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

$48.74 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.

$48.74 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.

$881.91 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.

$58.02 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.

$1113.99 Day Trips & Excursions

Day tour to the archaeological sites of Pompeii and Paestum

Starting from your pick up point, in about two hours drive  you will reach the famous archaeological site of Paestum. The town was originally founded by the Greeks around the 650 B.C. and it was named Poseidonia (Sacred to Poseidon). In the year 273 B.C. it became an important Roman Colony and renamed in  Paestum. The fall of the Roman Empire was also the decline of Paestum, and little by little all the area became quite unhealthy. Malaria spread all over the place and the built up area became marshy. However, these magnificent ruins were preserved by the marshes and woods. This old town was uncovered in 1750 when the modern road was being constructed. The main attraction of this site are the remains of three Greek temples, considered the best preserved in all the Magna Graecia. 1)The Temple of Hera is the oldest of the three temples, built about 550 B.C. It is sometimes called the Basilica, based on an error of earlier archaeologists in thinking it was a Roman public building.  2)The Temple of Neptune (or Apollo or Hera II) next door dates from 450 B.C. and is the most complete of the three - everything remains intact except the roof and parts of the inner walls. It has double rows of columns. On the east side are remains of two altars, one large and one smaller. The smaller one was added by the Romans when they cut through the larger altar to build a road to the forum. Statues around the larger altar may indicate that Apollo was patron of the temple.  3)The Temple of Ceres (or Athena) was built in 500 B.C. in a transitional style between Ionic and early Doric. It was later used as a Christian church, as indicated by three Christian tombs discovered in the floor. Next to the famous temples is located the archaeological museum which contains all the artifacts found during the excavations of the city, including the famous Tomb of the Diver discovered in a Greek Necropolis just outside the city. In September of 1943, during the Allied invasion of Italy, Paestum was the lending beach for the U.S. 36th infantry division. A visit to the temples and museum, takes 2-hours. Pompeii was founded by Greeks in the 6nd century B.C. and under control of the Romans from 2th century B.C. All the activities there were linked to trade and maritime traffic, that increased the prestige and the prosperity of the city. On august 24th of the year 79 A.D., the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried the city under 6 meters (24 feet) of ash and lapilli. The inhabitants, who for the most part went in the direction of the coast, were suffocated by the fumes and gases, others met death in their own homes. After the ash covered the city its name and location were forgotten. In the 1600's the ruins of the city were discovered by accident, and excavations began in 1748 and to the present date the 2/3 of the city has been excavated.  

$48.74 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.