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All You Need to Know About Archaeological Park of Paestum

Paestum Archaeological Park in southern Italy is a place where you can discover ancient artifacts from the Greek city of Poseidonia, which later became Paestum. It offers great insights into the history of Greek, Lucanian, and Roman civilizations....

Founded By

Colonists from Sybaris and/or Troezen

PaestumPaestum

Quick information

RECOMMENDED DURATION

3 hours

VISITORS PER YEAR

2700000

NUMBER OF ENTRANCES

4

EXPECTED WAIT TIME - STANDARD

30-60 mins (Peak), 0-30 mins (Off Peak)

UNESCO YEAR

1998

Plan your visit

Did you know?

The Paestum ruins date back to the 6th and 5th centuries BCE.

They are approximately 2,500 years old.

The archaeological site of Paestum has three of the world’s best-preserved ancient Greek temples, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.




How to Buy Archaeological Park of Paestum Tickets?

Train Transfer from Naples with Paestum Skip-The-Line Tickets
1 min.
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Paestum Archaeological Site Skip-the-Line Guided Tour
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Mobile Ticket
2 hr.
Guided Tour
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What To See in the Archaeological Park of Paestum?

Temple of Hera Paestum

Temple of Hera I

The oldest and most significant structure, the Temple of Hera Paestum was built around 550 BCE, dedicated to the goddess Hera. Its well-preserved Doric architecture, including rows of impressive columns, stands as a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the ancient builders, offering visitors a captivating glimpse into the rich history and cultural heritage of the region.

Temple of Hera II, Archaeological Park of Paestum

Temple of Hera II 

Also known as the Temple of Neptune, the architecture is characterized by its colossal size, intricately carved metopes, and triglyphs. It is believed to have been dedicated to the god Neptune, or Poseidon, and is a remarkable example of ancient Greek architecture, symbolizing the power and influence of the mighty Greek civilization.

Temple of Ceres at Archaeological Park of Paestum

Temple of Athena

Dating back to the 6th century BCE, this majestic temple is a stunning example of Graco-Roman architecture. Its intricate details beckon visitors to step back in time, immersing themselves in the mystical atmosphere and unraveling the secrets of an era long gone. Visitors can also admire the surrounding landscape from the temple complex. 

Tomb of the Diver Fresco - Paestum Archaeological Museum

Paestum Archaeological Museum

Visitors can admire stunning exhibits, such as the famous Tomb of the Diver Fresco, a rich tapestry of pottery, and the last remnants of limestone reliefs in the Archaeological Museum of Paestum. The museum holds the secrets and wonders of Paestum's vibrant past, leaving you with a profound appreciation for ancient Greek civilization.

Roman Forum of Archaeological Park of Paestum

Roman Forum 

The Roman Forum is an archaeological treasure showcasing the Roman period's architectural grandeur. Once a bustling hub of political, social, and economic activity, it offers insight into ancient city life. Today, its well-preserved remnants invite exploration into the civilization's intriguing past.

Amphitheater of Archaeological Park of Paestum

Amphitheater 

The amphitheater, built in the 1st century BC, is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheaters in Italy. What is now a popular tourist destination, the amphitheater fell into disuse in the Middle Ages and was buried by sand and vegetation. Rediscovered in the 18th century, the Amphitheater of Paestum is now a valuable archaeological site for curious minds.

History of Paestum Archaeological Park In a Nutshell

Paestum, originally known as Posidonia, was founded by the Greeks around 600 BC. A significant city of the Magna Graecia, it was named after Poseidon, the god of the sea. In its early history, Paestum flourished as a cultural, commercial, and political hub, as evidenced by the three grand Doric temples dedicated to Hera, Athena, and Neptune, built in the 6th and 5th centuries BC.

Around 400 BC, the city fell under Lucanian control before being conquered by the Romans in 273 BC. It was then Romanized and renamed Paestum. The Romans integrated their architectural style with the existing Greek structures, resulting in a unique mix of Greek and Roman architecture, visible in the Roman Forum.

Paestum began to decline in the early Middle Ages, primarily due to malaria and Saracen invasions. The city was eventually abandoned and forgotten until rediscovery in the 18th century during the construction of a road. Archaeological excavations began in the 20th century, unearthing its remarkable ruins. Today, the Archaeological Park of Paestum is a UNESCO World Heritage site, acclaimed globally for its well-preserved Ancient Greek temples.

