Visit Paestum and its Temples
Like the whole territory of the Protected area, the archaeological site of Paestum, as the archaeological site of Velia and the monumental splendour of the Chartreuse of Padula, is also part of t5he prestigious list of the sites inserted by the UNESCO in the World Patrimony of Humanity. Around the VII century BC the Achaeans, coming from Sybaris, through the safe and fast ridge trails reached the existing settlement of Gaudo civilization and founded the city of Poseidonia, in honour of the God of waters. In the V century BC the town was conquered by the Lucanians, who changed its name in Paistos or Paistom and in 273 BC it became a Roman colony named Paestum.
The rediscovery of the beauties of Paestum, which had begun thanks to the interest expressed by writers and poets during the XVI century, took place mostly during the XIX century, when the ancient Greek colony became a destination for “study travels” and journeys for intellectual people. Artists of different nationalities and writers such as Goethe, Shelley, Canova and Piranesi began to visit the Greek town and they spread its reputation throughout Europe.
Today Paestum is a tourist destination famous all over the world. It allows us to admire the most beautiful and best preserved monuments of Magna Grecia, or even of the whole classical period: a trip among the three Doric temples of Hera, Ceres and Neptune, the Forum with the Agorà, the treasury, the taberae and the comitium, the swimming pool, the amphitheatre and the sacellum is not to miss.
National Archaeological Museum of Paestum:
The museum exhibits are set out on two floors in sections arranged according to topographical (metopes of temple and painted tombs) and chronological principles (votive and funerary materials from temples and necropolis). A whole room is dedicated to the painted slab of the “Tomb of the Diver”, dated 450 B.C. The unique painted Tomb in Paestum is made up of four limestone slabs that have painted banquet scenes on them and the cover depicts a young man diving, which is considered a symbolic passage to the afterlife.