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Ruins of Temple of Athena at Paestum

Wall detail from Paestum

A Roman vase recovered at Paestum

 Most Photos on VisitsItaly are by Jesse Andrews. Please Contact VisitsItaly.Com for reproduction of any kind at:

Welcome to Paestum
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: n/a
Official site:

Paestum is a set of Greek ruins about two hours south of Naples.  Though the site is not very large, or kept up for that matter (when I visited in 1997), it is important because it shows the Greek influence on the area.

Though not as spectacular as cites like Pompeii or Hurculaneum, the buildings that are left do show everyday Greek architecture.  I especially noticed the similarities between this site and the ruins at Mycenae. Paestum does offer the visitor something very important. Three restored Doric temples. In fact, the best they are the best preserved Greek ruins in Italy outside of Sicily.

On a recent trip to Greece I compared these Doric temples with that of the nymph Aphania on Aegina an noted remarkable similarities. In fact they were nearly identical in construction. The temples when I saw them were being repaired. Having viewed recent pictures of Paestum, the temples have been restored and the site seems quite nice to visit. Especially if you are in Italy and not visiting greece.

Though Paestum is not much now, it was once an important stop on both Greek and Roman trade routes. The city was very prosperous and as a result had three doric temples.   However, the city met a tiny set of conquerors, malaria carrying mosquitoes. The Moquitoes caused a great drop in the population, either killing people or causing people to leave. Marauding bandits also decimated the site, leaving it deserted. This allowed Paestum to be over grown by jungle.  In fact, not much is recognizable except for three nicely preserved Doric style temples, most importantly the Temple to Athena.





By Car:
Take highway A3 from either the south or the north  and Paestum, about 45 minutes south of Salerno.
By train:
Paestum Station.
By airplane: Napoli Capodichino Airport  Km  100 KM. By boat: Salerno Marina



Paestum - old church


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