Who Built the Archaeological Park of Paestum?

The Archaeological Park of Paestum was originally established by the Greeks colonists from Sybaris and Troezen around 600 BC, who built the three magnificent Doric temples. Later, the city was captured by the Romans in 273 BC, where colonists added their architectural structures, including the Roman Forum, blending it with the existing Greek architecture.

Architecture & Design of Archaeological Park of Paestum

Architecture & Design of Archaeological Park of Paestum

The Archaeological Park of Paestum boasts an extraordinary blend of Greek and Roman architecture. The largest and best preserved is the so-called Temple of Neptune, a misnomer as it's believed to be dedicated to Hera. It displays classic Doric features: a peristyle of fluted columns, an inner sanctum, and a stepped platform.

The other two temples, the Basilica or another Temple of Hera and the Temple of Athena, also exhibit impressive Doric design. The Temple of Athena, however, shows a transition towards the Ionic style, revealing an architectural evolution. Roman influence is evident in the forum, where public gatherings took place. It is a standard Roman design, featuring a rectangular shape with surrounding porticos. 

Archaeological Park of Paestum Today

Archaeological Park of Paestum

The Paestum Museum is also a treasure trove of artifacts. The museum houses a remarkable collection of artifacts from the ancient Greek city. Visitors can explore intricate sculptures, intricate pottery, and other archaeological relics from this ancient city. Highlights also include the Tomb of the Diver frescoes, depicting scenes of everyday life, and the magnificent Metopes of Hera's Temple. The museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to delve into the rich cultural heritage and artistic achievements of ancient Greeks, attracting thousands of visitors every year.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Archaeological Park of Paestum

What is the Archaeological Park of Paestum?

It is an archaeological site located in the Campania region of southern Italy. The Paestum ruins date back to the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, making them approximately 2,500 years old.

Why is the Archaeological Park of Paestum famous?

The Archaeological Park of Paestum is renowned for its exceptionally well-preserved Ancient Greek temples, rare in the world, and its Roman ruins. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers a unique glimpse into Greek and Roman history.

Where is the Paestum Archaeological Site located?

The location of the Archaeological Park of Paestum is Via Magna Graecia, 919, 84047 Capaccio SA, Italy. 

What can I do at the Archaeological Park of Paestum?

Visitors can explore the ancient Greek and Roman ruins, including three Doric temples, the Roman Forum, and an amphitheater. They can also visit the Archaeological Museum which houses significant artifacts, frescoes, and sculptures.

How can I get tickets to visit the Archaeological Park of Paestum?

You can book tickets online for an easy, hassle-free experience. 

How much is the Archaeological Park of Paestum tickets?

It depends on the kind of tickets or tours you choose. For example, a skip-the-line ticket can be purchased for as low as €49. 

What’s inside the Archaeological Park of Paestum?

Some of the most important structures found in the Archaeological Park include the Temple of Hera I, the Temple of Hera II, the Temple of Neptune, the Roman Forum, the Amphitheater, the Paestum Museum, and the Tomb of the Diver.

Who designed the Archaeological Park of Paestum?

The Archaeological Park of Paestum was designed by ancient Greek settlers during the 6th and 5th centuries BCE who established the city of Posidonia, which was later renamed Paestum.

When was the Archaeological Park of Paestum built?

The Greek city of Paestum was established around 600 BC, and the Roman structures were added later as Rome took control of the region.

Is the Archaeological Park of Paestum wheelchair accessible?

Due to the ancient and uneven terrain of the Paestum archaeological site, it is not wheelchair accessible.

Are there dining options available at the Archaeological Park of Paestum?

While the park itself may not have dining options, there are numerous local restaurants in the surrounding area offering regional Campania cuisine. Some of the well-known eateries are La Bottega del Gusto and Ristorante Museo.

Is photography allowed at the Archaeological Park of Paestum?

Yes, photography for personal use is allowed. So, don’t forget to pack your photography gear.

Is there a dress code for visiting the Archaeological Park of Paestum?

There's no specific dress code for the park. However, visitors are advised to dress comfortably for walking and weather conditions.

What other attractions are near the Archaeological Park of Paestum?

Nearby attractions include the Museum of the Sea in Agropoli, Castellabate with panoramic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the Certosa di Padula monastery.