What to do in Salerno and around when it rains?

Rainy days on the Amalfi Coast?

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

The heavens above have been feeling a little too generous with showers lately, inspiring me to dive into this topic again.

The Amalfi Coast is primarily an open-air destination with fewer museums and monuments to explore. A handful of charming little museums on the coast can keep you entertained on rainy days, just not enough to weather an entire week of downpours.

To experience the vibrant vibe and charm of the Amalfi Coast, best to stay in one of the picturesque villages or towns along the coast, rather than choosing Salerno as your home base. However, being in Salerno can turn out to be a very lucky choice during rainy days.

Salerno, a city with over 100 thousand inhabitants, has splendid monuments and offers various forms of entertainment typically found in cities.

Ernst Ferdinand Oehme – Moonlit Night on the Gulf of Salerno. Source: Wikimedia Commons (painting).

Visit the city of Salerno itself:

During rain visiting Salerno is undoubtedly a better choice than attempting to hike the Path of Gods or swim at Furore Bay… So swap that beach umbrella for a trusty rain umbrella, and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Corso. The bustling pedestrian shopping street of the city, the lively Corso, a shopaholic’s paradise, and offers plenty of cafes, serving ice creams and desserts.

Check out some museums, and of course visit one of the most magnificent monuments off the city the Duomo.

Xylography of the pulpit in the Cathedral of Salerno. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Duomo or in english St. Matthew’s Cathedral: The main entrance to the church consists of a Byzantine bronze door, set within a medieval marble portal. The cathedral has a longitudinal plan with a central nave and two side aisles a transept and three apses.
The current appearance is mostly due to the Baroque renovation that happened after the earthquake in 1688.

The Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Matthew, the Evangelist. Saint Matthew is the patron saint of Salerno.

His feast is celebrated on September 21st.

My choice of museum is: Pinacoteca Provinciale Salerno in english the Provincial Art Gallery of Salerno

It may not take up much of your time, but it’s worth stopping. In this gallery you can admire some lovely landscape paintings featuring the stunning Amalfi Coast. The collection also consists of some books, maps, and prints. It’s located on the first floor of the Palazzo Pinto building. The museum offers free entry, so you can explore it without any admission fee. Open every day from 9 AM until 7:45 PM, except on Mondays.

Some other museums in Salerno:

Museo della Ceramica Alfonso Tafuri for ceramic enthusiasts. Located in the historic center, near the Duomo.

Museo Roberto Papi houses a collection of medical and surgical instruments. The entrance fee is 3 euros.This museum is a must-see for medical students, doctors, pharmacists, or anyone with a curiosity about dentistry.

Provincial Archaeological Museum of Salerno (Museo Archeologico Provinciale di Salerno).

The archeology museum, is in the former monastery of San Benedetto. The museum showcases a range of intriguing artefacts from Greek, Etruscan, and Roman times. Impressive collection of ancient jewellery, pottery, and bronze statues, discovered in the surrounding area. While the museum is small, it offers a comprehensive overview of the region’s excavation heritage. The museum provides informative signage in both Italian and English.

Go to the Cinema and learn Italian

If you you are interested in the Italian language or are currently learning Italian, going to the cinema not only offers a dry and cozy place to escape the rain in Salerno but also provides an opportunity to watch Italian movies in their original language, which can enhance your language skills!

Sheltered from the rain, with the company of Italian movies you can nurture your love for the language.

Who knew escaping the rain could be so educational and entertaining ?

On the image: Georges Poujouly with Eduardo De Filippo in a frame from the Italian film Cortile (1955). source: Wikimedia Commons

One of the largest multiplex cinemas in the city is “The Space Cinema”. The ticket prices for adults are €9.40 when purchased at the cinema, but you can enjoy a discounted rate of €8.40 when buying online. For kids, the ticket price is €7.40 ( as of 2023).

How to get to the Space Cinema in Salerno by public transport?
The Space Cinema is located near the Arechi Stadium. You can reach the cinema by taking the metro and getting off at the Arechi stop. Several bus lines, such as line 5 or 8, pass nearby the cinema too.

