Italy
Paestum

Here you’ll find travel reports about Paestum. Discover travel destinations in Italy of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

9 travelers at this place:

  • Day362

    Day 363: Westwards to Paestum

    February 12 in Italy

    Started the day with a quick Skype session with Mum for her birthday, then left our place around 10:30am. Drove westwards out of Basilicata province back into Campania, on the coast about two hours south of Naples. Fairly long drive, about three hours worth, and we stopped at McDonalds for lunch since it's the easiest option on days like this.

    Arrived in the town of Paestum around 2pm where we checked into our apartment. It's a large BnB place with four rooms, though we're the only occupants. Spent the afternoon chilling out inside, then headed out for dinner in the evening at a local pizza place. Huge pizzas, very tasty and very cheap too.

    Only downside to this place is that it's freezing cold here. There must be a cold snap or something because we're only a kilometre or so from the coast, but it's absolutely frigid and the house is clearly designed for summer, not winter. They gave us a couple of heaters, but it's not much use!
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  • Day363

    Day 364: The Ruins of Paestum

    February 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.
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  • Day6

    Paestum

    October 7, 2016 in Italy

    Ein Reisetag mit Besichtigungsprogramm: obwohl für heute Regen angesagt war, erreichen wir trockenen Fußes Paestum. 600 v. Chr. wurde die griechische Stadt unter dem Namen Poseidonia gegründet. Drei gut erhaltene dorische Tempel, geweiht Hera, Athene und Poseidon, zeugen noch von dieser Epoche. Zum Ende haben wir Glück und es kommt tatsächlich noch mal die Sonne raus.

  • Day6

    Museum von Paestum

    October 7, 2016 in Italy

    Auch das zugehörige Museum ist sehr sehenswert. Es zeigt eine bedeutende Sammlung griechischer Altertümer aus Unteritalien, in der Hauptsache Grabfunde aus griechischen und lukanischen Nekropolen. Neben den üblichen griechischen Tontöpfen und einigen Waffen finden sich ausgesprochen gut erhaltene Malereien auf und in Sarkophagen, wie zum Beispiel der berühmte Taucher, der den Übergang vom Leben in das Reich der Toten als Sprung ins Wasser darstellt.Read more

  • Day58

    Paestum: A Blast from the Past...um.

    October 31, 2017 in Italy

    Slept in a bit but still made it to Paestum for around 2pm. Half an hour train ride - was surprisingly full, presumably due to it being All Saints Day tomorrow, so many Italians travelling for the holiday?

    Nothing at the Paestum station, so headed down a country road to get to the site. Grabbed a calzone and freshly squeezed orange juice, before stopping at the museum to buy a combined entry and audioguide. Quickly checked out the museum then into the archaeological site itself.

    Paestum has a crazy long history - with settlements dating as far back as the Paleolithic period. It was conquered by the Greeks who called it Poseidonia (dedicated to the god of the sea). Then the local Lucanians took over and called it Paistos, before ultimately the Romans came to power - renaming it Paestum. Was interesting to see the changes in buildings when the Romans took charge and renamed the town. Eventually the town was abandoned in the early Middle Ages (as Salerno became the hub for activity) - it remained forgotten until the 18th century when some road workers found it by accident.

    Not as well preserved as Pompeii but really enjoyable, in a different way. More like rubble in most places, but the three temples were stunning. And you could just walk around and on the ruins unattended. Not many other people there - didn't see any other Anglo tourists the whole day!

    The Temple of Neptune was quite impressive - although it was actually likely to have been dedicated to Apollo or Zeus (but the 18th century archaeologists named it after the god of the sea and the name stuck).

    The museum was also quite interesting if a little disorganised. They found tombs just south of Paestum, and the painted slabs were really interesting (the most famous being "the diver" who may be metaphorically diving from death to afterlife).

    Also there were some tombs discovered during the war by the Allies. In contrast to Pompeii (where parts were damaged during bombing by the Allies), the ruins at Paestum were left untouched. But while laying an airfield, these tombs were found, so a British engineer and head of the army archaeological corps excavated them (apparently rather well). Cool.

    Then took train back to Salerno. Nipped home for warmer clothing before going on to Vicolo della Neve for dinner. Spotted lots of people (mainly the kids) all dressed up for Halloween. Streets very busy for the occasion. Arrived at restaurant for 7.00pm only to find that it didn't open until 7.30pm. Note - most places here open around this time or later for dinner, which we're still adjusting to! So browsed cute store nearby and got our souvenirs before heading back.

    The meal was a simple fare of bean pasta (the only pasta on the menu) and main of assorted vegetables. Simple but so delicious! Great recommendation from our host.

    Then strolled on to Bar Nettuno once again for brioche and ice cream. Yum!
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  • Day364

    Day 365: Nothing Doing

    February 14 in Italy

    Since we'd originally organised two days for this and now had finished it in one, we had a full day off. Lucky for us, it rained heavily for much of the day so we just sheltered instead and shivered in the cold. Did some video work and some planning as well.

    Organised the last details of our trip to Malta, got most of the details of the Canary Islands locked in, and started on planning the return to Spain and then the subsequent trip to France as well. Cars hired all the way through to April!Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Paestum, Пестум, Ποσειδωνία, Պեստում, パエストゥム, პესტუმი, 帕埃斯图姆

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