I was actually thinking of changing my stay. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to find this post. I try to stay off the beaten path and find more local haunts. You blog reminded me I was once again on the right track for less money.

      • Walks of Italy says:

        Thanks for sharing, Tamra! Buon viaggio 🙂

      • Andrew says:

        We are in Salerno RIGHT NOW as a result of my reading this post a few months ago. It is AWESOME. You will love it.

      • Debbie says:

        We are planning to stay in Salerno in MayJune 2015. Do you recommend the apartment you stayed in? We will have 6 people traveling and are just starting to look for apartments. Thanks, Debbie

      • Evie says:

        Hi Tamra,

        I am planning on visiting Salerno with my 2 daughters in October 2015.

        Could you please provide us with more information on the private apartment you stayed in during your trip last August?

        Thank you

    • Jessica says:

      For anyone that is questioning staying in Salerno, don’t! Salerno is a perfect ocean front city with lots of true Italian culture and perfect aces to all of the amalfi coast. Not only was the ferry a fantastic way to hop from one town to another but the train station was also within walking distance. On our trip we were able to visit Amalfi, Positano, Capri, Pompei, Maori, Ravello and Salerno. Besides having a variety of transportation ideas to get around , Salerno Centro Bed & Breakfast is wonderful. You will be spoiled by Francesco and his lovely parents while nestled around fantastic restuarants, family friendly piazza’s to hang in, and plenty of streets to wonder and shop.
      I honestly will miss this trip and truely hope to return. The Amalfi coast is stunning and staying in Salwrno at Salerno Centro B&B made it absolutely memorable!

  2. Vanny says:

    I’m going on a cruise this June and Naples is one of our stops. One of the things I wanted to avoid was the crowds because although I’m cruising, I still appreciate the serenity that comes with a less touristy spot. This post was extremely helpful and you made deciding where to visit much easier. I WILL visit Salerno and hopefully it’s not too touristy by the time I’m there.

    • walksofitaly says:

      We’re so glad to hear that! Being open minded when traveling makes it all the more valuable. Sorrento has become such a famous name that everyone wants to go there, and some see it as the only option! But in reality, there are other options, and this is one of them. We were afraid some would think this post was meant to discourage visiting Sorrento, but that’s certainly not the intention. It’s a lovely town, and one can have a nice experience there. We just think you’ll have a more authentic, better value experience using Salerno as a jumping off point for traveling the Amafli Coast. Have a great trip!

      • salma says:

        we have booked flights to Naples and really want to go towards the Amalfi Coast, can you help? where would you recommend most?
        Salerno sounds good, however on booking.com 2 salerno’s come up?? which is it!!

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Hi Salma, you can look at the hotels in Salerno, Campania, which should be the first option on booking.com. Let us know if you have any questions!

  3. Jeff says:

    Great article. I’m making my fourth visit to Campania next Spring and was thinking of staying in Salerno for 2-3 nights. You have convinced me that I’m on the right track. Thanks!

    • walksofitaly says:

      Glad to be of help Jeff! We’re obviously speaking against the grain on this one, but if when you put the options side by side, to us, Salerno has too many advantages to ignore! Enjoy the true Amalfi coast! 🙂

  4. SanQuirico says:

    My information is out of date but last time I was in Salerno it rather frightened me. It was also out of season so I enjoyed staying in Positano Amalfi & Minori .

    • WEG says:

      I was there the end of Oct. 2013. Have to agree, I didn’t care for Salerno at all. Perhaps if I’d been able to stay in the town center, but I was a solid 30 min walk from the train station. And not a pretty walk at all. And though I liked the harbor area, I thought the beach near where I stayed was quite ugly. Perhaps I just stayed in a crappy part of town and it colored my view, but it was the only AirBnB option on the Amalfi Coast available to me at the time. r

  5. Ruth says:

    I love Salerno, I fell in love with it’s promenade and town the first time I visited. Somehow I always imagined Naples would have a beautiful promenade like Salerno, but not at all.

    I hadn’t thought of staying down in Salerno though, shall have to give it some serious thought for my photography tours.

