A fine promenade
Off A3, 55 km south east of Naples. Partly rebuilt since the bombardments of 1943, when Allied armies invaded the beaches and fought for their lives against Panzer grenadiers, Salerno is a bustling city at all seasons with much yachting and tourist activity in summer. Behind a beautiful broad promenade which looks across to the Sorrentine peninsula is an old town of steep alley-ways and a Norman cathedral with massive bronze doors.
Detour – Eboli
Off A3, 30 km east of Salerno. Crista si è fermato a Eboli (‘Christ stopped at Eboli’), a proverb meaning that here you step out of civilized Italy, was the title of a popular novel by Carlo Levi about political exile under the 1930s Fascist regime. The town is remarkable for nothing else, but 49 km north is Caposele, where Mussolini harnessed the headwaters of rivers to serve the thirsty land of Puglia. The water is carried by the Apulian Aqueduct, 240 km long with many branches, and ends under a monument at the tip of Italy’s heel Cape Santa Maria di Leuca
Detour – Paestum
Off Route 18, 25 km south of Eboli. The Greek Temple of Poseidon with its 35 fluted columns stands amid ruins where sluggish streams wind through the marshes to the sea. It is the biggest and best of Magna Graecian remains on the mainland of Italy and was until recently among the least visited. The Paestum shore is now cluttered with hotels and campsites and under the headland to the south several small coastal places – notably Agropoli and Acciaroli – are gaining reputations for sea bathing and sub-aqua exploration.