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Capital of Campania’s southernmost province, the lively port of SALERNO is much less chaotic than Naples and is well off most travellers’ itineraries, giving it a pleasant, relaxed air. It has a good supply of cheap accommodation, which makes it a reasonable base for some of the closer resorts of the Amalfi Coast and for the ancient site of Paestum to the south. During medieval times the town’s medical school was the most eminent in Europe; more recently, it was the site of the Allied landing of September 9, 1943 – a landing that reduced much of the centre to rubble. The subsequent rebuilding has restored neither charm nor efficiency to the town centre, which is an odd mixture of wide, rather characterless boulevards and a small medieval core full of intriguingly dark corners and alleys. It is, however, a lively, sociable place, with a busy seafront boulevard and plenty of nightlife and shops.

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