Paestum: Ancient Greece in Southern Italy

While there are plenty of sites throughout Italy to time travel to Ancient Rome, in Southern Italy you can also experience magnificent ruins once touched by the hands of ancient Greeks. One such spot is Paestum, an easy day trip from Naples, Sorrrento/Amalfi or Salerno.

Temple of Athena | Paestum, Italy

Paestum is home to three incredible Greek temples dating back to 600 B.C., along with an impressive archaeological museum. These temples are considered among the most well-preserved in the world, rivaling even the ruins in Greece.

First Temple of Hera | Paestum, Italy

The Tomb of the Diver circa 470 B.C. | National Archaeological Museum Paestum

Temple in Perspective #1…. see the tiny people in the background?

Temple in Perspective #2

On the day we visited, in the height of summer travel, there were just a few others wandering the archaeological park. We were quite surprised to see folks hopping the meager wooden fences encircling each temple to wander inside the ancient behemoths. But, if my Italian served me correctly, that seemed to be allowed, so we gave it a try too. What an extraordinary experience to walk along stones set thousands of years ago, in a holy and sacred spot, by a people of seemingly another world.

Aside from the temples are remnants of the thriving community which flourished here.

If your travels take you to southern Italy and you have an interest in ancient history, I highly recommend you plan a day in Paestum. Having never been to Greece (high on my travel wish list), I was left awestruck after a few hours at Paestum, and truthfully, wanting more time there.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Ciao Stacy! My first trip to Paestum I was 11 and I loved it. I didn’t make it back until 2016, but it was every bit as magical 40 years later. I still can’t believe how few people were there in mid August, and the best mozzarella di bufala is in the area too 😋. I won’t wait so long to go back this time. Ciao, Cristina

  2. I love the temples of Paestum! You really get a feel for the grand scale of such a place with so many temples quasi-intact, and then it’s amazing to see the more intimate artifacts in the museum, particularly the famous Diver.

    1. Agree with you completely! We were completely in awe the entire day. I’d love to return, and also see some of the other Greek ruins around Italy.

  3. PedroL says:

    it is truly interesting to see how the proeminent cultures evolve through the times 🙂 Italy is so full of history, thanks for sharing and cheers from Lisbon 🙂 PedroL

    1. Cheers, Pedro! I find that extremely interesting as well. Italy’s many layers of history are fascinating! Thank you fir stopping by, and stay safe and well. – Stacy

      1. PedroL says:

        thank you for your feedback Stacy 🙂 PedroL

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