Getty Images/ RM


Paestum is home to one of Europe's most glorious archaeological zones. Deemed a World Heritage site by Unesco, it includes three of the world's best-preserved ancient Greek temples, as well as an engrossing museum crammed with millennia-old frescoes, ceramics and daily artefacts. Among these is the iconic Tomba del tuffatore (Tomb of the Diver) funerary fresco.

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.

Explore Paestum

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Paestum.


Learn more about Paestum

Uncover the heart of travel and be inspired to see new sights with one of Lonely Planet’s in-depth, award-winning guidebooks.