Every year, during Christmas time, Salerno lights up with colours. The lights and colours are those of the so-called “Luci d’Artista”. These, from the beginning of November until mid-January, make Salerno the brightest city in the Amalfi Coast and Campania. Thanks to this initiative, now in its seventh edition, Salerno has been nominated among the 15 cities in Europe with the most sumptuous Christmas lights, on a par with other European capitals.
This year the inauguration of the Luci d’Artista will held on November 24th 2022 and it will be possible to visit them until January 21st 2024. In this article I will show you the main route, but, above all, I will tell you some secrets to better enjoy your Christmas holidays in Salerno. Let’s begin!
- The main path of the Luci d’Artista
- Are you in Salerno for a walk?
- Are you in Salerno for a weekend?
- Are you in Salerno for several days?
The points of the city of greatest interest and, for this reason, the best known, are Piazza Portanova, where the Christmas tree can be admired every year, and the Villa Comunale, now generally referred to as the “Enchanted Garden” due to the magical atmosphere that overwhelms anyone who visits it during this time of year, captivating young and old ones. Last year’s theme was the zoo of mythological animals. Another point of great interest for the Luci d’Artista is Piazza Flavio Gioia (also known as “La Rotonda”), where last year there was the tree of life with its luminous branches that wrap around the entire square, all under a dense starry sky!
The main path to admire the lights starts from Piazza Vittorio Veneto, where the Central Station is located, to reach Piazza Portanova, passing through Corso Vittorio Emanuele, this year decorated with huge chandeliers that recall those of a royal palace.
Once you reach Piazza Portanova, you can go into the oldest part of the city and, along Via dei Mercanti and the countless alleys of the historic centre, you finally reach the Villa Comunale. Before taking Via dei Mercanti, however, you must not miss a visit to Piazza Flavio Gioia, hidden right behind the buildings and not visible unless you take Via Velia, where it will be possible to access the square from a staircase with a small terrace (ideal place for a selfie or a souvenir group photo).
Certainly, along the way you will have to deviate in the direction of the Cathedral of Salerno and make a stop here to admire, in addition to the lights, also the internal courtyard of the Cathedral, which represents a fundamental stop to retrace the history of the city.
Be careful though because the lights are hidden in alleys and squares, making the path a real treasure hunt. For this reason, I have created a special interactive map that can, on your mobile phone, show you the path to follow in order not to miss anything. My maps synchronize with Google maps and every year they are updated with the descriptions of the various points of interest. In this way it will be much easier to organize your itinerary yourself and according to your needs.
If you want to ask me about the map, write to me on WhatsApp by clicking on the button at the bottom right!
The goal of this article, therefore, is not to provide a detailed route to admire the lights, as the guides available on the web on artist lights are varied (there is also a site entirely dedicated to Luci d’Artista). However, once you have my map you can discover every lit corner of the city without having to write down or remember everything you read about the lights.
There are, however, some tips that I would like to give you in order to make your experience unique and unforgettable during the Christmas holidays in Salerno. The path of the Luci d’Artista can vary according to the time you can spend in this beautiful city:
If you are in Salerno for a walk because maybe you are staying in the surroundings, you can reach Salerno in two ways: arriving by train or by car. In the first case, my advice is to get off at the central station stop, and then start the classic route that starts from Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Upon arrival at the station, you will be surprised by a huge Christmas ball positioned in the centre of the square. In case you arrive by car, I can recommend you some of the most practical and economical car parks in the city. For this, you can write me directly on WhatsApp, as I will provide you with specific indications or a map specially created for parking in Salerno, from which you can choose the one that is right for you.
If Salerno is your destination for a short weekend you can arrive by car, or by train. In this case, it is good to know that the fast trains of the Italo company or the Frecciarossa trains of Trenitalia arrive in Salerno. You can reach Salerno comfortably and in a few hours, avoiding long journeys by car and, once in the city, the traffic and the worry of where to park your car. To visit Salerno and move around the city you will not need a car, as the main points of interest are all within walking distance.
If you want some advice on where to stay during your Christmas holidays in Salerno, write to me!
One of the most beautiful moments of the day is definitely sunset time. Staying in Salerno for a weekend you will, most likely, be lucky enough to be able to experience the colours and atmosphere that this city on the sea can offer you in its golden hour. One of the most beautiful places from which to admire the sunset in Salerno is the Garden of Minerva, located in the upper part of the city.
During the Christmas holidays, the Minerva Garden is also one of the most interesting points of the Luci D’artista, although the latter is little known because it is located in an area of the most secret city, and also, for this reason, it is far from the crowd. Precisely for this reason, it remains one of my favourite places ever. From November to January, the “Lumina Minervae” initiative illuminated this terraced botanical garden, transforming it into a magical place. This year the initiative will not be held but this place still remains a secret corner of the city where, away from the chaos of the crowd, you can immerse yourself in a garden with a breathtaking view of the city, rich in history and nature.
TIP: If you are lucky enough to be in Salerno for this time of day, my advice is to reach the Cathedral of Salerno around 4.30 pm and from here walk slowly towards the Minerva Garden, along Via Trotula de Ruggero. At 17:00 the Minerva Garden opens its doors to tourists and, once inside, I assure you that the sunset will make you be amazed. You can enjoy a coffee or one of the natural Teas made with herbs from the botanical garden, and then visit the Garden once the darkness has fallen. The atmosphere will be magical.
If Salerno is your destination for several days, consider yourself really lucky. I warn you, even a week, would not be enough to visit all that the surroundings have to offer. For this reason, I recommend you to contact me on Whatsapp for advice, or to read the other articles (Work in progress) of my blog.
Surely you can, as in the case of the short weekend, reach Salerno by train. In case you want to visit Salerno and its surroundings in complete freedom, you could opt to reach the city by car, or rent one, once in the city.
In this case, you can alternate local visits during the day with evening walks in the city to appreciate the Christmas lights, perhaps savouring the local flavours in the infinite restaurants that the city offers.
Again, contact me for the restaurant map and for advice on where to stay for longer stays.
I hope this article has been useful to find out how to better enjoy your Christmas holidays in Salerno. The Luci d’Artista, together with the beauties that this city offers, also for its proximity to the Amalfi Coast, will make your Christmas holidays unforgettable. This visit will be only a reason to plan your next holidays in Salerno.
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