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Poseidonia - Paestum

Place: Capaccio - Paestum

Distance from Pilaccio: 25 km 

Journey time: 30 minutes

Time to visit: 2 to 4 hours

Strabo narrates that Paestum, the Latin name for the Greek colony Poseidonia (after Poseidon, the god of the sea), was founded by the Greek at the beginning of the VI century B.C. The town is situated in the fertile plain of the river Sele and is world-famous for the remains of Greek-Roman temples which are among the best examples of monumental architecture: the temple of Hera (the so-called Basilica - about 540 B.C.), the Temple of Athena (the so-called Temple of Ceres – about 500 B.C.) and the Temple of Neptune (today known as the temple of the god Apollo). Besides the sacred constructions the town has a wide forensic area and various buildings dating back to Hellenistic-Roman period. Paestum archaeological site also hosts an outstanding museum with archaeological finds from the town itself, from Heraion on the mouth of Sele and from the neighbouring Greek and Lucanian necropolises. Numerous are the antique objects accompanying the dead: vases, arms and paintings. Among the latters can  be found the paintings belonging to the celebrated Tomba del Truffatore – the tomb of the cheater – (480-470  B.C.) unique examples of Greek painting of classical age. Not far from the archaeological site, at about 1500 mt from the mouth of the river Sele, it is  possible to  visit  the sanctuary of Hera or Heraion, built by the Greek settlers at the beginning of the VI century B.C. The Sanctuary, dedicated to the god protector of navigation and fertility, rose in a place inhabited by indigenous populations since the Iron Age (XII-XI century B.C.).

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