Ancient Paestum


When the Greeks arrived in the Campania region they decided to settle down in this area and during the V century b. C. they started building a beautiful town in the plane of the Sele river and they dedicated the town to Poseidon, the God of the Sea.

The town flourished and became a very large city which was called Paestum by the Romans during the Roman Empire. When the Saracens attacked Paestum, in the IX century, the population was forced to flee towards the mountains, abandoning completely the marvelous city. Slowly the vegetation and the swamp covered it.

The ancient town of Paestum was partly brought to light during the eighteenth century when a few workers while building a road noted the beautiful temples, the so called Basilica, the temple dedicated to Neptune and the one dedicated to Cerere/Athena and they reported it to the king of Naples, Charles III of Bourbon who decided to start an excavation campaign in the entire Campania region.

Excavations are still going on today with new findings in the area to the north of Athena’s temple.

The archaeological area of the ancient city includes the main Forum, part of the Ekklesiasterion, a Greek meeting place, part of the Amphitheater and the remains of many houses and shops.

The adiacent Archaeological Museum hosts many artifacts that were found in the city and the decorations of a temple which had been built close to the Sele river and dedicated to Hera Argiva.

Findings going back to the Neolithic age which were found close to the Gaudio Neolithic area, are also displayed on the upper floor of the museum.

Duration: 3 hours

More info about this guided tour with a professional qualified tourist guide of the Campania region at

© Maria Sannino

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