  6. Pete says:

    Salerno looks lovely! That’s a good tip to stay there. We’ll try it the next time we’re in Campania (rather than Sorrento)

  7. mike k says:

    Thank you for an interesting article. We hope to be heading that direction next year for our third visit. Do you have any suggestions for accommodations in Salerno, the guidebooks that I have aren’t much help.

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Mike,

      Glad to help. For value and convenience, we think B&Bs are one of the best ways to go to in Salerno (modern hotels, unsurprisingly, tend not to be in the lovely historical center!). We’re big fans of Salerno Centro, a B&B right in the centro storico; lovely accommodation and breakfast, our room had a balcony, and it was only 85 euros for 3 people in a triple. While we haven’t stayed here ourselves, Casa Minerva is another lovely B&B in the centro storico, and the Ava Gratia Plena, in the heart of the historic center, is another, even cheaper option (it starts at 33 euros/person). We also like Villa Avenia, which has a beautiful terrace and a swimming pool.

      We hope that helps — let us know how your trip goes!

      • Evelyn says:

        I noticed that most of the accommodation recommended are in Salerno’s centro storico. Do you know of any B&Bs with a view of the coast from the balconies?

        Also, are there any ceramic factories in the area?

        Thank you! 🙂

  8. gabriella says:

    hi, i’d like to know where i can find more informations about buses,trains and boats from salerno to the other towns,as pompeii,for exemple.
    thank you!

  9. Amalfi coast says:

    I agree, staying in Salerno is as convenient as staying in Sorrento for connections, and Salerno is surely less touristy.

  10. Shannon says:

    Great article. just stumbled upon it when researching where to stay on way back up to Rome. Any suggestions for places to stay in Salerno??

    • walksofitaly says:

      For value and convenience, we think B&Bs are one of the best ways to go to in Salerno (modern hotels, unsurprisingly, tend not to be in the lovely historical center!). We’re big fans of Salerno Centro, a B&B right in the centro storico; lovely accommodation and breakfast, our room had a balcony, and it was only 85 euros for 3 people in a triple. While we haven’t stayed here ourselves, Casa Minerva is another lovely B&B in the centro storico, and the Ava Gratia Plena, in the heart of the historic center, is another, even cheaper option (it starts at 33 euros/person). We also like Villa Avenia, which has a beautiful terrace and a swimming pool.

  11. catherine says:

    hello! your article made me rethink my travel plans. i want to go to salerno now instead of sorrento but i want to do a day trip to naples. is it better to just stay in sorrento then?
    my initial itinerary:
    may 30: leave rome early morning head to pompeii then sorrento
    may 31: day trip to naples
    june 1:go to positano or procida

    is it possible to do:
    may 30: rome -pompeii to salerno
    may 31: salerno to paestum and maybe another amalfi town
    june 1: salerno-naples to salerno.

    if it is too far is it feasible to do 1 night in naples and 2 nights in salerno?

    initially going to buy a campania artecard. but i do not think that the train ride from naples to salerno (vice versa) is covered by it.

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Catherine,

      We’re happy to help! As for your question about a day trip to Naples, it’s actually just as easy to get to Salerno from Naples as it is to get to Sorrento. The Napoli to Salerno train takes only 40 minutes (you can plug in Napoli and Salerno on http://www.trenitalia.com for the exact schedule), while the Napoli to Sorrento train takes 50 minutes (this train is on the local Circumvesuviana line, not a Trenitalia line, so you can find the exact schedule here). Overall, both the itineraries you’ve outlined have about the same amount of time on transportation, so really it’s up to what you would want to see.

      One trick to keep in mind: There’s a Pompeii stop that many people don’t think about that is on the actual Trenitalia line, and therefore very easy to access from Rome, Naples, or Salerno. (The stop many people use is on the Circumvesuviana line, and therefore accessible from Naples or Sorrento, but more difficult from Salerno). The stop I am talking about is the “Pompei” stop, and it puts you in the town of Pompeii, which is only about a 15-minute walk to the archaeological site entrance.

      With that in mind, here’s what we would suggest, if you go with itinerary #2. We’re assuming, from the original itinerary you had, that you will be packing lightly/won’t mind carrying bags with you:

      May 30: Take a morning Trenitalia train from Rome to the Pompei stop (switching at Naples). The whole journey takes 1hr 50mins on the fast train. See Pompei, then take the Trenitalia train from Pompei to Salerno, which takes 45 minutes. Assuming you spend about 3-4 hours in Pompei, that should give you the evening to relax and explore Salerno. Alternatively, this could be the day that you explore Naples, which instead you’ve slated for June 1.

