Casa di Francesca is located in the heart of the Medieval old town of Salerno which marks the beginning of the world-wide famous Amalfi Coast. With short trips it is possible to reach the fabulous cliffside villas with breathtaking sea views, as well as to explore the coastal towns and islands - Amalfi, Positano, Sorrento, Ravello, Naples, Capri and Ischia. For those interested in archaeology, Pompeii and Herculaneum are nearby; the Greek temples at Paestum are slightly further. Explore Vesuvius and visit the Archaeological Museum in Naples to see artifacts taken from the excavations. Think of Campania for unforgettable views, lots of stairs,... cliffs, winding roads, weddings and honeymoons, cooking schools, fresh fish, fine dining, boats, spas, hiking, sun, swimming in the sea, and limoncello.
This apartment is located in one of the oldest historical houses in the town, a fact only recently discovered: During the restoration of the house wonderfully curved arches with star-shaped rosettes, which had been preserved but hidden for centuries, came to light. These antique window recess arches date back to the late 11th century and it has been proven, that the Castel Terracena thought to be here, in which the Norman conqueror of Salerno once lived (and in which Friedrich II of Hohenstauffen was conceived - his mother was Princess of Salerno) really was on this exact spot. Today, the antique decorations so suddenly rediscovered adorn an outer wall of Francesca`s terrace.
This terrace or, to be more exact, the covered balcony, is the coziest corner of the house. This is just the place to enjoy your breakfast or to spend warm summer evenings by candlelight. One looks out onto a wide inner courtyard, where the housewives chatter from balcony to balcony and where the washing flatters in the wind - this is the flair of the south.
A 5-minute walk through the romantic streets leads to the Salerno cathedral, with its wonderful pillared inner courtyard (which boasts the same star-shaped rosettes as the terrace of Francesca!); the noteworthy San Benedetto church and the archaeological museum, with its remarkable collection of 11th and 12th century ivory, are also nearby. The sea is also only a few hundred meters away - wander along the elegant beachside paths, bordered by palms, enjoy the lovely view of the Amalfi Coast and relax in one of the many bars, pizzerias or fish restaurants along the Corso Garibaldi...
The next bathing opportunity is at Vietri sul Mare - a town full of nooks and crannies, the houses decorated with elaborate archways, characteristic winding streets and a wide variety of shops selling pottery. Only 200 m from the house you will find one of the best restaurants of the town and also the best bakery in Salerno. This quarter of the town boasts characteristic shops with typical local goods (a list of which can be found in the house): there is still a shoemaker, from whom you can purchase handmade, fitted sandals, a small shop with handmade candles, a boutique with exquisite linen products (towels and bed linen). The antique Via dei Mercanti, with its multitude of traditional jewelry shops, also begins here.
Salerno is a convenient starting point from which to explore the Campagna region: the town has less traffic and tourism than Naples and you avoid the overcrowded narrow routes along the Amalfi Coast. The famous excavations at Pompei are a mere 20 minutes away by car, Naples only about 45 minutes. In a good hour, you can also reach the Greek temple of Paestum, the romantic harbor town of Agropoli and the beautiful coastline in the Cilento natural reserve; Amalfi is about half an hour away, Positano and Ravello around an hour. During the summer months, when the Wagner festival is held (Richard Wagner was inspired to compose Klingsor here), the music town of Ravello becomes a 'magical concert hall looking down over the water'.
Casa di Francesca is a suitable place to visit without a car: an easy bus or train trip will take you to Naples or to the famous excavations at Pompei; there are also organized trekking excursions: a 5-hour outing combines Amalfi, Positano and Agerola (information in the house). Those preferring a more relaxing holiday could take an organized day trip with the bus, along the fascinating steep Amalfi coastline. Since the coastal road is quite narrow, winding (1200 bends in 42 km) and rather overcrowded in summer, we recommend hiring a Vespa in the summer months, if you should wish to explore alone. It is possible to rent moterbikes (and boats) at the railway station of Salerno. Please ask for "noleggio motorini/barche" at the railway station. If you decide to come by car - there is a public city-garage close to the property.
However, the most convenient mode of transport to Amalfi is by water: ferries run during the summer, from the beginning of June to the end of September (sometimes already in May and until October), leaving Salerno harbor and travelling directly to Amalfi, Positano, Capri, Ischia and even to Sicily (Messina harbor).Read more
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