Italy (SISM) - Salerno
Gynaecology/Obstetrics, Internal Medicine-Cardiology, Oncology, Paediatrics, Surgery-General, Surgery-Plastic Surgery, Dermatology, Anaesthesia
at student hostel
at student hostel
vaccinations required for Hepatitis B, poliomielitis, DPT (difteris, pertussis, tetanus).
Lucia Longo

Salerno is the main town close to the Amalfi Coast, and is mostly known for its SCHOLA MEDICA SALERNITANA, the first medical school in the world, founded in the 8th century. Even today Salerno's beautiful historic centre bears signs of this glorious past with its medieval charm intact. The medieval area runs from the Aqueduct to the Arechi Castle and includes the Cathedral, the Roteprandi Gate, the residences of the nobles and the typical streets, like the winding Via dei Mercanti, the main medieval commercial area, which crosses the entire historic centre.

 In the 16th century, under the Sanseverino family, among the most powerful feudal lords in Southern Italy, the city became a great centre of learning, culture and the arts, and the family hired several of the greatest intellectuals of the time. Later, in 1694, the city was struck by several catastrophic earthquakes and plagues, and afterwards a period of Spanish rule which would last until the 18th century. After that, Salerno became part of the Parthenopean Republic and saw a period of Napoleonic rule.

In recent history the city hosted the King of Italy, who moved from Rome in 1943 after Italy negotiated a peace with the Allies in World War II. A brief so-called "government of the South" was then established in the town, that became the "capital" of Italy for some months. Some of the Allied landings during Operation Avalanche (the invasion of Italy) occurred near Salerno.

TODAY, new life is being breathed into the historic centre of Salerno. It is regaining its original colours and aspect, and is transformed by night by its 'movida', where many young people can be seen eating and drinking in the cafés, bars and restaurants that create a contrast between the old and the new. The buildings of the Renaissance, Baroque and modern ages developed harmoniously around this ancient centre, without interruption or conflict, producing monuments and outstanding examples of impressive architecture. Exciting is to visit the city during the Christmas season (November to January), where for several years, all the main streets are lit by "Luci d'Artista " to create a Christmas atmosphere and hospitable as film. We need you and the snow to get everything to perfection.


The University of Salerno has very ancient origins as it is one of the oldest universities in Europe together with Paris and Bologna.

Salerno hosted the oldest medical school in the world, the Schola Medica Salernitana, the most important source of medical knowledge in Europe in the early Middle Ages. Founded in the 8th century by Benedictine monks skilled in medicine, the School was restructured in 1232 by the emperor Frederick II and became a model in Europe for the practice and teaching of medicine, home to many famous scholars. According to an ancient legend, the “Ars medica” salernitana was born from the meeting of four masters: a Jew, an Arab, a Greek and a Salernitano; it is based on the theories of Hippocrates and Galen, who consider the disease as an imbalance operating inside the human body between the four humors present in it: blood, bile, phlegm (secretion of nasal cavity considered from the brain), and black bile (from the spleen) and on the study of some practical and pharmacological treatises.

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In 1988, the University, which now has over 43,000 students, moved to the village of Fisciano in the Irno valley, a few miles from Salerno. Its structure is that of a university campus and its modern buildings offer many efficient services for teaching, research and student life in general. The University of Salerno, one of the largest in southern Italy, is still growing. The presence of multimedia facilities, halls of residence, a modern library, as well as places to meet and eat, and green spaces make it an eccellent University college and a pleasant place to study.



    The Teaching Hospital of San Giovanni di Dio e Ruggi d’Aragona you are going to is about 15 min on foot and by metro from your lodging place, it is a multiple building facility spread on a large area, some departments are new and fully modern, some others older. The first day you will go to your ward with one of us who will introduce you to your chief and your tutor, who is an intern or a young doctor, she/he will explain you what you need or do not understand, you will speak with her/him in English. In Italy very few people speak English, old patients speak just Italian and sometimes also older doctors. Italian teaching system is almost focused only on frontal lectures and self studying so, generally, there are not many students working in the departments and practical training is deficitary, so you could find some problems in comparison with your system. Students are generally not allowed to perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures alone and independently, please always ask if you know how to do something and want to do it, you will be supervised and cannot do anything without doctor's approval. You will have occasion to practice if you know how to exploit situations, being demanding with doctors and making your presence count.

    What to bring – It is mandatory to have your personal white-coat and your stethoscope, hospital cannot provide you some. We suggest to bring your hospital shoes or comfortable ones. If you are going to clinical wards you are allowed to dress however you want but with some restrictions: no short trousers, no mini-skirt, no sandals, no short-top, if you are long-haired it's better to keep your hair tied up, if you have beard try to make it appear well cured or shave it regularly; try to be always professional. If you are going to surgical wards please note same things for clinical, in addition, when you will go to the O.R. you will be provided with scrubs, it is possible you will be requested to dress only with them or after O.R. you will find more comfortable keeping it, normally there is no problem. If you will do night shifts you can ask for scrubs, also generally there is no problem for that.

