Salerno listen is a city and comune in Campania and is the capital of the province of the same name. It is located on the Gulf of Salerno on the Tyrrhenian Sea, Salerno was an independent Lombard principality in the early Middle Ages. During this time, it became the site of the first medical school in the world, later, in 1694, the city was struck by several catastrophic earthquakes and plagues. After a period of Spanish rule which would last until the 18th century, 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, some of the Allied landings during Operation Avalanche occurred near Salerno. Today Salerno is an important cultural centre in Campania and Italy and has had a long, a patron saint of Salerno is Saint Matthew, the Apostle, whose relics are kept here at the crypt of Salerno Cathedral. The area of what is now Salerno has been settled since pre-historical times. We know the Oscan-Etruscan city of Irna, situated across the Irno river and this settlement represented an important base for Etruscan trade with the Greek colonies of Posidonia and Elea. It was occupied by the Samnites around the 5th century BC as consequence of the Battle of Cumae as part of the Syracusan sphere of influence. With the Roman advance in Campania, Irna began to lose its importance, being supplanted by the new Roman colony of Salernum, developing around an initial castrum. The new city, which gradually lost its function in favour of its role as a trade center, was connected to Rome by the Via Popilia. Archaeological remains, although fragmentary, suggest the idea of a flourishing, under the Emperor Diocletian, in the late 3rd century AD, Salernum became the administrative centre of the Lucania and Bruttii province. Like many coastal cities of southern Italy, Salerno initially remained untouched by the newcomers and it subsequently became part of the Duchy of Benevento. Under the Lombard dukes Salerno enjoyed the most splendid period of its history, with Arechis II, Salerno became a centre of studies with its famous Medical School. The Lombard prince ordered the city to be fortified, the Castle on the Bonadies mountain had already been built with walls, in 839 Salerno declared independence from Benevento, becoming the capital of a flourishing principality stretching out to Capua, northern Calabria and Apulia up to Taranto. The coins minted in the city circulated in all the Mediterranean, however, the stability of the Principate was continually shaken by the Saracen attacks and, most of all, by internal struggles. In 1056, one of the numerous plots led to the fall of Guaimar and his weaker son Gisulf II succeeded him, but the decline of the principality had begun. In 1077 Salerno reached its zenith but soon lost all its territory to the Normans, on 13 December 1076, the Norman conqueror Robert Guiscard, who had married Guaimar IVs daughter Sikelgaita, besieged Salerno and defeated his brother-in-law Gisulf
Panorama of Salerno
The Schola Medica Salernitana in a miniature from Avicenna's Canon.