Hotel Onda Verde

 

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PAESTUM

Paestum - Poseidonia


 
OVERVIEW

Greek Temples
Archaeological Site, Paestum

One of Italy's most majestic sights lies on the edge of a flat coastal plain: the remarkably well-preserved Greek temples of Paestum. The S18 from the north has now been rerouted via the train station (Stazione di Paestum), which is about 800 yards from the ruins. Access can be gained through the perfectly preserved archway Porta Sirena, or -- if motorized -- through the northern gate of Porta Aurea. The ruins are part of the ancient city of Poseidonia, founded by Greek colonists in the 7th century BC. When the Romans took over the colony in 273 BC and its name was latinized to Paestum, they changed the layout of the settlement, adding an amphitheater and a forum. Much of the archaeological material found on the site is displayed in the helpfully labeled Museo Nazionale. Several rooms are devoted to the unique tomb paintings discovered in the area, rare examples of Greek and pre-Roman pictorial art. About 600 feet from the museum (in front of the main site offices), framed by banks of roses and oleanders, is the Tempio di Nettuno (Temple of Poseidon), a magnificent Doric edifice with 36 fluted columns and an extraordinarily well-preserved entablature (area above the capitals), which rivals the finest temples in Greece. On the left of the temple is the so-called Basilica, the earliest of Paestum's standing edifices; it dates from early in the 6th century BC. The name is an 18th-century misnomer, for the structure was in fact a temple sacred to Hera, the wife of Zeus.

 

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 Behind it an ancient road leads to the Foro Romano (Roman Forum) and the single column of the Tempio della Pace (Temple of Peace). Beyond -- on the north side of the site -- is the Tempio di Cerere (Temple of Ceres), thought to have originally been dedicated to the goddess Athena. From the thankfully pedestrianized road that runs past the site -- actually it cuts the site in half -- you can view the temples in the late afternoon or early evening, when the light enhances the deep gold of the limestone. Many people touring the Amalfi Coast take a day trip down to Paestum.

By car, exit the A3 motorway at Battipaglia, and follow the signs. The easiest way to get there is to train it to Salerno and then take a 30-minute connecting train ride from there. COST: Site EUR4, museum EUR4, combination ticket EUR6.50. OPEN: Excavations daily 9-2 hrs before sunset; museum daily 8:45-7; museum closed 1st and 3rd Mon. of each month.

Address: Via Magna Grecia, Paestum, Italy
Phone: 0828/811023

 
  • Duomo
    Religious Site, Ravello

 

 
 
 
 

Hotel Onda Verde
Contact Us
Via Terramare, - N 3 - 84010 Praiano (Salerno) - Italy - Amalfi Coast
Tel.: +39 089 874143 - +39 089 874125 - Fax.: +39 089 8131049

 

 

 

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