    Working time – It may vary depending on the day and ward, normally rounds start at 8.30-9, O.R. at 7-7.30 until 14 or later. You will not be asked to stay until late noon and it may change from day to day, so if you think your work is done, feel free to go from 12 but report yourself to your tutor, if you can not find her/him it does not matter, anyway you can plan working time with your tutor. Weekends and nights are not requested, but if you find it interesting you can do it, we suggest to speak about it with your tutor. Nobody will make pressure on you about it, but we just ask you to try to be punctual in the morning, at least the first days: if you will not demonstrate interest and constance in going to hospital you may create some trouble for us with our professors. Thanks in advance. Except from San Giovanni di Dio e Ruggi d’Aragona, there are two other structures connected with the medical school: the Da Procida and Curteri. You might also go there for your exchange, depending on the department you have been assigned to.




The Laboratory of Molecular Medicine and Genomics is involved in the following research projects:

  • Genome-wide analysis of nuclear receptor actions in breast cancer by expression profiling and RNA-Seq
  • Mechanisms for regulation of miRNA biogenesis
  • Small non-coding RNAs in tumor cell biology
  • Roles of miRNAs in cardiovascular diseases
  • Identification of the genetic bases of neurological diseases by exome sequencing and SNP genotyping
  • Genome-wide study of DNA methylation in cancer cells
  • Global mapping of transcription regulatory factors binding to chromatin in vivo by ChIP-Seq

It is essential to stay in Italy and taste the delicious Italian cuisine. Which is why you do not will cook your traditional dishes, but at the residences can enjoy a hearty dinner and breakfast each day. Spaghetti, pasta, Mediterranean cuisine, the real Neapolitan pizza, fresh seafood will be prepared by the chef when you want.

At lunch, you can fend for yourself by going to the cafeteria of the hospital paying a reduced price agreement for student. You can eat pizza, sandwiches or a hot plate.

at student hostel

Most people in Salerno use a public transportation either the metro or buses. The principal public transport network within the city is run by CSTP and TRENITALIA, which tickets are available at local tobacconists, bars and newspaper stalls. You can by individual ticket, daily ticket or also week-end ticket, but the cheapest is monthly ticket with wich you can take all the bus and metro rides throughout the city and surrounding area and also 2nd class local trains to some neighboring. Once on the bus, ticket must be stamped using the machines on board, unlike train tickets which must be validated before boarding.

You can see in image on the right the red line which correspond at the metro of Salerno. The metro station that leaves you in front of the hospital is the last one: “Stadio Arechi – San Leonardo”. You can take the metro at Central Station at 8:13 to arrive in hospital at 8:30 or you can catch the metro at 8:45. The return in afternoon is scheduled approximately every half an hour.

Salerno is also very accessible by foot and exploring the city by walking is an easy option.


Salerno station is the main railway station of the city. It is connected to the high-speed railway network via the Milan-Salerno corridor. The passenger traffic is very high causing Salerno is one of the busiest stations in Campania. We will stop all trains, as well as being the terminus of several regional trains. From the square in front of the station there are several buses to neighboring towns, and the Amalfi Coast. It is also the terminus of the line upstream of Vesuvius.

The station is inserted in the draft “CentoStazioni” and metropolitan rail service to Salerno.

The main destinations are: Milan, Rome, Formia, Naples, Florence, Pisa, Potenza, Taranto, Reggio Calabria, Palermo and Siracusa.

Rome is easily accessible by high-speed trains in a short time at a cost of more or less accessible.


The two international airports near Salerno are: the airport of Rome and Naples airport.

The airport of Naples “Capodichino Airport” is connected to Salerno via a direct bus line to cost approximately 7 € with the companies SITA, Buonoturist or Cosat.

Rome airport, “Fiumicino Airport”, is more distant from Salerno but mostly connected with the main foreign nations. You can arrive in Salerno in two way: by train or by bus. The train has a higher cost and very often it is an intercity and not an high-speed train. You must go to Termini station in the center of Rome and take the train for Salerno. The cost can vary from 20 € to 40 € depending on how far in advance the ticket is done.

The most convenient solution is to reach Salerno by bus, the cost is 24 € with the companies Buonoturist or Curcio directly from airport. Please note, if you arrive later than 14:00 (Italian time) is necessary to reach the city center of Rome with local transport and then take a bus from Tiburtina station (bus terminal) to Salerno with the companies Leonettibus or TTI at cost of 17 €. In this case we recommend you to visit Rome and maybe starting a few days later for Salerno.

Pay attention!!! We recommend you to arrive in the center of Rome from airport with Terravision bus at the cost of 6 € instead of taking the train, which cost is 14 € one way.

