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Official Review by Stefano Romagnoli, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The Stadio Arechi, the main sports arena in the city of Salerno, has hosted the home matches of Unione Sportiva Salernitana 1919 since September 9, 1990 (opening with 0-0 draw versus Padova in the first round of the Serie B 1990-1991 season, the second level of Italian football).
Previously the team played at the stadium Donato Vestuti, a stadium built in the early 1930s and named in 1952 after the founder of one of the first football clubs active in the city.
The Stadio Arechi bears the name of a Lombard Prince who lived in the eighth century. Therefore, the stadium is often referred to by insiders as the “prince of the stadia.”
Throughout its history the Arechi has hosted three matches of the Italian national football team, including Italy vs. Hungary 3-1 May 1, 1991 and Italy vs. Estonia 4-1 March 25, 1995, both the qualifying match to a European Cup; as well as Italy vs. Spain 2-2 November 18, 1998 in a friendly match.
The stadium was renovated in 1998. Then, in 2014 the pitch was rebuilt.
The two Serie A championships disputed from Salernitana were played in the 1947-1948 season at Stadio Vestuti, and in the 1998-1999 season at Stadio Arechi.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
On the ground floor, before getting into the central grandstand, there is a small food court. We could try only coffee (1.00 euro) because there were no hot sandwiches or hot pizza. However, you can buy water (1.50 euro), beer and Coke (2.50 euro), packaged salty snacks (from 1-3 euro) or desserts (from 1-1.50 euro).
Outside the facility you will find the traditional peddlers, from which you may want to grab a hot dog and a drink (5.00 euro).
The stadium is characterized by a rectangular seating plan interrupted at the corners. Among the four stands are the light towers necessary to illuminate the field during the night matches.
Each of the grandstands consists of two levels. The upper one is totally uncovered. The lower one is partially covered. So of the 31,300 total seats of the Arechi, only 8,689 are covered.
The stadium is primarily designed for football (although it has hosted other events, including several concerts), so there is no athletics track and allows viewers excellent visibility from every sector. The two teams enter the playing field through a movable tunnel present among the Curva Sud and the main grandstand.
The supporters for the guests are in the first level of the Curva Nord.
The Stadio Arechi is located in the neighborhood of San Leonardo, an area that is a part of the East District. It is on the waterfront of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Around the stadium there are some pizzerias. For a "pizza margherita" and a Coke you can expect to pay around 6.50 euro. There is also a multiplex cinema and several hotels within walking distance of the stadium.
The most ardent fans of Salernitana follow their favorite team from the sector Curva Sud. During matches banners, flags, scarves and sweaters transform this part of the stadium to a noisy spot covered by the color amaranth. Fans with choirs incite their favorites throughout the match.
There are good relations with supporters of Bari and Reggiana (the team of Reggio Calabria). The greatest rivalries are with fans of Napoli, Avellino and other teams of Campania, but even with Atalanta, Hellas Verona and Perugia.
The Stadio Arechi is easily reached by car or train.
By train, after reaching the central station of Salerno, you can take the light metro and get off at "Stadio Arechi," located behind the Curva Nord.
If you come from the motorway by car, then simply follow the ring road to the exit near the stadium. Around the structure are several parking lots.
The cost of a ticket to watch a match of Serie B during the 2015-2016 season ranges from 40 euro in the Tribuna Rossa VIP down to 13 euro in the Curva Sud. Also, there are discounts for children under 14, people over 65 and women.
In the province of Salerno there is the Costiera Amalfitana. From Unescu website: "The Amalfi coast is an area of great physical beauty and natural diversity. It has been intensively settled by human communities since the early Middle Ages. There are a number of towns such as Amalfi and Ravello with architectural and artistic works of great significance. The rural areas show the versatility of the inhabitants in adapting their use of the land to the diverse nature of the terrain, which ranges from terraced vineyards and orchards on the lower slopes to wide upland pastures."
In the city of Salerno there are several additional points of interest including the Castle of Arechi, the Medieval Aqueduct, and the Garden of Minerva. There are also events of interest including "Luci d'artista" between November and January.
Some 40 kilometers away from the city of Salerno is the archaeological site of Pompei.
Finally, this is one of the best parts of Italy with regard to cooking fish, pizza and cake.
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