Who would have thought on our May 2023 trip to Italy, we would visit Greek Temples, which are on the southern shore in the village of Paestum. While researching our trip to Italy, one of our greatest sources was watching different documentaries and travel sites. One of these is the Rick Steeve’s series. We were nonchalantly watching an episode when suddenly we found him to be touring beautiful, well kept, Ancient Greek Temples. In Italy!! Of course, loving Greece as we do, we were determined to find a way to visit them.
Getting to the Greek Temples of Paestum is not a quick trip. By car it took us just under 2 hours. However, there are a few different ways to get there and we explored them all. After taking in all factors we hired a driver which was the more expensive way but most efficient. We used Positano Taxi Transfers and were very pleased with the service. On the way back, our driver dropped us off at Solerno and we caught a ferry, stopped at Amalfi and Positano, and continued back to our hotel. The least expensive way is taking a bus. You can also go most of the way by ferry, catch a train and/or catch a bus. Regardless, it is worth a visit if you have the time.
History of Paestum
Once part of Magna, Graecia, Paestum, Italy was a major Greek coastal city along the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Originally named Poseidonia by Greek colonists from Sybari in the 7th century BC and was part of Ancient Greece. The Romans renamed the city Paestum in 273 BC and it continued to thrive until during the 9th century AD. Know for the three very well-preserved Greek temples, this ancient city is a very remarkable place to visit. The three temples are all dedicated to Greek goddesses, The Temple of Hera I, The Temple of Hera II (also called The Temple of Neptune), and The Temple of Athena.
First Temple of Hera
The first Temple of Hera is the oldest in the Paestum complex dating to between 550-525 BC. As a mater of fact, it is the oldest temple in Italy. Dedicated to the goddess Hera who is the patron of and blesses marriages. Her followers pray to her for a safe childbirth.
In addition, visitors can walk in a section of the interior of this temple, which I really enjoyed.
The Second Temple of Hera
This temple, built around 450 BC was misnamed The Temple of Neptune in the 18th century. Although the current belief is this temple is also dedicated to the goddess Hera.
Visitors can also enter this temple and walk through it which is pretty cool.
Temple of Athena
The third temple, built around 550 BC and is dedicated to the goddess Athena as evidenced by statues of the goddess found in the temple. The inside of this temple is not accessible. Also when we were there, it appeared that restoration work was in progress on the interior. Furthermore, it took a bit of creative positioning to get photos without the workers inside.
Other Areas in the Complex
Sanctuary With Pool
To sum it up, this is a really great Ancient ruin with fantastic Greek Temples. I would highly recommend visiting the Ancient Greek temples of Paestum, Italy even if they are a bit out of the way from Amalfi Coast. After we finished touring this area, our driver drove us to the Ferry in Solerno. We spent the rest of the day relaxing on the water along the Amalfi coast. My next post will include photos from the ferry ride and also a visit to Amalfi and Positano.
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Diary of a Gen-X recommendations for hotels, restaurants, & tours are based on our own experiences. We do not receive compensation for recommending at any of these nor are we affiliates of any hotels, restaurants, or tours. The only hotels & restaurants we recommend are places we stay which are clean, comfortable, and also provide exceptional hospitality.