Paestum


The magnificent archaeological site of Paestum lies south of Naples and approx. one hour from Sorrento. Standing on a ferile plain on the left bank of the river Sele,the town of Paestum was founded in 600 B.C. by Sibarian. Invaded by the Greeks and later controlled by Rome. The town covers an area of 120 hectares and is surrounded by fortified walls – still intact. The site contains majestic temples such as the Temple of Ceres,dedicated to Athena,the Temple of Neptune,and the Basilica of Paestum all Greek in style and the Forum which was later built by the Romans.Unlike Pompei where oneis mesmeried by the scale and complexity of this complicated city,the drama of Paestum lies in the scale and magnificence of its buildings.Also on site in The Museo Archeologico Nazionale of Paestum whick was founded in 1952 and whick houses wonderfully intact vases,sculptures,wall paintings and the famous “tomb of the diver”. Beside the museum stands the Palazzo Vescovile which dates from the 18th century and besideit,the church of the S.S. Annunziata built in the 5th,6th,century and later enlarged in the 12th century. Paestum is a fascinating insight into the life of its ancient citizens and the skill demonstraded in its spectacular buildings cannot fail to impress. Paestum was in hababited until the Middle Ages when it was abandoned due to raids and its incresaing swampland but today it remains a paradise for lovers of history and architecture.