      May 31: Be aware that since Paestum and the Amalfi coast are in opposite directions, doing both in one day will be a very full day—so get up early and plan to take the quickest routes between them (i.e. train, not bus, from Salerno-Paestum). You can get to Paestum in 30 minutes on the train from Salerno (check out our post for more tips on getting to Paestum). Plan to be back in Salerno by midday. Then take a ferry—not the SITA bus, which takes much longer—to Positano from Salerno, which takes 25 minutes. You can find more help on how to get around the Amalfi coast here.

      June 1: Take the train from Salerno to Naples (45 minutes) and explore Naples—here’s a blog post that might help. Then return to Salerno, although if you’re going back to Rome after, it makes the most sense to take the train directly from Naples to Rome.

      We hope that helps. Let us know if you have any other questions!

      • catherine says:

        i will be covering rome-naples-salerno-florence-cinqueterre-venice for my 2+weeks vacation. I’m convinced that i should stay in salerno instead of sorrento.
        now that i know it is possible to do:
        may 30: rome -pompeii to salerno
        may 31: salerno to paestum and maybe another amalfi town
        june 1: salerno-naples to salerno.

        your suggestion got me thinking that perhaps i can save more time by doing this:
        may 30: rome- naples sightseeing (leave luggage in the train station)- salerno
        may 31: pompeii and paestum. overnight in salerno.
        june 1: amalfi (I’m not really after the whole coast. just want to see bits and pieces of it). overnight in salerno. leaving after lunch the next day for florence.

        would it be an additional hassle to just stay in naples for 1 night (may 30) and salerno (may 31 and june 1)?

        • walksofitaly says:

          Hi Catherine,
          That could certainly work. Staying in Naples the first day definitely might make things easier, and you can take the train directly from Pompei (the town station, not the Circumvesuviana station) to Paestum, which takes an hour. The only issue is what you would do with your luggage. Our suggestion: pack light!

  12. Grazie! I agree–also there’s a beautiful botanical garden–Giardino della Minerva, above Salerno’s historic center–the oldest one in Europe–from 1305–with a great tea room (tea made from the garden’s herbs) –where you can sit and enjoy the view. Plus great pizzerias in Salerno!

  13. hoops120 says:

    We had 5 nights in Sorrento last year, and whilst we could see the attractions, it just wasn’t for us…. it was too touristy. We fell in love with the area though (and Naples) and are going back this spring. We stumbled across Salerno in our search for somewhere convenient for travelling to paestum, and really like the sound of it. We’ve booked a week there and this article has given us some great tips for our trip….Thanks. We’re staying in the “Youth” hostel btw, though we are long past being youths!

  14. plastik says:

    There are a lot of others attractions in Salerno, like monuments, square, shopping, pub for young people, music live, events and so on!
    Why go away from salerno,….stay in !!

  15. Sadako says:

    Great article.
    I purchased beautiful pottery(dinner set) in Capri and was told that they were made in Salerno. I like to visit pottery industry, company or studio in Salerno next time.

  16. Marcelle says:

    I loved your article!! Im spending 20 days in Italy and planned to stay 8 days in the south (originally Naples or Sorrento) so that i could do day trips to all the other places i wanted to see in that region but after your article, im going to set up base in Salerno. The distance to Capri isnt that bad anyways and its the only one that would be “far” on my list. Salerno sounds exactly like what I want! Thank you!!


  17. Eric Valeroso Manipon says:

    Hello. We are going to the Amalfi Coast for 12 days and staying in Praiano for a week. I was wondering how to get there until i saw your website and now I’m planning to take the train from Rome direct to Salermo instead of Napoli. I think id like to stay in Salermo as well even for 1 night to cut the long travel from Rome. Im going to look for a hotel now. Thank You for your practical advice.

