Visit to Paestum (Ancient Greece near Naples)


We think of Greek architecture and logically comes to mind Greece and Turkey. But Italy it also contains beautiful greek ruins like Paestum, which may be the most splendid of them all. A walk through this magnificent place, even better if we previously visited Pompeii and we miss great temples, make this the perfect combination during our instance in the Campania Italian

Curiously it was not within our plans, but with the rush we took from one place to another, we took time in one morning and went to visit it, a success, since the repentance would have been capitalized.

Athena Temple

Paestum - What to see in Paestum

A brief step through its history

I will not tell the story of how Paestum was founded since you can find it in many places, but a detail that I saw in the museum captivated me especially. As a lover of the history of world wars I noticed the following photograph, where a group of American marines cross the ruins of Paestum in 1943.

Second World War

The image corresponds to the landing of the US Infantry Unit 36 during the invasion of Italy by the allies. Paestum has long beaches, not far from the ruins, and these were chosen by motorized boats as a berth. The landing was not quiet because of the resistance that the Germans offered for 24 hours, until they had no choice but to put feet in dusty direction Naples.


We approach by rental car and park in the parking of land located at the entrance. In theory there is a gorilla He takes care of the parking lot, but coincidentally he didn't sniff at us and we went unnoticed. The place is like a small village with several important buildings like the Paestum Museum and one church. The rest of the buildings seem to be related to tourism, but it probably isn't.

Houses located at the entrance of Paestum

On the other side of the road is a post that has the appearance of selling tickets. Big mistake, since these must be bought in the museum and this post is simply a place of control. Said and done, we bought them and began the visit to Paestum.

Paestum key points

1 Temple of Athena

Just past the main entrance we have one of the most beautiful temples in Paestum, the Athena Temple located on top of a tiny hill. It is visibly similar to Parthenon from Athens, but smaller. So stuck is the outer fence, that a camera with little zoom is enough to take some decent picture.

Athena Temple

2 Second Temple of Hera or Apollo

Dedicated to Poseidon, is the best preserved temple of the enclosure. It retains almost the entire upper part and one becomes very small as it moves towards it. Too bad we can't get into it, but the feeling must be similar to the one lived in it. Karnak Temple in Egypt, inside the great hall of the columns.

Temple of Apollo or Hera

3 First Temple of Hera or Basilica

Parallel to the previous building and without roof. In its time it was the largest temple of Paestum and he is currently the oldest of them all, nothing more and nothing less than 2500 years under his feet. Anecdotally, archaeologists thought it was a roman temple, until a new generation arrived years later denying the previous one.

The Basilica

4 Amphitheater

Founded on him 50 BC, the truth that today little is left of him and personally is what disappointed me most of the whole complex. A pity that the stones were taken as in many other ruins.

Paestum Amphitheater

However it is an ideal place to make a picnic, since this is not closed like the rest of the great temples and if stopping to eat a sandwich is not your thing, right next to it are the ruins of the old Forum.

Paestum - Forum

5 Bouleuterion

Instead of council meeting In the ancient Greek cities. Here they debated countless public problems that affected Paestum. From how much the kilo of oranges has to be until the street has to be paved.

The photo leads to deception, in winter the stands are covered with herbs and green green is shown, but in summer they are dried giving a much more brown tone.


6 ruins

And what to say about what I think are ruins. Cobblestone streets in an excellent state of conservation surrounded by buildings that have barely survived their foundations. The best thing in this type of cases is to throw a little imagination and move 2000 years before.

Streets of Paestum

I particularly missed the mosaics, but as usual in many outdoor places, these are replaced by copies and originals moved to museums.


7 Paestum Museum

The museum is fully restored and is quite rich in paintings, crafts and mosaics. Dedicate your time because you deserve it, recommendation of one who could not do it.


More on the transalpine country in our section of Italy

Practical data

Before leaving for Italy

  • Search and compare flights at the best price
  • Lonely Planet Guide
  • Airport Transfers
  • Car rental found a 15% discount
  • The best excursions in the area

When to go to Paestum?

Personally I think that winter and autumn are the best times to visit it. In spring the temperatures are still mild, but it is beginning to be noticed that the number of visitors is growing. In summer the high temperatures and the little shade that there is, makes us have to see it quickly and running.

How to get to Paestum?

Since Naples we take the highway in the direction Salerno and from the latter until Battiplagia, from where we will take an exit that indicates Paestum We will not have arrived yet, since we will have at least 23 kilometers left until we reach the ruins.

In public transport we can take the Bus number 34 from the city of Salerno (1h20 '). Another option is to make use of train that stops right in the ruins coming from Salerno.

Hire an excursion

Excursions around Naples and Pompeii

Where to stay in Paestum?

We stay at Pompeii at the Bed & BreakFast B&B Eco Pompei. Impeccable, cheap, with internet and a good breakfast.

Hotels along the Amalfi Coast

  • Amalfi Holiday Resort: comfortable hotel with pool and free wifi.
  • Hotel Miramalfi: Wonderful views of the town of Amalfi and with a pool that seems suspended in the sky. It also has an ideal terrace for a drink or even dinner.
  • Florida Residence: located in the upper part of Positano, it offers one of the best views of the town.
  • Palazzo Marzoli resort: great rooms in a very Italian hotel. Positano

Any recommendation?

The temples are oriented to the East and the West, so the photographs are better to take them first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon. Another important detail is the heat it can make in summer and the shortage of shadows. Ideally, get up early and see the temples, to end up seeing the Museum sheltered from the air conditioner.

Take the museum calmly because it is so worth it.

Paestum Map

Map of Paestum by

Recommended places around

  • The famous Vesuvius volcano.
  • Amalfi Lacosta.
  • Herculaneum Lasruinas
  • Pompeii