Day 364: The Ruins of PaestumFebruary 13 in Italy
The world heritage site here is quite unusual. Just near us is a series of Greek temples, probably the best preserved ones outside of Greece. But instead of being their own listing, they're combined with a large national park nearby and then a monastery as well for some reason - go figure. We've got two days to explore, but the weather is looking fairly grim.
Unsure what to do, we just headed off in the car to drive around the national park. I'd decided that my video would just focus on the Greek temples since those were by far the most interesting parts, so we just spent a couple of hours doing a circuit around the national park.
Our apartment was right near the temples, so instead of going home we opted to grab lunch at a cafe opposite the temples instead. The rain was holding for now, so we figured we might as well head in and film the temples while we were here.
They're definitely very impressive - three large stone constructions with lots of pillars and most of the facades still intact. There's a whole colony as well that's buried here, though not much of it remains compared to somewhere like Pompeii or Ostia Antica. You might be wondering why Greek temples are here in Italy, but obviously this was a colony of Greek settlers, founded around 500 BC. It later became part of the Roman province known as Magna Grecia (Greater Greece) and was fully integrated into the Roman empire after the wars for control of Italy in the 200s BC. The Romans of course just replaced the Greek gods with their own!
We spent a few hours wandering around and filming, though we spent at least 30 minutes sheltering under an olive tree while a rain squall passed over, including a light smattering of hail! Again the site was quite empty, though there was a large group of obnoxious French school kids doing a tour as well. Still no idea why they're so much more poorly behaved than other nationalities kids!
Last stop was the museum opposite the ruins, where they had some of the archaeological finds from the grounds as well as nearby tombs. Also a fascinating tomb known as the Tomb of the Diver because it features, yes, a guy diving from a stone wall into some water - likely a metaphor for passing into death I guess.
More rain closed in so we headed home to shiver in the cold and cook some dinner. Did a bit of planning and a couple more videos too.Read more