  18. gigi says:

    we will be visiting friends in Meta this summer and also traveling down to Salerno to visit family
    can we take a ferry from Sorrento to Salerno

  19. Ali says:

    Hi we fly into Naples at 9:50 on a Wednesday morning and the plan is to take the Curreri Viagi to Sorrento then get on the SITA. Our plan was to stay in Positano for one night before we head to Rome but now thinking it makes sense to stay in Salerno. I believe this would be more convenient because we could ride the SITA bus all the way to Salerno and not have to work our way back up to Positano for the night. Our main goal is to see some sites for the 24 hours we are at the Amalfi Coast!
    We can stow our luggage under the bus for as long as we are on the bus correct? Is it realistic to get off the bus in a town before Salerno to at least explore another place for lunch. I hate that we have our luggage with us but we have no choices for now. Any suggestions for our itinerary?

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Ali,
      That sounds like a plan to us! Towns you can stop at on the way to Salerno include Positano and Amalfi or (if you grab another bus up the hill) Ravello, which happens to be one of our favorites. The luggage, though, does make it harder. Because Positano is a lot of steps, we’d recommend either stopping in Amalfi or, if you’re willing to switch buses, Ravello. Both towns are very small, so you could walk around and stop for lunch before continuing on your way. I’m not sure exactly how much time you have, but because the luggage will be an annoyance on the narrow streets of these towns, another option to consider might be to take a ferry from Sorrento to Salerno, which is much faster than the bus, drop your bags off, and then take the SITA bus back in the opposite direction for the views and to make another stop, luggage-free.

      Let us know if we can do anything else!

  20. hoops120 says:

    I thought I’d do a quick update…
    we had 8 nights in Salerno, got back last weekend.
    The Hostel was a great choice, (though a little noisy at times) and was well located in the old town.
    Salerno was a great base for travelling to Paestum, Amalfi and Pompeii.
    We had a couple of days exploring Salerno itself, and the coastal villages nearby (Vietri sul Mare and Cetara). Local trains , buses and ferries were great.
    We loved everything about Salerno, and agree that it makes a great alternative to Sorrento, especially if you want to stay in a less touristy town

  21. Judy says:

    We are staying in Naples for 3 days and doing a day trip to the Amalfi Coast for 1 day.

    I’m having difficulty reading through the SITA site. How much is the bus ticket from Salerno to Amalfi town?

    This is our plan so far:
    1. Take the Trenitalia from Napoli to Salerno
    2. Take the bus from Salerno to Amalfi town
    3. Take the ferry from Amalfi town back to Naples

    Do you have suggestions?

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Judy,
      The Unico Costiera bus ticket for the SITA bus is done by time rather than distance. The 45-minute ticket costs 2.40 euros, the 90-minute ticket costs 3.60 euros, and the 24-hour ticket costs 7.20 euros. You’d need the 45-minute ticket from Salerno to Amalfi; don’t forget to validate the ticket at the machine when you climb on board.

      That itinerary looks great to us. Depending on how much time you wind up spending in Salerno and Amalfi, you might even have time to take the bus from Amalfi to Positano and take the ferry from there instead of Amalfi back to Naples.

      Enjoy your trip to the Amalfi coast, and let us know if we can do anything else to help!

  22. paul throop says:

    We will arrive at FCO 9:30 am on Saturday in June. From the schedule seems there is a train from FCO to Rome then with 29 minute transfer to Salerno. Cost seems to be 54 US dollars per person. Does this sound right with purchasing train tickets at FCO? snd is the 29 minute transfer OK.
    Thanks for any help Paul [email protected]

  23. Paul Throop says:

    Hi – We are arriving at FCO on Saturday at 9:30 AM. There seems to be a train at about 11 AM to Rome and with a 29 minute transfer train to Salerno. Cost seems to be 54 US dollars. Is this correct and can we make the 29 minute transfer? Is there a better alternative? Thanks for any help. Paul

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Paul,
      If that’s what the website says, then that should be correct! 🙂 You can buy the ticket online in advance if you want, or wait until you get to the station at FCO. I’d recommend waiting, only because it’s hard to know exactly how long it will take to get out of the airport, get your bags, etc., so that way you can buy the ticket for the proper time when you get there. And yes, a half hour should be plenty of time to get on your train to Salerno—Termini is big, but as long as your first train isn’t delayed, you should be fine. (If it is delayed, there is probably another Salerno train soon after). I hope that helps! Safe travels!