The bus stop called “Allende Stadio Arechi 1” is located on the seaside and is just a 500-meter walk away from the cinema complex. If you’re taking the line 8 bus, the nearest stop to the cinema is “Ospedale S.Leonardo,” (in the direction of Battipaglia) which is also a 500-meter walk away. Both the number 8 and 5 buses can be conveniently boarded at Piazza Concordia, which is located near the central station of Salerno.

The most efficient and convenient way to reach the cinema in Salerno is by taking the metro, as buses in the city can be unreliable, with varying schedules and delays.

A smaller cinema in Salerno is Cinema Teatro San Demetrio. This is an option situated closer to the city center. Located in via Dalmazia 4. just a short 10 minute walk from the central station.

Why not visit a shopping mall in Salerno?

The surrounding area of the city has numerous commercial centers.

If the rainy days got you down, you can get some retail therapy in a plaza without getting wet.

So if the rainfall is too strong to walk along the shops of corso, the malls are perfect to swinging from one fabulous designer store to another under one roof!

You can also enjoy arcade games and catch a movie at the cinema.

If you’re craving a break from Italian cuisine, the food court, also have all the popular fast food chains.

One of the best mall in the area: the Maximall in Pontecagnano.

Maximall offers a range of services for visitors, including a 6-screen cinema, ATMs, an Amazon locker for package delivery, and even power banks to charge your phone on the go.

How to get to Maximall?

To reach Maximall by public transport: take a regional train to Pontecagnano (direction Sapri) and then a short ride by bus ( number 52 or 8) and walk. Alternatively: Bus number 8 stops near Maximall. The bus journey from the center of Salerno typically takes around 1 hour. The bus stop near Maximall is called S.S.18 Pross. ingr. Forlenza. From this bus stop, you will still need to walk 10 minutes to reach the mall.

By car: Pontecagnano is located south of Salerno. If you’re driving from Salerno, you can easily reach the complex by following these directions: Take the A2/E45 highway. Take the Montecorvino Pontecagnano Sud exit. Once you exit, you will find indications and signs guiding you towards Maximall. The journey takes approximately 30 minutes.

Opening times: 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM on weekdays (and until 11 PM on weekends). The shops within the mall typically operate from 9:30 AM to 8:00 or 9:00 PM. You can also find a large supermarket here open from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

Maximall’s address: Via Antonio Pacinotti, 84098 Pontecagnano Faiano, SA

Other malls in the area are: Le Cotoniere, one of the newest additions to the local shopping mall scene. Here you can find wide variety of options with nearly 100 shops (it does not have a cinema). This mall has hairdressers and laundry facilities too. Another option in the vicinity is Le Bolle (The Bubbles) in Eboli a bit further away, approximately 30 km from Salerno. Le Bolle is my favourite with it’s smaller scale and cozy atmosphere. The place offers good stores when it comes to shoe and suitcase shopping. You can find a small food court but dont have a cinema like some other malls.

The Siniscalchi Shopping Complex is not your typical modern mall but an older style store. However, it offers good selection on items like garden and kitchen equipment, particularly useful for camping enthusiasts.

Visit Paestum

Yes I know, Paestum is an open-air archaeological site, but you won’t have to stand under the rain for too long. The impressive Greek temples are just as majestic under the clouds as they are in the sunlight.

The radiant white doric style columns create a captivating contrast against gloomy clouds.

The three main attractions of the archaeological site are the three main temples. Two of them, the Temple of Hera and the so-called Temple of Poseidon (second Temple of Hera) are located near each other, while the Temple of Athena is a bit further away. These temples are among the best-preserved Greek temples in the world.

After exploring the temples, make sure to visit the nearby archaeological museum to seek cover from rain and admire the vast collection of Greek ceramics and the Tomb of the Diver (Italian: Tomba del Tuffatore).

I’ve got a soft spot for the Paestum museum. It’s not too big, not too small, just the perfect size to keep you engaged. The collection? Absolute fascinating! Primarily consist of ceramics and painted tombs. Most of them are from the so-called “Lucanian period,” but the most famous Tomb of the Diver provides a unique glimpse into Greek painting.

How to get to Paestum?

By public transport from Salerno: Take a regional train from Salerno Centrale with a stop at Paestum (trains heading to direction of Sapri).

By car from Salerno: Paestum is sud of Salerno, around 50 km from the city.

