As it turns out the city of Paestum was founded in 6 century B.C. The Greeks built 3 Doric temples here The Temple of Helena, The Temple of Neptune and the Temple of Ceres. In the center is the Roman Forum filled with ruins of houses, baths, and the Southern end of the Roman Amphitheater.
The Temple of Ceres stands alone and is the smallest of the 3 temples while the Temple of Neptune and the Temple of Helena stand side by side, pretty much intact. In fact more intact then the Acropolis of Athens Greece.
Even better news, not many people know about the greek ruins of Paestum which makes for off the beaten path travel, few tourists, and a walk back in time where you can roam freely and think back to the 6th Century BC. The first step is getting there.
My sister was visiting from Japan for the Christmas holiday’s and this was our last of 2 road trips we went on before she headed back. We went at the end of December on a sunny day, in the early afternoon about an hour before closing. It was the best time to visit, there weren’t very many people there that day and we ended up walking around by ourselves enjoying each other’s company for the better part of the afternoon.
Originally the greeks named the city Poseidon but then it was seized by the Lucanians at the end of the 5th century BC and renamed to Paistom. Later during 237 BC the Romans took the city and renamed it to Paestum which it is still know as today.
After the Temple of Ceres you get to take a walk right through the town, seeing places where there used to be homes, baths, ruins everywhere and still very in tact. Along the way there are explanations from the city.
As I walked I started to imagine the streets packed with people, friends and families everywhere, meeting at the well for water, heading to the baths to scrub the grime from their bodies after a long day working, stopping by a neighbors house for some sugar or an extra pigeon. There were so many things to imagine from times past.
Look, the floors that were in some of the houses are still fully laid. I can imagine women bent over on this floor side by side laying every small stone to make these exact patterns chatting away as they sipped tea and gossip’d about everyone in the town. Can you see it too?
This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.