Salerno is a major shipping and ferry port on the southern coast of Italy, and a popular departure point for shore excursions to the beautiful towns and beaches on the nearby Amalfi Coast. Although the port city has a picturesque historic center and plenty of history given its founding by the Romans, most visitors use Salerno as a jumping-off point to visit other sights in the surrounding region of Campania.
Salerno’s old town sits under the stately Castello di Arechi and is full of shops, restaurants, and beautiful churches. Even so, most travelers skip Salerno and head directly to the more famous sights nearby. Amalfi is just 16 miles (26 kilometers) west along the coastal highway dotted with picturesque fishing villages, including Positano, another 10 miles (16 kilometers) west. South of Salerno sits Paestum, a coastal highlight and home to the UNESCO-liste Greek temples that rival Athens’ acropolis. Other nearby attractions often visited on shore excursion tours from Salerno include the ruins of Pompeii (Pompei) and Herculaneum (Ercolano) at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, the resort city of Sorrento, and the islands of Capri and Ischia.
Things to Know Before You Go
There is no train service from Salerno to the Amalfi Coast; you must take the local bus along the winding coastal road to Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, and Sorrento. These public buses are very crowded, so passengers often have to stand for the duration of the ride.
Ferries depart from the port of Salerno for Amalfi, Positano, Capri, Ischia, and Sorrento. To avoid the long lines to purchase tickets and board, consider booking a private boat tour.
There are no direct buses to Pompeii, Herculaneum, or Naples. Book a group or private tour with roundtrip transportation, or take the local bus or ferry to Sorrento and transfer to the commuter Circumvesuviana train that stops in Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Naples.
Buses run between Salerno and Paestum all day, and take about 80 minutes each way. Alternately, a taxi will take you, but negotiate a price and the return trip ahead of time.
How to Get to Salerno from the Salerno Cruise Port
Cruise ships dock right in the bustling port of Salerno, which is also the ferry terminal. Walk or catch a taxi up to the old town or to the bus terminal near the train station to explore the surrounding area, or join a private tour to avoid the crowds and hassle of public buses in summer.
Cruise lines dock at the Molo Manfredi terminal in the Salerno port. Locals speak fast Italian rather than tourist-friendly English. Currency is the euro.