Have a nice trip and good arrival in Salerno. :)


We aim to facilitate you to see and explore as much of the city as you would like. To this effect we provide you with an in-depth ‘Guide to Salerno’ with tourist destinations and insider tips. Salerno is located at the geographical center of a triangle nicknamed Tourist Triangle of the 3 P (namely a triangle with the corners in Pompei, Paestum and Positano). This peculiarity gives Salerno special tourist characteristics that are increased by the many local points of tourist interest like the Lungomare Trieste (Trieste Seafront Promenade), the Castello di Arechi (Arechis' Castle), the Duomo (cathedral) and the “Museo Didattico della Scuola Medica Salernitana” All the cultural and young life is almost all located in the city centre, mostly in bars, cafès, discos; in general there is not any problem in spending time drinking and chatting in squares and streets until late night. Buying and drinking alcohol in the streets is not prohibited, bars do not give glass bottles or glasses after 10 PM for street drinking, plastic and cans are allowed instead. Buying, selling and detention of drugs (e.g. hashish, weed, cocaine, heroine, amphetamine) is prohibited by Italian laws, punished with fines, signalization to toxic dependency services and legal charge. Salerno local committee will not be considered responsible of your private behaviour and any legal issue will not be considered IFMSA responsibility.If you come during the Christmas season you can go shopping in Corso Vittorio Emanuele under the "Luci d’artista" famous throughout Italy. There will be recreational activities and entertainment organized by our local commitee and also we organize days out for the group!


_ The Medieval Castle, the Arechi Castle

The castle dominates the city of Salerno from 300 metres above sea level: its ancient architectural features are attributed to Byzantine craftsmen of VI century A.D. The Lombard Prince Arechi II reinforced defences and fortified the castle in the VIII century, giving the structure its present appearance. Recent archaeological digs allowed to classify chronologically the different strata of the living quarters up until the Norman, Angevin and Aragonese eras. Acquired as part of the patrimony of the Provincial Authorities of Salerno, the Castle has been renovated; during the process of renovation, a remarkable quantity of medieval ceramics and coins was recovered. The Tower called “The Bastiglia” was added to this monumental structure and built on the north side of the Castle as a watchtower over the entire Gulf of Salerno.

_ The Cathedral of San Matteo and San Gregorio Magno (Duomo)

The Duomo of Salerno was founded by Robert the Guiscard and was consecrated in July 1084 by Pope Gregory VII, who had fled to Salerno to find refuge. The atrium is surrounded by a portico supported by 28 raised arched columns thich show traces of Islamic influence. It is embellished with a series of Roman sarcophagi, that were reutilized during the Medieval era. In the Southern façade there is a magnificent belfry dating back to the middle of the XII century. The main entrance to the cathedral has an impressive Byzantine bronze door set in a medieval marble portal.

_ The Gardens of Minerva

In the heart of the old town centre of Salerno, Minerva’s Gardens are to be found. This corner of paradise, walled in and terraced, rich in history, winds alongside the orchards, wich from the Town Park leads up to Arechi’s Castle and the wide steps reinforced by squared pillars support a pergola that joins and colourfully frames the different levels of the garden. The irrigation system composed of pools and fountains, denotes the presence of rich springs which have guaranteed the maintenance and cultivation of the land over the centuries. In the gardens, lessons took place and the student of the Medical School were taught the names of the plants and their healing properties. Historical documents show that this was the first botanic garden in Europe where plants were cultivated purely for health remedies.


_ The Amalfi Coast 

Once in Salerno a visit to the Lungomare seafront is a must where the gaze is met by two bays. To the south, on a clear day the eye can see as far as the Cilento coast which runs down to Punta Licosa, Palinuro, Sapri; to the north lies the splendid Amalfi coast with its overhanging cliffs. Here the road cuts through the rocks above the sea for about 40 kilometres, winding its way from Vietri to Positano, with a village popping up around every corner: Cetara, Maiori, Minori, Atrani, Capo D'Orso down to Amalfi, where in the bluest of seas, the Bay of Salerno meets the Bay of Naples, and then on to Positano with the island of Capri opposite. The Amalfi coast has always been a preferred destination for Italian and foreign travellers looking out for places of natural and artistic beauty in our country. Poets, kings and queens, famous people from Boccaccio to Gregorovius, from Wagner to Victor Hugo, from Ibsen to André Gide. Amalfi opens onto the sea like a huge balcony illuminated by bright sunshine. It is like looking at an impressionist painting with dabs of colour, here and there orange trees, olive groves mingled with sloping and flowering gardens going down to the sea. Along the Amalfi coast, some hundred metres from Capo di Conca, is the "Emerald Grotto", beautiful, mysterious, almost temple-like, where enormous stalagmites rise from the sea to meet the vault overhead.

_ The Island of Capri

Capri is a tourist destination for both Italians and foreigners. In the 1950s Capri became a popular destination. In summer, the island is heavily visited by tourists, especially by day trippers from Naples and Sorrento. The center of Capri is the Piazza. Capri is home to the Mediterranean bush, the Arboreal Euphorbia, and the Ilex Wood. The native inhabitants on the island include quails, robins, peregrine falcons, woodcocks, blackbirds, geckos, red goldfish, conger eels, sargos, groupers, mullets, and the blue lizard of the Faraglioni. Capri has twelve churches and seven museums and monuments. Capri is known for the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto). It is the most visited attraction in Capri. The Grotta Azzurra was discovered in the 19th century by foreign tourists and has been a phenomenon ever since. On one side of the grotto are the remains of ancient Roman rock, with a narrow cavern