Welcome to Paestum

Paestum – or Poseidonia as the city was originally called, in honour of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea – was founded in the 6th century BC by Greek settlers and fell under Roman control in 273 BC. Decline set in following the demise of the Roman Empire. Savage raids by the Saracens and periodic outbreaks of malaria forced the steadily dwindling population to abandon the city altogether.

Today, Paestum offers visitors a vivid, to-scale glimpse of the grandeur and sophistication of the area's past life.

Top experiences in Paestum

Travel guides

Starting at $36.39

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Paestum activities

$48.33 Day Trips & Excursions

Salerno and Paestum Day Trip from Sorrento

Pick-up in the morning at assigned meeting point within Sorrento area and transfer by bus to Salerno and Paestum.Salerno is today an important cultural centre in Campania but it had a prominent role in Italian educational system during ancient times; it was, in fact, the site of the first medical school in the world and then consequentially considered the most ancient medical institution of European West. Stroll along its historical centre during the free time and then move to Paestum in the early afternoon.At the arrival, we’ll visit the amazing archaeological site of the town that houses three of the most well-preserved Greek temples in the world (entrance fees not included). Annex to the archaeological site there’s also a Museum that contains the famous “Tomb of the Diver” that is today one of the only example of Greek painting with figured scenes dating from the Orientalizing, Archaic, or Classical periods to survive in its entirety.Return to Sorrento in the afternoon.

$49.32 Cultural & Theme Tours

Salerno and Paestum from Sorrento

Explore these 2 cities on a full-day tour from Sorrento, visiting their monuments and museums and walking their streets. 1 hour of free time walking along the Salerno seafront and visiting the cathedral or wandering through the pedestrian area. Then head on to Paestum to enjoy lunch before entering its archeological site.In medieval times, Salerno was the world’s capital of medicine. The Monastery of the Benedictine monks, who probably founded its medical school, offered the best instruction available at the time. One of the most famous medical texts of that time was the "Regimen Sanistas Salerni," written in Salerno in Latin and translated into almost every European language.In more modern times Salerno is best remembered for the landing of allied troops on its beaches during World War II.The town of Paestum was founded by the Greeks around 60 B.C. Its name derives from Poseidon , to whom it was dedicated. It was during this period that the Basilica, the Temple of Poseidon, and the Temple of Ceres (Athena) were built. Today the temples and ruins–built of a fine yellow limestone–standing in a bower of aromatic herbs, cypress, and oleander, are considered to be the finest examples of their kind. The nearby museum contains many fine sculptures found on the site and also the famous divers’ tomb.

$874.61 Day Trips & Excursions

Full-Day Amalfi Coast and Paestum Tour from Sorrento or Positano

Get picked up at your hotel in either Sorrento or Positano to begin your day trip.After a 10 minute drive from Sorrento you will reach the southern shore of the Sorrentine Peninsula and the beginning of the Amalfi Coast. During your ride along the famous Amalfi Coast you'll have the opportunity of take photos from the vehicle and while stopping in the various areas located along the coast. The first town you will reach is Positano, also called the vertical town. It is the most picturesque town along the coast. There you will stop for one hour of free time. Enjoy the opportunity to walk down to the beach and look at the different stores and art galleries. After a 1-hour dive from Positano you'll reach the town of Amalfi. This town has a glorious past starting the 875 AD. it was the first maritime republic in Italy. A lot of the ancient city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1345. One of the very few buildings that survived is the Cathedral of St. Andrew built in the 10th century in the Sicilian Arab-Norman style. A visit to the cathedral and the center of this town is highly recommended. After Amalfi you will visit Salerno and the archaeological site of Paestum. Paestum was original built by the Greeks in the 7th century BC and named Poseidonia. The site is known for the 3 Greek temples, considered among the best preserved in Europe. They date from 550 BC to 450 BC.After the 2-hour guided tour of Paestum (the temples and museum), you will ride back on the main highway and return to your original pickup location.

