From Poseidonia to Paestum

Paestum was the site of a major Greek settlement (600 BC) which was later conquered by the Lucanians (the locals) then in 273 BC Rome moved in. They renamed the majestic Poseidonia, the very diminished, Paestum.

It is a 50 minute train ride from Salerno, in southern Italy. (Or 1 & a 1/2 hours on the train from Naples).

There are three major temples here and lots more besides. It is a bigger site than I expected.

To the far right of the site is the Temple of Athena and it is the oldest dated at circa 6th century BC.

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Between this temple and the two down the far left of the site is the remains of city life. There are remnants of apartments, houses with a similar layout as Pompeii, evidence of a long gone pool, training grounds, a smaller temple to fortuna virilis, stunning patterned flooring, walls and seating.

The sacred area with memorial stone.

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and all set out in its Cilento setting. As you can see there was hardly anyone here apart from a couple of school groups and one tour party but the site is so big I was gaily romping about unimpeded.

The aforementioned temples at the far left of the site are the Temple of Poseidon/Nepture (but now thought to be Apollo), circa 450 BC and behind it the temple of Hera. The photos below are of Apollo first.

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And then the Temple of Hera from circa 550 BC. Hera was Zeus’ wife and it was here in the restricted adyton that the city treasury was kept.

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This is the detail of the patterns adorning the temple of Hera.

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These are taken on the walk from the train station.

And here is me having a fabulous time. If you get down as far as the Amalfi coast then make the effort to get to Paestum. It is well worth it and a true gem in Italy’s treasure chest.

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7 thoughts on “From Poseidonia to Paestum

    1. Thanks Karen, it was such a beautiful day. I bought the hat there that I wore on the rest of my 6 weeks holiday. When I had to leave my hat on a rubbish bin in the Munich airport, I felt incredibly sad. That’s why the hat got a look in in the post 🤠

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  1. We spent a couple of nights there and while the town is dead and there are few choices for dining and little to do beyond see the ruins, we did find one fabulous restaurant (so good I would almost go to Paestum just to eat there) and the temples are lighted spectacularly at night.

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    1. That sounds like it’s worth a night there to see the lighting. Being based at Salerno was a nice option, in fact I am completely in love with Salerno and will return next time. May I ask the name of the Palestinian restaurant?

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      1. Had t go back to my trip notes…from Nov 2015! The restaurant was called Il Gallo e La Perla, but that now seems to be south of Paestum in Agropoli. (If it is the same at all.) In the location that we visited there is now Casa Coloni Restaurant which seems to be highly rated.

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