You have several options to drive to the Archaeological Park of Paestum. Option one: You can take the Highway A2/E45  direction Reggio Calabria, and exit at Battipaglia. From Battipaglia drive along the “superstrada SS18 ” to direction of Vallo della Lucania / Sapri. Continue along SS 18 and take the Exit “Paestum”. The journey takes around 1 hour from Salerno.

Option 2: From Salerno drive along the seaside, on the so called “Litoranea” road. Keep looking for the brown signpost that indicates “Paestum” once you cross over the bridge at the mouth of the River Sele. Opening times: Every day from 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM, the last ticket is issued at 6:30 PM.

Prices: Full price ticket is €6 during the winter season (December to February).

Full price ticket is €12 during the summer season (March to November).

Free entrance on the first Sunday of every month.

Book a private trip that includes a visit to the Archaeological site of Paestum, and a dairy farm too.

Learn about mozzarella making and taste it!

If you haven’t tried Mozzarella cheese from one of the Casaficci (cheese factories) in the Campania region, then you haven’t experienced the real deal! The Mozzarella from Campania, especially from the Battipaglia region, is heavenly delicious.

It’s nothing like those flavorless and chewy cheese balls you come across in many European supermarkets outside of Italy.

Tenuta Vannulo

The open-plan cattle shed at Tenuta Vannulo is heaven for buffalos. The animals enjoy automated massage machines and self-milking stations.

A visit to the dairy farm is sure an entertaining and memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

The farm is a must-visit for families with kids. After the buffalo area, check out the exciting new addition of a chicken coop and peacock birds. With luck, you can witness the peacocks strutting their feathers in all glory.

It is possible to visit the farm independently during opening hours or book a guided tour for a more informative experience.

How to get to Tenuta Vannulo from Salerno?

By public transport: Regional trains direction Sapri. Get off at the stop Capaccio Roccadaspide.

From the station you can walk to the farm in 20 minutes ( Don’t follow Google Maps’ suggestion to take the turn on Road via Alfred Bernard. Instead, turn right on Via Galileo Galilei right after the bar where the writing says “caffetteria pasticceria gelateria” and before the small fruit and vegetable shop . Via Galileo Galilei will take you directly to the farm, and the last section of the road is stunning, lined with olive trees.)

By car:

From the Archeological site of Peastum: Only 1 stop away by train. You can take a train towards Salerno and get off at the first stop, then continue on foot.
If you have your own vehicle, it’s a 10-minute ride (6 km distance) from the park.

Visit Cava de’ Tirreni

Cava de’ Tirreni, or as it’s called ‘Cava,’ is a town just a bit north of Salerno. You can take the train to get here; it’s only a few stops from Salerno Central station.

The main pedestrian street in Cava is fully arched. The portico is a symbol of hospitality in architecture. The colonnade provides shelter against the rain and heat for the city’s visitors, and creates comfortable living spaces for locals. The main shopping street is vibrant and commercially very lively.
Don’t get scared if you arrive here during the afternoon closing time when the center looks empty, without single soul walking around. Around 5 pm, the street starts to animate again when shops reopen. Locals flock here for shopping, running errands, and for their evening walk. The place has many charming wine bars, making it a perfect spot for an aperitif. Sitting outside under the arcades is comfortable and cosy on rainy days too.

Among the many patisseries, the historical Pasticceria Tirrena is one of the best. They are famous in the region for their so-called ‘monoporzioni,’ they are like single-serving mini cakes. The pastry shop is family owned and has been open for many generations.
If you eat out at a local restaurants, you may already find their desserts, as many restaurants offer them to their clients.
You can also check out one of the art galleries and some of the churches within walking distance from the center.

How to get to Cava de’ Tirrene?

By public transport:
Take a regional train at Salerno Central Sation.
Trains signed “Met” (Metropolitan) and start from the side platforms.

They also stop at the station Duomo Via Vernieri.
Cava de’ Tirreni is 4 stop from Salerno Center.
The journey takes 13 minute. Ticket price is 1,30 €.

By car: Cava de’ Tirreni is a short 10 minutes drive from Salerno.

In a day not to busy you should be able to find parking space at Piazza S. Francesco (paid parking).

The parking area is on the front of the Franciscan Sanctuary, and easy to find coming from Salerno direction.

Here you are just at the begining of the pedestrian main street.

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