$48.33 Tours & Sightseeing

Salerno and Paestum Full-day Coach Tour from Sorrento

Salerno is the second city in Campania and it is located at about 50 km from of Sorrento. The beautiful seafront offers the chance to relax and have a pleasant walk and the alleys of the old town give the opportunity to spend some time experiencing the relaxing atmosphere of the city and why not, do some shopping. Salerno, famous in the Middle Ages for its brilliant medical school, merges the European expertise with the Jewish and Islamic, also offers the opportunity to visit, (appropriately dressed), the remarkable cathedral of St. Matthew, built by Roger the Norman in 1076. With Arechi II, the city experienced a period of great splendour and was later a study centre with the famous 'Salerno Medical School'.In 1799 the city joined the Neapolitan Republic, while in the Napoleonic era came to the throne before Joseph Bonaparte and then Joachim Murat, who in 1811 issued a decree of suppression of the Salerno Medical School. After the unification of Italy, Salerno continued a slow urban development which saw the construction of large public and private buildings. The city continued to flourish until the Second World War and it was the scene of the landing of the Allied troops during the war, after which it began to grow again.Salerno has a welcoming community for tourists from around the world with the charm of an old town where you can see all the traces of its ancient history, both the fervour of the local craft shops, cultural and musical experiences by thousands of people. After the visit of Salerno you continue by coach for about 60 km to discover the fascinating archaeological site of Paestum, where, after free time for lunch, you visit the excavations. Paestum was a major centre of the Magna Grecia. The oldest traces of human settlement dates back to the Palaeolithic site. During the Imperial Age, Paestum began a long and gradual decline, until the final abandonment in the eighth century, due to swamping in the area. The Roman town, however, had its forum here, with the rally, the temple of the Capitoline Triad , the Basilica.The entire archaeological area of the city is included in the UNESCO list of sites of worldwide interest, preserved as a heritage of humanity. Near the town at the mouth of the Sele, you can admire the ruins of the sanctuary of Hera (Heraion), one of the most important Greek sanctuaries on Italian soil. The sacred area incorporates, in addition to several secondary buildings, a major temple and a smaller building, called the Treasury, decorated with carved metopes now conserved in the Museum. Return to Sorrento in the afternoon.

$57.54 Walking & Biking Tours

Paestum: Route of the Allied Landings Tour

Trace the route of Operation Avalanche, the largest landing operation ever undertaken in military history at the time of World War II. In September 1943, that members of the US 36th Infantry Division began their attack on Salerno to force the Germans into retreat. The tour retraces the moments of the landing at Paestum. You will go to the landing beaches, where wonderful views of the Gulf of Salerno form a contrast to the horrors of the stories you’ll hear.Learn about the Campaign Internment Camp, established by Mussolini to intern Jews and foreigners. Hear about the Four Days of Naples uprising, when the Italian Resistance and town folk forced out their German occupiers. Your guide will tell of criminal massacres of civilians by the Nazis, as well as the victims of the bombardments, and the historic Battle of Mignano Montelungo.Later, you will visit the Tower of Paestum, a medieval watchtower that was once part of an unbroken chain of 111 towers along the Amalfi and Cilento Coast. Enjoy commanding views of the same beaches the Allies landed on, and learn how German snipers used the Tower to fire on them.During the day, you can break for lunch to try some of Cilento's traditional mozzarella cheese, as well as typical grilled sausages and vegetables. An alternative tourist menu option is available. At the end of your tour, for those that would like a fun break, enjoy a free gift to save money at the Nevada Park amusement park.

$187.58 Shows, Concerts & Sports

Skip-the-Line Paestum Temples & Buffalo Mozzarella Farm Tour with Driver Pickup

According to the geographer and historian Strabo, the city was one of the main Greek poleis. Founded around the 600 BC, it was first named Poseidonia after Poseidon, the God of the Sea. The name Paestum was given to the city when Romans conquered the region and annexed it to their domains. Set into a rural atmospheric place, you cannot miss to visit this pearl of Italian classical history, none the less one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.The site has become famous during the centuries for its Doric order temples, among the best preserved in the whole world. You will see the Temples of Hera – one of which was thought dedicated to Poseidon - and the Temple of Athena. But surely the importance of Paestum goes beyond the endurance of the temples. Following the cobbled path, you will reach the Forum – the core of the city – probably rebuilt over the Greek agora – the main square. Next to the Forum you will see the ruins of the temple dedicated to the Roman Capitolin Triad – Juno, Jupiter and Minerva – and the amphitheater.Your guide will depict to you in details the life and habits of the Ancient times and will explain you how the city has changed during the centuries, above all when it switched from Greek to a Roman province – be ready for a full immersion into the past! Right opposite to the site, you will see the museum archaeological museum of Paestum. There you will find a collection of paintings and grave goods taken from necropolis surrounding the Greek polis. Among the other relics, you will have the chance to see the most famous of the paintings ever found into a tomb: the fresco from the 'Tomb of the Diver', a remarkable oddity. This private tour lasts 2.5 hours and it is led by a live guide, so feel free to ask questions and curiosities! After the tour in Paestum, Take a time to visit a buffalo farm where you can learn about mozzarella and have a typical italian lunch in total relax! At the end of this experience the driver will drop you off at your hotel.

Paestum in detail