Salerno (sälārˈnō) [key], city (1991 pop. 148,932), capital of Salerno prov., Campania, S Italy, on the Gulf of Salerno, an inlet of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is an agricultural, commercial, and industrial center. Manufactures include machinery, textiles, construction materials, and processed food. Originally a Greek settlement and later a Roman colony (founded 197 B.C.), Salerno became (6th cent.) a part of the duchy of Benevento and in the 9th cent. the seat of an independent principality, which fell to Robert Guiscard in 1076. In Sept., 1943, there was fierce fighting on the beaches near Salerno between the Allied landing forces and the Germans, who were pressed to retreat toward Naples. Of note in Salerno is the Sicilian-Norman cathedral (11th cent; redone in the 18th cent.), with the tomb of Pope Gregory VII and an impressive 12th-century pulpit. The famous medical school of Salerno (founded in the 9th cent., closed in the early 19th cent.) is believed to have been the first of its kind and reached its height in the 12th cent.
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