Stretching along the coastline and rising gently up the mountainside, Salerno enjoys a location that looks out over the bay below. It is a lively city with a wealth of cultural attractions. Its golden age was in the 8th century, when it was conquered by the Normans, who made it one of the most thriving centres in southern Italy. It is here that the 'Schola Medica Salernitana' (Salerno school of medicine), the oldest medical school in Europe, was born. The city continued to grow throughout the Middle Ages, changing various hands along the way, and traces of its ancient glory can still be seen in the medieval quarters that make up the city centre. Lose yourself in the narrow lanes, take a look at the historical palaces lining them, and, most importantly, make sure you visit the cathedral. It was built in the 11th century and visitors enter through an open patio surrounded by richly decorated arcades topped with a Roman bell; stepping inside, your breath will be taken away by the collection of Renaissance paintings and the Baroque crypt. Finally, enjoy a peaceful walk on the seafront at Trieste.