  24. pkb says:

    Hi, after reading your article i tried fnding a hotel in salerno instead of one in sorrento (where we have one booked) but the prices for a similar 4 star hotel in salerno are more expensive … we are scared that sorrento will be ‘touristy’ and would prefer a more ‘real’ city that salerno seems to be, but it doesn’t appear to have the same options in terms of accommodation, or are we missing something? Bravo – your blog is great!

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi there,
      No, you’re absolutely right! Because Salerno *isn’t* touristy, there are fewer accommodation options, which we understand can make it tougher at first glance than Sorrento!

      Especially if you haven’t had any luck at the big hotels, you might want to look into Salerno’s B&B options, which can be a better experience and cheaper. We’re big fans of Salerno Centro, a B&B right in the centro storico; lovely accommodation and breakfast, our room had a balcony, and it was only 85 euros for 3 people in a triple. While we haven’t stayed here ourselves, Casa Minerva is another lovely B&B in the centro storico, and the Ava Gratia Plena, in the heart of the historic center, is another, even cheaper option (it starts at 33 euros/person). We also like Villa Avenia, which has a beautiful terrace and a swimming pool.

      Finally, you might consider looking for apartments on AirBnB or Housetrip—there are lots of options in Salerno and it’s a great, economical option for accommodation!

      We hope that helps. Let us know if we can do anything else!

  25. Ok but, c’mon! Sorrento is Sorrento! The little street, the shopping, the restaurant and night club. And let me say that the Amalfi Coast is much more beautifull from Sorrento to Amalfi and not from Amalfi to Salerno.

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Tessy,
      Thanks for your comment! Yes, of course, Sorrento is still a fine option. The Amalfi coast is beautiful no matter what! However, we’ve never been ones to recommend that travelers visit a certain destination just because a place is famous; we’d much rather encourage people to visit off-the-beaten-path, authentic places in Italy where you hear more Italian than English, where most shops aren’t souvenir shops, and that are often every bit as spectacular and rewarding as the more touristy areas. But that’s just us! 🙂

      I’m also not so sure about the coast being prettier from Sorrento to Amalfi. The Amalfi to Salerno stretch boasts Ravello (an absolute gem!), as well as the very picturesque towns of Minori, Maiori, Cetara, and Vietri sul Mare. No, they’re not in the guidebooks as much as Positano… but they’re stunning!

      Thanks again for stopping by!

  26. Mike Li says:

    But if you go from Salerno to Sorrento, your bus is driving on the lane next to the mountain, rather than next to the cliff. I assume the vista is a bit different.

    • walksofitaly says:

      Only slightly, Mike. The roads are very narrow (not like 2-lane roads back home) and curvy, so you get a very similar view either way.
      Thanks for your comment!

  27. Hello everyone,
    I am Francesco of SALERNO CENTRO BED AND BREAKFAST. I have just figured out this “meraviglioso” blog.
    More and more people are appreciating Salerno and i am so happy for this. Walksofitaly used very kind words about SALERNO CENTRO BED AND BREAKFAST, grazie!!!
    I am ready to help everybody!

    • admin says:

      Thank you Francesco. We appreciate Salerno and believe its great offerings should be part of any traveler’s trip to la Costiera Amalfitana. Next time I’m down there (which may be soon!) I would love to meet for a coffee.

      Grazie e vi mando tanti cari saluti.

      -Stephen O.
      Co-Founder, Walks of Italy

  28. Brenda says:

    We will be in Salerno in a few weeks. After reading your advice, we chose Salerno. We are mainly interested in exploring Pompeii and Paestum. Salerno is a less crowded and less expensive option for our needs.

  29. Shelley says:

    We are visiting Italy next year with a group of 12. I was in Italy in 2010 and we stayed in Sorrento and had planned to find a villa near there for this trip. However, after having some difficulty finding a villa that suited us, I started looking in the Salerno area and then I stumbled across your blog – this sealed the deal! I think we are now ready to book a villa in May near the town of Maiori. It looks absolutely spectacular. Thanks for much for writing this blog – it’s been helpful in making the decision to move away from Sorrento (although we loved that as well and will make it a day trip now)!

