Paestum Archeological Area offers one of the only Ancient Greek ruins still in tact in Italy. It lies on the train route between Salerno and Sapri. This, as well as its idyllic setting, make it a perfect getaway from busy towns such as the nearby Naples or Salerno.
The Ancient Greeks founded Paestum in around 600BC, originally calling it Poseidonia in order to honour the god Poseidon. It hosts three of the best-preserved Ancient Greek temples: the Temples of Hera, Neptune and Ceres. These are stunning as they filter and display light differently depending on season and time of day.
Throughout history the temples have served various purposes and people, including Ancient Greeks, Lucanians and Romans. For example, in the post-Roman period the Temple of Ceres became a Christian Church and still houses three Christian tombs.
Apart from the temples, you can find the remains of a Roman forum and a small Roman amphitheatre. In the summer, you can take the magical walk amongst the ruins accompanied by music and lights that bring the site to life.
Paestum Archeological Area also offers an on-site museum. Here you can wonder at the site’s famous painted tombs. The most noteworthy of these is the Tomb of Diver. The fresco this tomb boasts on its side is one of the only remaining figured Greek frescoes, and was painted in true fresco style. The museum also offers its visitors examples of pottery and Roman art from later in the temples’ history.
The easiest way to access the site is by train from Salerno or Naples. If you are coming from the Amalfi Coast, you can take a train to Salerno and change. When you arrive you will find a 15 minute walk that will take you through a beautiful rural setting to the archeological site.