Friday, December 21, 2012

Salerno--City of Lights

Before you go all Paris on me, be advised that is the City of Light, singular, referring to enlightenment, not Christmas lights.
Our Italian language teacher told us about the bellisima Christmas lighting that the city of Salerno does each year.  Our plan was to arrive there around 10:30, shop all morning, do lunch, then visit those shops that might be open during the siesta period. We wanted to see the lights at dusk just before our train left to go home.

Salerno, with a population of about 138,000 struck us as a good place to try some shopping for goods that we cannot get in Calabria--and do it by train in one day.  Yes, Napoli and Roma are probably better for this purpose, but those cities are too large and crazy for a one-day trip by country denizens.

It was a mostly sunny day, but it was around 8C with a 32 kph steady wind.  Very cold!  Unlike small shops in our area, these were heated and the larger department stores as well as some smaller entrepreneur types remained open during pausa--so we got some shopping done in warm places.

We also used the Temple Bar near the stazione two times, for an hour each time to sit, warm-up and relax. 

As you see, Salerno does go all-out for Christmas lighting.  Unfortunately the famous luminarie that hang over the streets of the historic district were never lighted before we caught our return train home. 

The train station is poor for such a large city – no benches or seats at all, nor restrooms.

The return train was 50 minutes late, but it was comfortable and warm all the way to Scalea. We had our first “seat fight”. We checked our ticket twice, once with the conductor (who assured us we had the right seats but left us to fight for them ourselves). I guess people just sit where they want and hope nobody will insist. We were cold and tired so there was no way we were going to sit on the luggage rack, not Di at any rate. The second time we showed the interlopers our tickets, they finally gave us our seats. 

The historic area and the shopping area of Salerno are very nice and the lungomare zone around the bay is lovely. All are best enjoyed on a slightly warmer day and we may return!  The district starts at the train station and two streets go about ½ mile north into Centro Storico--all parallel to the sea. It reminds Doug of Reggio Calabria with the shopping area adjacent to the shoreline. 

Oh, the shopping you ask? We always like to buy some things for ourselves with both of us together. We did okay and Doug got to use his new, upgraded Canon 600D camera--his big gift this year.


  1. That looks lovely! From what I see in other photos, the Christmas lights, even in small villages in Italy, are spectacular.

    Di, you look great!

  2. Christmas lights are one of the best parts of Christmas! Thank you for the nice photos. :-)
    With you description of the wind and the pictures I really felt the cold. Oh well, it has to be cold for looking at Christmas lights. Wouldn't be right otherwise, hm? ;-)

  3. You are quite welcome, Michelle, di niente, always good to hear from you.

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