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We have time…

13 Oct
…so we went to Paestum. 
The good things:
Temple of Ceres.
Temple of Ceres.
  • Very old Greek temples, still standing. One is from 550 B.C! Amazing!
  • Inexpensive lodging at a rather delightful little place. Euro 73.00 per night including an Italian-style breakfast.
  • An excellent — who’d have guessed it?– restaurant right next door to our hotel. Truly a fine meal, nice people, very raffinato (refined, elegant). In fact, we will return this evening. And they give a discount for people staying at our hotel. 
  • There is a nice museum with well-preserved artifacts.
  • It was not crowded and the weather was darn-near perfect.
The drawbacks:
  • It takes a long time to get here. From Roma, door-to-door took us 7 hours including 2 buses, 1 Metro, a Frecciarossa,  Regionale and a 20-minute walk. There was a fair amount of waiting time, partly due to guasto (malfunction) on the rail line. We also got to had to stand up all the way on the Regionale. 
  • There’s the archeological site, the museum, and that’s about it in Paestum.
  • There’s the mare, but the seaside here made the town of Seaside, Oregon (not my favorite place) look like a high-class resort.
  • We stayed one night too long, it seems.
A few hearty souls at the beach. In summer no doubt it is crowded.
A few hearty souls at the beach. In summer no doubt it is crowded.
Sad little seaside Paestum. I am sure it is lively in the summer, but I suspect it still feels sad.
Sad little seaside Paestum. I am sure it is lively in the summer, but I suspect it still feels sad.
We seldom go anywhere for one night. In fact, the only place I can think of that we did that was in Tivoli for the summer lights one August. And Tivoli is a hell-of-a-lot easier to get to than Paestum.
We have also seen the impressive Greek temple and ruins in Segesta. Perhaps if one has not seen those, this would knock your socks off. My socks are still on. We did get to be the first people in the archeological site, which was pretty fun. The tour groups showed up about 10:00 as we were exiting looking for an espresso. 
A tour group passes through the archeological site.
A tour group passes through the archeological site.
Maybe I am also jaded by the dead kitten I saw along one road and the dead rat along another. I have not had the misfortune to see roadkill in all of our travels. This in contrast to meticulous care to remove trash in the ruins.
Temples are lighted at night.
Temples are lighted at night.
If one were to want to see Paestum (and I understand why it would still be a draw despite my commentary), I would recommend a day trip from the Amalfi Coast or a one-night stay. The nice thing about staying a night is getting to see the temples lighted, and also seeing the site in both morning and afternoon light. We are not people who read every display in a museum or poke into every corner of a site. (Three hours at Pompeii was plenty for us.) If one does like to explore a bit more, perhaps Paestum would warrant more attention. We are happy we came, but a little bored as I write this. I am very happy we did not divert a vacation day-or-two when we were working. But we have time now.  
Surveying work in progress. Only about 30% of the site has been excavated.
Surveying work in progress. Only about 30% of the site has been excavated.
Temple of Nettuno.
Temple of Nettuno.
Of course there were ferals around.
Of course, there were ferals around.
A bright spot in the Roman ruins. Only the temples are Greek. The surrounding ruins date "only" to Roman times.
A bright spot in the Roman ruins. Only the temples are Greek. The surrounding ruins date “only” to Roman times.
Ric at Temple of Ceres.
Ric at Temple of Ceres.
Old Roman road to the sea, which was once much closer.
Old Roman road to the sea, which was once much closer. It’s now about a 20-minute walk via modern road.
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10 Responses to “We have time…”

  1. Chloe October 22, 2015 at 05:08 #

    The first time we visited Paestum was about 30 years ago and we were the only ones there. The last time was about 6 years ago and it was packed. Yes, 3 hours is just about the right amount of time to see most of it. We were there on our way to Maratea and Aqua Fredda , two beautiful seaside towns in Basilicata.

    Like

    • gooddayrome October 22, 2015 at 07:25 #

      I am so happy it was not packed! We do not “do” crowds well. You have been to so many fascinating places, Chloe! We came late to travel and are busy trying to make up for lost time!

      Like

  2. Marcia Kakiuchi October 18, 2015 at 00:16 #

    I do think those temples look amazing and to think that only 30% of the area has been excavated and what they’ll find. Thanks for the great update.

    Like

    • gooddayrome October 22, 2015 at 07:24 #

      It is amazing that so little has been excavated. That is the case with so much of Italy. Sometimes they find ruins, excavate, survey, photograph, then cover them again because no one can maintain them all.

      Like

  3. Michael Horne October 14, 2015 at 17:51 #

    Looks like good fun, I’d like to make the trek some day. Your comment about “sad little seaside Paestum” reminds me of so many little beachy towns along the coast. Most sold their souls to tourism long ago, and frankly they can be depressing. I like the towns that still hold onto their roots (and soul). A good example is Camogli — love that little town.

    Cheers!
    Michael

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    • gooddayrome October 14, 2015 at 18:25 #

      Indeed it is a trek, Michael. Make it on your way to somewhere else. We did have some fine wines from Campania, however! Hope to see you soon!

      Like

  4. gayleseely October 13, 2015 at 21:20 #

    Thanks for sharing – loved that your socks were still on.
    Gayle

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    • gooddayrome October 14, 2015 at 05:43 #

      Hahaha! I wish they’d been knocked off! We have to go back to Sicilia and see the big temples there.

      Like

  5. Deb October 13, 2015 at 21:06 #

    Glad you went, shared pics, and wrote about it! We are thinking about it! Yes, it is nice to have time!!

    Like

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