The landscape relationship between the city and the castle on the Colle Baldwin is a peculiar element of Salerno.
On the hill, very steep, it was never possible to expand the urban fabric beyond the foothills, both for functional reasons-for the defense from external attacks it was necessary to have free areas-that for the natural difficulty of access. Therefore the subsequent enlargements were strictly necessary, and have allowed, over the centuries, the modernization of fortified defensive structures.
The defensive apparatus, according to some scholars, would have taken the start from the presence of a primitive Roman fortification, confirmed by scarce finds and fragments of ceramic artifacts found in the excavations in the castle area.
Archaeological studies in the perimeter of Turris major have revealed that the oldest construction phase dates back to the Byzantine-Gothic period. The medieval castle of Salerno encompasses three centuries of Lombard civilisation (from VIII to Xl century).
Arechi II, Lombard prince who transferred the capital of the duchy from Benevento to Salerno, chose as the fulcrum of its new capital the already existing fortress, located at 300 meters A.S.L. On the top of Mount Baldwin. Arechi Sopraelevò and modified the ancient walls on pre-existing fortifications and built a castle ' by nature and for art impregnable, not being in Italy a rock more ' equipped with it.
Because on the Baldwin Hill there had already been, in previous centuries, a frequentation dating back to Roman times, Prince Arechi II was sufficient to strengthen the structure and put it in a more articulated urban defensive system.
To the northwest stands a watchtower called "Bastille" which strengthened the defensive system.
In the upper part there is a series of towers arranged around the central body and connected by embattled walls and drawbridges bridges.
In later times, extensions were made to increase the efficiency and functionality of the services.
The fortification was made in order to allow even a small number of defenders to assume a dominant position during the retreat towards the top of the hill, in case the enemies were penetrated inside the urban enclosure.
In 1077 the castle of Arechi was taken from Gisulf II, the last Lombard prince of Salerno, to become a Norman stronghold, suitable for the penetration of the Nordic Knights in the southern Lands.
Later, the "Castello di Arechi", became an important element in the Aragonese defensive chessboard, and then gradually lost importance with the change of the war techniques. It was almost abandoned in the nineteenth century.
How to arrive
From the A3 Napoli-Salerno motorway: Salerno exit. Follow the indications to the Amalfi Coast after 50 m, at the crossroads, follow the signs to the castle.
From Highway 18: Reach Salerno, take the turnoff for via A. Gatto, after 1km, at the crossroads, follow the signs to the castle
Coming from city center: Bus Line CSTP number 19 with stops: Ligea terminus, Teatro Verdi, Pertini school Bar, Lungomare Trieste City Hall, p. Zza XXIV Maggio, p. Zza San Francesco, Paglia INPDAP, Cavalier, cross terminus
Gps: Latitude = 40.685578-Longitude = 14.755019
Opening hours and ticket cost
Arechi Castle is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00 to 19.00, while Sunday is visited from 9.00 to 18.30
The purchase of the entrance ticket to the monumental complex, ordinary and reduced and the release of the free ticket is possible at the refreshment-coffee shop, turning to the service personnel.
Ordinary entrance ticket: €3.00
Reduced admission fee: €1.50 (for groups over 15 persons, for state-school teachers with indefinite assignment and for European Union citizens aged between 18 and 25 years)
FREE admission: Permitted through the exhibition of a suitable document attesting to belonging to one of the following categories.
-EU citizens under the age of 18 years or more than 65 years (visitors under 12 years of age must be accompanied)
-Tourist interpreters of the European Union, when their work is needed alongside the guide (by means of a valid license exhibition issued by the competent authorities)
-ICOM (International Council of museum) members
-European Union tourist guides in the exercise of their profession (by means of a valid license exhibition issued by the competent authorities)
-Group or groups of students of the public or private schools of the European Union, accompanied by their teachers, after Preonatoazione
-Students enrolled in the faculties of architecture, preservation of cultural heritage, education sciences, literary subjects with archaeological address and letters and philosophy with historical-artistic address, Academy of Fine Arts or at faculties and courses Correspondents in the Members States of the European Union (through the performance of the Certificarto for the current academic year)
-handicapped persons and their staff who demonstrate their membership in social and health care services
-Operators of the associations that carry out activities to promote and disseminate the knowledge of cultural heritage, on the basis of conventions stipulated with the Province of Salerno and with the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and activities
-Professors of history of art (through exhibition of a suitable document)
-Journalists in compliance with the payment of associative dues (through exhibition of a suitable document proving the professional activity carried out)
-For reasons of study or research attested by educational or university institutions, Italian and foreign research and culture institutes, as well as bodies of the MIBAC
-Provincial employees and their family members (spouses and children)
-Access to libraries and archives for reading, study and research purposes is always free of charge.