Post written by Laura
Now that our Intrepid Hike Amalfi Coast trip had finished, to end our Italy adventures Bridget and I had pre-booked a couple of nights in Salerno.
We took a ferry from Amalfi around the coast for about 45 minutes until we arrived in Salerno. Ferries are easy, there were several running each day, the cost was around 9 euros each and you don’t have to pre-book.
Salerno is a port town and is much larger than the small towns of Positano, Ravello and Amalfi. Salerno has good transport links with trains to Rome and Naples.
We had booked 2 nights in Salerno and stayed in the Hotel Plaza a modern and comfortable hotel which was very close to the ferry port and the train station.
Having arrived in the morning, we spent time in the afternoon exploring Salerno. After the adorable towns we had become used to throughout the previous week, we found Salerno to be somewhat underwhelming…
Thankfully the ancient Greek city of Paestum is a short train ride away so we spent a full day exploring the ruins and also the modern day town.
While the train journey was short it was very busy and we had to stand both ways. However it’s easy to get to the ruins when you arrive at Paestum station as it’s a 10 or 15 minute walk.
The site is fairly large and extensive and it takes between one and two hours to explore.
There are three huge ancient Greek temples and according to Wikipedia they are three of the most well preserved in the World.
For such a large and impressive site it was surprisingly quiet with just a handful of tourists.
Once we had seen the ruins we made our way walking for about 25 minutes towards the small modern day town of Paestum where we came across the Barlotti Buffalo Dairy Farm. A quick check on Trip Advisor suggested this would be a fabulous place for lunch.
As this was the last full day of our holiday and as we were in such a lovely setting we indulged in a 3 course meal with all things buffalo mozzarella! Three types of mozzarella for the starter; fresh pasta with mozzarella for the main and a gorgeous home made cake with ice-cream for dessert.
The farm is quite extensive and the buffalo seemed to be healthy and well looked after! They had a continuous cold water spray from the roof of their feeding pen and were able to freely wander in and out of the pen and into a large field behind.
Barlotti had a little shop selling cheese, body lotions and other local produce.
We were not in a hurry to get back to Salerno so continued to have a wander round Paestum despite the 34 degree heat! Unlike the other small pebbly beaches we had seen slightly further north along the Amalfi Coast, the beach at Paestum was large and expansive and sandy! We cooled off in a beach bar with another Aperol Spritz before getting the train back to Salerno.
Back in Salerno for the final morning before our evening flight home from Naples we decided to visit the ‘Garden of Minerva‘ an unusual herb garden in the Old Town of Salerno.
Located in an original 12th century building clinging to the side of a hill, you get good views across the city from here.
This garden is unusual as during the 14th Century, a person called Matteo Silvatico created a medicinal herb garden amongst the terraces. Silvatico grew herbs used for treatments and also taught here.
The gardens were restored and developed in 2000 where several rare species were planted some of which were used as medicines in the Middle Ages.
A final lunchtime pizza to round off the trip before heading back by train to Naples for the flight home!