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.

Paestum ItalyAs always I’m traveling from Naples and its about a 1.5 hour drive, South, past Pompeii, and in the providence of Salerno. As you can see its right near the water and a perfect day drive.

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.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 2The Temple of Ceres, smallest of the 3.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 3The Temple of Ceres was built in 500 BC.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 4Even though it was the smallest of the 3, look how big it is compared to me.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 5Taking a walk down the lane, checking out the impressive skills of the Greeks when there were no modern equipment.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 6Originally 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.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 7Although there was a wooden fence surrounding the ruins I don’t always play by the rules and there were so few people around.. I jumped the fence for a quick pick, I mean we didn’t hurt anything!

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 8Face shot of my sister.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 9After 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.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 10As you walk down the main road in the distance you’ll see the 2 temples side by side still very in tact.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 11Look, 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?

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 12Even farther down you can start to see the open area where the Amphitheater once lay.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 13Peaking out from around a pillar, I look back at the Temple of Ceres.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 14Amongst the ruins.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 15 Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 16As we walked further down, we came upon the temple of Helena.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 17I just popped over the fence for another quick pic, this temple is huge!

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 18



Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 19Amongst a few of the other ruins on the far side.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 20 Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 21Both Helena and Neptune.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 22 Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 23 Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 25Another sun splotch, this is my favorite thing to capture, its so beautiful coming spreading out through the ruins.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 26One of the entrances to the Amphitheater.

Pasteum Greek Ruins Italy 27Afterward, we were 2 starving bears and headed home so we could get some food! Okay, we did stop at a rest stop for a snack along the way it was a whole 2-hour drive back with night time traffic.

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