  30. Ted says:

    Having not seen your blog earlier, we made plans to transit through Salerno and visit other towns. Now we wonder if it would be possible to spend 3-4 hours there while in transit. However, it appears that there are no left-luggage facilities at the Salerno train station. Do you know if that is in fact the case?

    Thanks for your blog, in any event.

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Ted,
      Unfortunately, Salerno (at least according to the official Trenitalia website) no longer has a left luggage facility. How much luggage do you have? It’s about a 10-15 minute walk from the station into the centro storico, so if you’re just hoping to have lunch there and a quick look, then your bags might not be too much of a pain—as long as they’re not huge. Alternatively, can you leave your luggage at the hotel where you’re staying? Where will you be coming from?
      Let us know if we can do anything else!

      • Lori says:

        My daughter and I are visiting the Amalfi Coast in August and planned to stay in Praiano but I have been very interested in your comments here about Salerno. We really hoped to stay somewhere with a view of the sea and also with ease of getting around without a car. We’d like to do a day trip to Capri and trying to decide between Herculeum,Pompeii or Pasteum as well as the other towns on the coast. Would love your opinion! We will be there for 5 or 6 nights and will be coming from Rome. Also, any suggestions for ease of transportation would be appreciated!Thank you!!

        • walksofitaly says:

          Hi Lori,
          Thanks for your comment! We’re so glad we could help you with your trip to the Amalfi coast. And the good news is that, between the ferries, buses and Circumvesuviana train, you don’t need a car on the Amalfi coast.

          First of all: Either Praiano or Salerno could work for you. Both are much less touristy than other towns on the coast, something that is especially important in August, as it’s peak season and the better-known towns will be VERY crowded. However, Praiano is not as well connected as Salerno. There is no port in Praiano, i.e. no ferry, and no train station. So anytime you wanted to do a day trip, you would have to take the SITA bus to Sorrento and leave from there—a bit of a hassle.

          Salerno is very convenient, as we’ve noted, non-touristic, and charming. But be aware that it doesn’t have the same small-town feel of Praiano, if that is what you were looking for. If you were, then other places you might consider as well are Maiori, Minori, or Vietri sul Mare, which all have access to both the bus and to the ferry.

          Regarding the day trips:
          Capri: You can get to Capri on the ferry directly from Salerno, but it is a long ride (1hr 20mins on the fastest ferry, opposed to 20 mins from Sorrento). Capri is gorgeous, but when deciding whether to go, keep in mind that Capri will be VERY crowded in August.

          Herculaneum and Pompeii: These are both great sites. Either one can be reached on the Circumvesuviana (from either Naples or Sorrento), but only Pompeii can be reached on the normal Trenitalia train (from Salerno). Herculaneum is smaller and more manageable than Pompeii. For that reason, we really recommend seeing Pompeii with a guide, if you can.

          Paestum: This is a fantastic archaeological site and one hardly anyone knows about! It’s just a half-hour bus ride from Salerno. Here’s more about Paestum and how to get there.

          Other options: Of course, the other towns on the Amalfi coast are well worth exploring. Our favorites include Ravello, Scala, and Vietri sul Mare. Positano and Amalfi are also lovely, but quite touristic, expensive and crowded.

          It would also be a shame to miss Naples, as you’ll be so close; here are our 9 reasons not to miss Naples!

          You might also want to check out our blog post on “How to Get the Most Out of the Amalfi Coast,” which covers more information on transportation.

          Let us know if there’s anything else we can help you with, and thanks for stopping by!

  31. Lori says:

    Thank you soooo much for the information! As I am planning this out, I have one small concern/question: Both my daughter and I have the worse stomache when it comes to motion sickness and from all I am reading I’m wondering just how bad the hot crowded buses along the very windy roads will be. Would we be better off on the ferry whenever possible and how many places can we travel to this way? We are thinking of renting a car for a few days to travel through Tuscany before heading to the coast. Is there a website or company you think we should rent through? Again, this site has been so helpful and we really appreciate it!!!

