The archeological site of PAESTUM, south of the Bay of NAPLES and Salerno is
perhaps the largest and most impressive templar area in the Mediterranean. The city
was founded during the time of so-called MAGNA GRECIA, long before the Golden
Age of ATHENS and Sparta, and it boasts temples, houses, and hundreds of
architectural and votive artifacts once used and inhabited by the thriving population of
Greek colonists who formed what is referred to as MAGNA GRECIA.
The trip to PAESTUM may be made by train (from Rome, changing trains in Naples,
approximately 4 1/2 hrs.) or by private automobile, and it merits staying overnight, in
order to spend a full day visiting the archaeological museum and of course the grand
Archaic age (6th century B.C.) temples and city. When Romans conquered the town
in 273 B.C., they saved some of the Greek elements, transformed others, and
"imposed" a Forum and other typical civic structures. Today one can clearly see the
various layers of time and belief systems from the different epochs, including a rich
collection of tomb frescoes dating back to the Greek period and also the Lucanian
centuries in between the Magna Grecia era and the Roman. The perimeter of the
ancient city in the form of a solid wall dating back to the time of the Greeks
frames the excavation site -- and together with the area mountains, sacred in ancient
times for the alignment of the buildings, the overall impression of a trip to PAESTUM
will mark the heart and memory of any traveler to Italy.
The Diver (fresco from
tomb dating to 480 B.C.)
The view of this painting from the days of Italy's GRAND TOUR shows the alignment of the
Archaic Greek temples with the mountains as well as the frame of the old city walls dating
back to the same period.
Go to prior page of
Tour descriptions
of my web site
****A visit to PAESTUM, depending on
the travelers' interests, can include a short
presentation and discussion of a classic
work by Greek philosopher PLATO:
or Banquet.
The subject of LOVE, which is
addressed by Socrates in this dialogue
from the 5th cedntury B.C., provideds
an ideal conversational background for
the appreciation of Greece's legacy in
Italian culture.
CLICK here to read about HOTEL VILLA
RITA, walking distance from the
Archaelogical site.  A great place to spend
the night and enjoy a delicious meal.
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