Paestum Italy

Paestum is situated along the central west coast of Italy, south of both Naples and Salerno. Any history buffs taking Italy tours will do well to pay a visit to this mysterious and fascinating destination. Once a time-honored Greek colony, Paestum Italy remains off the beaten path yet there are few destinations in the country that are as rewarding as this ancient community. Another great reward for tourists who visit Paestum is the solitude throughout the area. Often, there is not a soul around. A far cry from its Italian counterparts such as Milan, Rome, and Florence, Paestum's combination of historic monuments, peaceful surroundings, and coastal location make it an ideal stop during Italy tours.

Paestum is in the Campania region which is also home to Amalfi, Sorrento, Naples, Capri, and Ischia. The most noticeable aspect of Paestum Italy are the glossy white marble temples, in front of a backdrop of dark blue ocean and argent mountains. When you visit Paestum, there is a noticeable ambience of ancient Greece, with the temple exuding a mix of both exotic and historic ambiance. Travelers on Paestum trips are better off knowing the history behind the settlement before visiting to gain the most from the experience.

At one point in time, a predominant Greek colony covered a large area of southern Italy. Called Magna Graecia, the Greek settlement dates back to the sixth century B.C. During this time period, Greek nationals left their home country to seek homes elsewhere due to massive overcrowding, famine, and other demographic predicaments. The city was first named Poseidonia, a Greek name, in memory of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. Once the Roman empire fell, the once bustling trading port was ravaged by malaria and frequent raids, forcing the Greeks to flee. The name was then changed to a Roman one. This specific history is all available at the local museum, called The National Archaeological Museum of Paestum. A visit to Paestum isn't complete without touring this museum, one of the most extensive of many Italian museums.

The basilica in Paestum is named the Temple of Hera and is one of the several fully complete Doric temples in the area. Touring the temple is the most popular of all the things to do in Paestum. Though it has existed since 550 B.C. it wasn't discovered until the later eighteenth century, even though it was less than thirty miles from the nearest populated city. The basilica in Paestum marks the era of the once Greek-occupied territory. The two secondary temples of the three main are named the Temple of Neptune and the Temple of Ceres. The Temple of Neptune is the oldest of the three and the best preserved.

Paestum trips are easily done from Naples. A drive from Naples to Salerno, and then from Salerno to Paestum Italy is a nice scenic route with plenty of picturesque backdrops along the way. If transportation is an issue, there is always a local bus that travels there from Salerno, taking approximately an hour and a half. From the opposite direction, Paestum trips can be easily made by bus from Agropoli. There are also many Italy tours that visit both Salerno and Paestum. Anyone planning to visit Paestum should also make time to tour the rest of the Campania area if possible. The stunning Amalfi coastline is reason enough. There are also many other historic sites, ancient palaces, and dramatic castles in the area, making a Paestum trips and area tours a major highlight when visiting central Italy.

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