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Lori,
      We’re so glad to have helped! Yes, we find the buses pretty nausea-inducing—particularly if you’re going between May and September, when it’s quite hot and crowded (and when there might not even be seats, so you have to also balance in the aisle!). Of course, if you’re prone to seasickness, or if it’s a windy or choppy day, the ferry can also make you a little queasy… but we’ve found the ferries to be much more stable than the SITA bus.

      As for renting, we like Europcar and Maggiore Rent. You can find out more about renting a car on our post here.

      Please let us know if we can help with anything else at all!

  32. rachel says:

    Love your blog. We are planning on spending four days in positano but are now going to rethink that and maybe do Salerno instead. We also want to see Pompeii the day we leave on our way to Rome. Would that be easier from Salerno than from positano? Also do you know if you can store your luggage at the train station in Pompeii? This will all be the second week in September. Also love your suggestion of b&bs.

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Rachel,
      Positano is spectacularly beautiful—but when it comes to the beach, authentic feeling, cost, and sights of interest, we’d go with Salerno ourselves! It is much easier to see Pompeii from Salerno than from Positano, as from Salerno you can take the regional train directly there (the train station is “Pompei,” and it’s the station for the town of Pompeii, so the archaeological site is a 10-minute walk from there). From Positano, on the other hand, you would have to take the SITA bus or a ferry to Sorrento, and then the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii from there. The train station at Pompeii doesn’t have storage, but the site itself does; just ask as soon as you walk in for their storage area. (It is perfectly safe, but keep any valuables with you, just in case). We hope that helps. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  33. Weiting says:

    i am so happy i found this article!! I feel more and more that I made a good choice to chose Salerno as the city I take language course!! I will be there next Sunday and stay there for 4 weeks! really exciting about it, thank you so much been so selfishless to share this article with us!

  34. Erin Thruston says:

    Great info here. Trying to process it all! I am flying into Rome from Atlanta, arriving on Aug 24 at 7:30am and planning on immediately traveling to the Amalfi area for the very first time. Wondering if you know what the best way to get to Salerno is from FCO, and also what the best itinerary would be and in what order for 4 nights in the area given that I will probably need the rest of the 24th as a day of rest and relaxation to recover from jet lag. I definitely want to see Capri, Positano, and Pompeii during that time. Anything else would be considered a bonus! Does staying in Salerno as a base to all these sites make sense for the short time I will be there? I definitely want to get the flavor of the area and wouldn’t mind seeing a couple towns in one day if that is feasible. Any suggestions, please? Thank you!!!

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Erin,
      It sounds like you have a wonderful trip planned! The best way to get to Salerno from FCO is definitely by train; there’s a station right at FCO, which you would take to Termini in Rome, and then switch to Salerno. It takes just under 3 hours, including the change. Check http://www.trenitalia.com for exact times.

      We think Salerno definitely makes sense as a base, and you’ll definitely have time to do everything you want with 4 days there. We’d recommend spending one day to go to Pompeii—you can be there on the train in 20 minutes (plus a 10-minute walk to the excavation entrance). For another day, explore the Amalfi coast, including Positano (we also love Ravello and Vietri sul Mare, and you would have time to make 2-3 stops in the course of a day); you can do this via either ferry or SITA bus. With the third day, you can check out Capri; this takes a little longer (the fastest ferry is 1 hr 10 mins), but what a beautiful ride!

      See? Easy! 🙂

      Let us know how it goes!

  35. Kathryn says:

    Really interesting blog thank you; especially about Salerno. We have already booked to stay in Scala. I am a little concerned that it is too far out to reach sorrento, pompeii, vesuvius and capri. Can you put my mind at ease and let me know if i am wrong in thinking this? I wish i had seen your blog before booking!

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Kathryn,
      Scala is lovely! It’ll take a little planning to get from there to the places you want to go to, but not much more than if you were staying in Amalfi or Positano. Basically, a SITA bus runs from Scala to Amalfi, which is a short ride. From Amalfi, you can take a ferry to Capri or Sorrento. Or you can switch buses and go to Sorrento; from there, you can also take the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii and Vesuvius. It’ll add a little bit of time to your commute for your day trips, sure, but we think it beats staying in a tourist hub 🙂 Let us know if you have any other questions at all!

