I recently went to Salerno for the first time for an overnight trip. There are virtually endless destinations to explore from my doorstep near Naples in southern Italy and I love seizing this amazing opportunity to travel around the country, taking in new experiences and culture. 

My daughter is four and I take that into consideration when I plan a trip, hoping to make the travel experience run smoothly for all of us. In this case, trip planning was lightning fast and minimal: Salerno is insanely easily accessible by train from where I live. We chose Salerno on Friday and by the next morning our family of three was on its way there. The only thing I reserved was train tickets through the TrenItalia app and a hotel reservation through Booking.

Either we are so lucky, or have done a lot of excellent parenting, or a combination of both, because our daughter loves to travel! Harlow loves the train station. She loves the airport. She loves hotel rooms. She loves hotel breakfasts. We’re raising a tiny globe-trotter and it makes me so happy. 

We arrived at Naples Afragola train station (easier with a kiddo and parking available) at 11:30am for a 12:00pm train. We located our train platform, “binario” in Italian, and sat down to wait. In Italy, when a train is running late, that information is displayed on the information board for your platform. It can come in very handy. 

Harlow’s train outfit was a vibe. She wanted to dress like me that day and so she wore a sun hat of mine. She was also in a dress from Sorrento and her new favorite rain boots. She was a contented traveler.

I was feeling happy and excited. That feeling you get when you’re headed to a new destination. I snapped a couple photos from the platform and selfies of Dan and myself. I realized we were dressed similarly in our rust colored trousers and suede loafers and I laughed that we have become a couple who dresses similarly. One of my favorite things to do is notice when couples have matching outfits at airports. Same shoes, same backpack, etc. I think it’s just adorable and now I am this person. Ha!

We hopped on our train. Harlow was thrilled, of course. One hour and one epic train picnic later, we arrived in Salerno. I want to emphasize that the walk from the train station to the city is incredibly short and easy. If you’re looking for a relaxing city break, or you just know that this will cut down on your efforts while traveling with multiple kids or lots of baggage, Salerno is a great option. While you walk from the train station to the city center, you are walking in a pedestrianized zone lined with sidewalks and trees providing some shade cover. You’re also walking through a shopping area, which is fun and convenient. I chose to stay at Hotel Montestella, which was located right on the main street after an eight minute walk. Getting to our hotel couldn’t have been simpler. 

We checked in and settled into the hotel room. The room had a king size bed and a twin size murphy bed for Harlow, which she loved. There was a small shelf next to the bed where she lined up some toys. She got a lot of joy from that tiny detail. 

We set out to explore. From a quick wandering around with no real plan, it became clear that the “lungomare”, or seafront, was the place to be. Salerno’s lungomare is exceedingly charming. It has pavements to walk along, plus lots of space for strolling and park benches for sitting. It has beautiful views out to the Gulf of Salerno and is lined by plenty of trees which provide much welcome shade. The tree-lined street along the lungomare reminded me of Cannes in the south of France. It was serene and gorgeous. Dan and Harlow discovered a gelato shop and braved its long line. We continued to walk along the street towards the Villa Comunale which had beautiful looking gardens. On the way, we stopped into an adorable candy store called Candy Villa and chatted with the clerk for quite a while. We talked about Italian culture and living in Naples and she helped our daughter select some candy. She also told us that we must see the turtles in the villa’s garden and stop at the Piazza della Libertà on the way back. 

The turtles were a huge hit and so was the piazza. Next to the piazza, there are undulating small hills and Harlow had a wonderful time running around them. She made up games to play and chased the bubbles we brought along. Other families were walking along and their kids were running and playing. The scene was idyllic. 

It was a moment that crystallized in my mind as a huge contrast to the times of COVID when I was inside with a baby and didn’t experience being around other families. Whenever I experience this feeling, I stop and am filled with gratitude. 

The lungomare, gardens, and candy shop were a delightful way to while away an afternoon. Walking into the center of Salerno for dinner and a spritz was next on the agenda. Restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating were plentiful. From the one we chose, we watched traditional dancers and magicians. Then we wandered home to put Harlow in bed and get an early night.

We had aspirations of touring Arechi castle, but decided instead to take another quick walk along the lungomare and catch a train home. 

Salerno is beautiful and easy to navigate. It has rows of stunning buildings with pastel facades, a gorgeous and spacious seafront, and tons of shopping and restaurants. It was a fun destination for a relaxing overnight trip and I will definitely be back.

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Relaxing Overnight In Salerno

I recently went to Salerno for the first time for an overnight trip. There are virtually endless destinations to explore from my doorstep near Naples in southern Italy and I love seizing this amazing opportunity to travel around the country, taking in new experiences and culture.  My daughter is four and I take that into […]

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Hi, I’m Diana — the Dolce Mom! 

In 2023 my husband took a job in southern Italy and we moved our family from Austin, Texas to Bacoli, Italy near Naples. I’m a professional home organizer by trade, but now spend my days immersing myself and our little one in Italian culture and travel. 

I believe a well-traveled life is as much about experiencing new things as it is a state of mind. I’m in a pursuit for the good life in all its forms. Here I share that pursuit and its innersection with real life. 

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