You might be questioning, like I did, which side of the Amalfi Coast is best to begin in? Depending on your budget and how long you’re going for, you could start North of the coast, in Sorrento, or you could start East of the coast, in Salerno. Another option would be to go straight to one of the towns in the middle of the Coast, like Positano or Amalfi.
For our trip, we chose to start at Salerno, staying at various B&B’s/Airbnb’s along the coast, so that we would end up in Sorrento and be able to make day trips to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius before heading further round to Naples to catch our flight home.
I would say Salerno was just the kind of place we needed for the first day of our trip. Quiet, quaint, and picturesque, Salerno has a tree-lined promenade on the seafront, where we had a relaxing stroll down after a tiring morning of traveling. Another bonus was our friendly B&B host who took the time to give us advice and tips for other destinations we were heading to around the Amalfi Coast. We especially got good tips for our next stop: Amalfi town!
Unfortunately, we only had one day/night to have a look around, but on the plus side, we stumbled upon what I think has got to be Salerno’s best restaurant. It also turned out to be our favourite restaurant on our entire Amalfi Coast trip; not only because it was one of our cheapest (considering we got
too SO much food), but also because the food was top-notch.
We arrived in Salerno around 1pm, after a 4.30am wake-up time for our flight to Naples from Gatwick, London. We struggled to find the right bus from the airport to get us to Salerno, as we were incorrectly following the signs towards the shuttle buses. It also seemed to be extremely difficult to find decent information online about the airport’s bus options. After asking at the tourist information desk, we were pointed towards the main entrance of the airport, rather than the arrivals exit that we were naturally led through.
The bus we got on was numbered 119. It arrived at 11:40 and was air-conditioned (yay!), taking just over 1 hour to arrive in Salerno. I recommend taking the bus as it was a pretty comfortable ride, you can tuck your suitcase away in the luggage storage compartment and not have to worry about it, and it was also cheaper than the other travel options: shuttle bus + train or getting a taxi. The bus cost us €2.50 each.
Arriving in Salerno
We got off at the S. FRANCESCO stop, as it was closest to the B&B we stayed at. It took us a few walks in a circle to find our B&B place, called Casa dell’Artista, which was tucked away in a quiet cul-de-sac.
After chatting to our B&B host for an hour, we went away for lunch with a list full of useful tips for a couple of our next destinations: Positano and Amalfi. I will be sharing these tips with you too, in my next few blog posts about the Amalfi Coast.
For lunch, we wandered into one of the first pizza places we could find which was not too far from the waterfront, called Pizza Margarita!
The pizza filled the hunger hole in nicely, as it was a good size for the price, as well as being freshly made. Tiredness soon hit, so we went to grab an espresso in the hope that we could power on through and do a bit more exploring. This wasn’t the case… and we ended up going back to our B&B for a good long nap!
Dinner time came around so we looked on TripAdvisor for a good restaurant. We found one that looked amazing, called Ristorante Cicirinella, but naively thought we could just stroll in and get a table. Even though we got there just as it opened, all their tables had been booked up for the night already; this was probably because it’s one of the top restaurants on TripAdvisor!
Discovering Salerno’s Best Restaurant
This led us to desperately trying to find any decent enough place to eat that was close (as we were so hungry again!), by looking at Google Maps on our phones and then checking out the reviews. One of the first places we came across was a restaurant called Vasilico, which had about twenty 5* reviews on Google so we thought we’d give it a go. The restaurant was hard to find as it was down a little alleyway (Piazza Giacomo Matteotti), just off one of the main shopping streets Via dei Mercanti. I’m so glad we found this restaurant, as it was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had.
We were given a table in the outdoor seating area, which had such a cosy and romantic vibe to it. The Piazza area was so quiet as it was tucked away from the busy streets we just came from.
The restaurant is family-run and the menu was all in Italian. The owner, who served us, also had very limited English. I took this as a great sign because it meant we were at an authentic Italian restaurant. After a lot of googling to find out what the dishes contained, we ordered our food along with the house white wine. The wine was amazing; light and very fruity. I’m not usually a white wine fan, but I really enjoyed this one!
We received complimentary warm bread and an appetizer, which was a delicious couscous based dish, with sweet peppers:
We tried a range of different first and second plates, all of which tasted perfect and were presented beautifully:
(Apologies for the blurry/grainy images, the lighting wasn’t ideal for taking great photographs!)
When we were finished with our mains, they gave us more complimentary things! These absolutely amazing homemade chocolate chip biscotti, as well as Limoncello (and the less usual, Fennel-cellos) to wash it all down.
If you’re intending on giving Salerno a visit, I couldn’t recommend Vasilico more! I think it really could be Salerno’s best restaurant as it was definitely the best value for money meal (with perfect food and drink) that we had on our whole Amalfi Coast trip (Salerno-Amalfi-Positano-Ravello-Sorrento-Pomepii-Versuvius). We got an appetizer and glass of wine each, a first and second plate each, as well as the biscotti at the end and it came to just €57. Amazing!
When the restaurant filled up with locals and a few other tourists, we heard one guy say that they’ve been there every night of their stay!
After we finished up, we headed straight back to our B&B apartment because the lack of sleep from the night before was really starting to take its toll on us, unfortunately!
In the morning, we boarded a ferry to take us over to Amalfi, where we spent the next three nights. This included a day trip to Ravello, which I fell in love with! I’ll be writing further blog posts soon about my time there, as well as the next few stops of our Airbnb-hopping Amalfi Coast trip!
Have you ever been to Salerno or thinking about going? I’d love to hear your thoughts!