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Italian comune
Official nameComune di Salerno
ProvinceSalerno (SA)
FoundedFounded (194 BC)
MayorVincenzo De Luca
Total Area22.4 sq mi (58 km2)
Total Population139579 (31 July 2010)
Elevation13.1 ft (4 m)
Patron saintSaint Matthew
Area code089

     Home | City | Salerno

Salerno 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, amongst 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. Later, in 1694, the city was struck by several catastrophic earthquakes and plagues, 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.

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.

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