Salerno lies on the Thyrrenean sea, on a bay having the same name at the foot of the Campanian Apennines.
In 194 B.C. Salerno became a Roman colony, named Salirnum, referring to the salines of the coast and the river Irno.
The city was conquered by the Barbarians of Odoacre in 476, than by the Ostrogoths and by the Byzantines.
Occupied by the Longobards in 646, Salerno was joined to the Duchy of Benevento, the most important of their holdings in Italy. In 839 Salerno was the seat of a Princedom and a powerful administrative centre.
In 1077 it was conquered by the Norman Roger Guiscard, becoming the capital of the Kingdom of South Italy and an active cultural centre. Salerno boasts the oldest Medical School in Europe.
Devastated by the Emperor Henry the IV in 1194, even though Salerno was immediately rebuilt, it declined under the Suevians and the Anjous and also the increasing power of nearby Naples, to which Salerno was politically dependent.
In 1944 Salerno gave hospitality to the Royal Government of the Savoia during the occupation of the Allied Force after the landing of the allied troupes on the coast of the city in 1943 when it was strongly damaged during military operations.
The local archaeological museum of the province of Salerno shows artefacts from the prehistory to the Roman period.
Salerno is the main trade market of its province, the fifth trading port in Italy, which is increasing its commercial activity, which represents its basic economy.
The industrial sector is characterized by food -, textile-, ceramic-, and tanning- industries, which export their products all over the world.