  36. Preeti says:

    Great articles n photos
    We are travelling to Italy for 2 weeks end of October. I read your post and decided to book us in Salerno so we could do both Pompeii and paestum as well as see the famed amalfi coast.

    What worries me now is what happens if it rains, do the ferries still run? As we have our 1 year old baby w us, I sure hope we don’t get stuck in the rain.

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Preeti,
      The ferries only stop running if it’s stormy enough to be unsafe. However, remember that the ferry isn’t the only way to get to and from Salerno; the fact that both the SITA bus and train run there, too, is one of the reasons why we like it as a hub.

      We hope that helps! Let us know how it goes!

  37. Ann says:

    Nice post about Salerno, however, I didn’t care for it. Too big and dirty and the beach did not impress me. I’m in the Amalfi Coast now. I also wanted to avoid a loud, touristy place and opted for Maori. Have taken bus trips to Minori, Ravello, Amalfi, Positano and Salerno. Have not been to Sorrento yet. We took the bus to Ravello and walked down to Minori (1000+ steps!). All towns are quaint — which is what we were looking for. So glad we did not choose Salerno. Amalfi was too crowded with tourists so we moved on to Positano. Although there are lots of tourists there, it is more laid back and quiet and the views are excellent!
    Will be leaving for Rome next — the obligatory Roman holiday then on to Spain.

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Ann,
      We’re sorry to hear you didn’t fall in love with Salerno! It’s definitely more of a “city” than the tiny towns of Minori, Ravello, Amalfi, and so on (though still a fairly small city—it’s no Naples or Rome), but if you were looking for small towns, then we can see why you’d prefer those spots :-). As for dirty, though, we certainly have never found that in our visits there! Anyway, thank you for sharing your experience!

  38. The last post scared me. How dirty is it? We like to be able to pop out of a nice,old world hotel and walk the cobble stoned streets, go for dinner, and return. Is there any district like this? What hotel can you recommend?
    Is there a central piazza area like other towns?
    We just returned from Lake Como and loved that feel. We don’t really need to lie on beaches. We are Californian natives.

    We don’t like the big city feel of Rome, La Spezia, Milan…

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Ruth,

      No need to be scared! We’ve never found Salerno dirty ourselves. You can certainly pop out of a hotel (although remember that part of the whole draw of Salerno is that it has so many fewer tourists than Amalfi or Sorrento—so there are fewer hotels, too), take a walk on the cobblestoned streets, have a great meal, and return home with no worries. The district for that would be the historic center (where there are piazzas and so on), such as the streets around Vicolo degli Amalfitani.

      Also keep in mind that any city or large town in southern Italy, particularly one that’s relatively off the beaten path, like Salerno, or Naples, or Palermo, has a different feel than cities in central and northern Italy. Some people prefer them, some don’t, but you have to try to know for yourself! 🙂

      Do keep in mind, though, that Salerno is a city—albeit a pretty small one (the population, which includes much more than the historic center, is about 130,000), and the historic center feels more like a small town than a city, in our opinion. So although it doesn’t feel like a big city, it also doesn’t feel like a super-tiny, super-quiet seaside town, either. (Then again, neither do Sorrento, Amalfi or Positano, with all the tourists!).

      We hope that helps clarify. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  39. Lucy says:

    We decided to base our stay in Salerno after reading your article. Now I need to figure out how to get from Salerno to the Naples airport for a noon flight back to the US. This is our first trip to Europe and we are a bit nervous about taking the trains and buses with 2 bags of luggage. We are travelling in April. Can you recommend a safe and reliable way to get from Salerno to Naples airport? How much time should we allow? I’d prefer stay in Salerno our last night versus Naples to get the most our of our visit.
    Thanks for any help!

  40. RGTraveler says:

    I’m starting to plan my next trip to Italy (which includes Rome-Amalfi Coast-hill towns-Florence) and I’m surprised no one has mentioned the small town of Atrani on this post. Why not?

    It sounds like it’s the best of both worlds: quaint, charming and very non-touristy yet also within a 10 minute walk to the more lively (and touristy) town of Amalfi and a 20 minute walk (or 10 minute bus ride) up to lovely Ravello.

    Atrani was on my very short list of where I’d like to stay on the Amalfi coast. Any comments or thoughts?