If you are passionate about history and lovers of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece, you certainly cannot miss a visit to Paestum, the famous Italian city dating back to Magna Graecia immersed in the beautiful landscapes of Campania. Below we have collected all the useful information for visitors!
- Where is it and how to get there
- Hours and prices
- Tours, guided tours and tickets online
- What to see and how to visit Paestum
- Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
- User questions and comments
Where is it and how to get there
- On foot: considering the Paestum station as the starting point, it takes just 10 minutes to walk, continuing straight on along Via Porta Sirena until you reach the archaeological sites - Get directions
- By bus: Line 5320 Piaggine-Salerno of the SITA company
- By train: from Salerno and Battipaglia there are several daily trains that reach Paestum station
- By car: via the surrounding provincial roads, then 276 to the south, 168 to the west and 278 to the north
Hours and prices
Before talking about timetables and prices we must clarify between Paestum and the various attractions within it so as not to confuse the two. Paestum is in fact always accessible, being a fraction of the main town Capaccio. The archaeological area with temples, excavations and the museum obviously follows timetables and requires the payment of an entrance ticket, however, there is the illuminated path area that remains accessible even at night. Below all the information about it!
- archaeological park from 8:30 to 19:30 - museum from 8:30 to 18:50
- Best time to avoid queues: before 11:00 and after 16:00 are the best times with the least influx of people
- museum + archaeological area € 9,50 - museum only € 4,00 - archaeological area only € 7,00 - annual subscription € 25,00
- Reductions: for young people between 18 and 25 years the full ticket costs € 4,75, the one only for the museum € 2,00, the one only for the archaeological area € 3,50 and the annual pass € 12,50
- Free: all minors enter for free, the disabled with their companion, holders of the Paestum Mia season ticket or the Adotta un block card
Tours, guided tours and tickets online
What to see and how to visit Paestum
Paestum can be described as a village enclosed in walls. It is indeed immersed in a vast archaeological area inside which there are excavations, temples, churches, ancient houses and obviously an unmissable museum that contains all the objects found over the years during studies and archaeological excavations in the area. Here the unmissable things to see in Paestum!
1 - The City Walls
As we have already told you, Paestum is enclosed and protected by walls. It is in fact a mighty wall 7 meters high and 4,7 km long which is among the best preserved of all Magna Graecia. Along the walls there are 28 towers, 4 main access doors and 47 small openings used at the time as secondary and emergency entrances.
2 - National Museum
The National Museum of Paestum was born in 1952 for the need to collect all the archaeological material coming from the excavations that shows the high artistic level of Greek civilization. Among the objects in the museum there are bronze and terracotta vases, weapons and musical instruments.
3 - The Paleochristian Basilica
It is an ancient church dating back to the th century AD restored several times over the years. In the last restorations it was necessary to dig over two meters underground in order to find the ancient floor of the Basilica and today it is accessed by going down a staircase.
4 - The Amphitheater
In the Roman Paestum could not miss the amphitheater, which has always been a characteristic element of Ancient Rome. This amphitheater dates back to 50 BC and is only partially visible because the rest is underground.
5 - Temple of Athena
This temple was dedicated to Athena towards the end of the 700th century BC and consists of a fascinating ensemble of perfectly joined stones and columns. In the early s some visitors claimed that the temple was built for Ceres while in the following years it was even used as a stable.
6 - Temple of Hera
It is the oldest temple in Paestum. It dates back to 550 BC, but was initially considered a Roman basilica. Later the findings of objects donated to Hera, the wife of Zeus, proved the contrafrio and went back to the actual creation of the temple.
7 - Temple of Neptune
It is one of the 3 best preserved temples of Ancient Greece. It dates back to the th century BC and was erroneously attributed to Neptune even though it is actually thought that it was dedicated to Apollo. For lack of certainty, the temple retained its current name.
8 - The Forum
Another characteristic element of the cities of Ancient Rome was the Forum, the beating heart of city life. The Forum of Paestum contains buildings of significant importance for the city, such as the curia, the prison and the committee.
9 - The Houses
Currently 8 blocks of houses of various sizes dating back to the Roman period have been unearthed. You can see rich but small houses like the "House with marble impluvium" and huge houses like the "House with swimming pool", all made up of ornamental floors and various rooms.
10 - The Tomb of the Diver
The Tomb of the Diver is undoubtedly the highlight of the collection housed in the National Museum. It is an example of Greek painting, very beautiful as it is rare, which embellishes a tomb depicting the symbolic plunge that the deceased made from the kingdom of the living to that of the dead by throwing himself into the monument.
Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Get up early: the ideal would be to reach the entrance before 11:00, even better between 9:00 and 10:00
- Buy the city card: if you intend to visit Paestum several times you can buy the Paestum Mia annual pass with which you will enter for free, or support the park with a donation and obtain the Adopt a block card that allows free admission for one year
- Minimum time: to better visit all the archaeological site and the museum we advise you to consider 4 to 5 hours even if it would be better to go to Paestum for half a day, arriving in the morning and leaving in the afternoon
- Watch out for restrictions: it is forbidden to smoke, bring in food and drinks, bring in bulky luggage and suitcases, touch the exhibits and go beyond the protective barriers, use loudspeakers for guided tours, follow unmarked routes, the use of flash and drones
- Escorts: children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Carers of disabled people are entitled to free admission
- Pets: they can enter but only if held in the arms or in the carrier. Dogs, on the other hand, must all be kept on a leash, while large dogs also need a muzzle. Owners must also be equipped with a dustpan and bag to remove any needs
Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
Paestum is an ancient city of Magna Graecia and carries with it a long and fascinating history. Given the many changes of civilization over the epochs, its name has undergone several changes. Initially it was founded as Poseidonia, in honor of Poseidon, later it was conquered by the Lucanians who changed it into Paistom and finally, under a Roman siege, it was called Paestum. This name has come down to the present day and has been kept respecting the antiquity of the place, even if today it is flanked by the current and more modern Pesto.
There are two ticket offices to enter Paestum and they are located one at the entrance to the museum and the other at the entrance called the Main Gate.
In both locations there is a cloakroom to leave any bulky items and a space dedicated to tourist guides who offer their service and knowledge without the need for a reservation.
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