Paestum Italy and the Ancient Greek Temples


Going on a road trip through Southern Italy? Watch this clip and you’ll add this to your map. Many people say not to forget to see the buffaloes here. It’s a bit out of the way, but you need to get it in your plan.

Ancient Greek architecture in Italy on the Amalfi coast.

Video Transcript

Just south of the Amalfi coast stands a dramatic reminder of the rich history of this part of Italy. While many travel all the way to Greece to see Greek ruins, just south of here, you can see some marvelous Greek temples. Remember, 500 years before Christ, southern Italy was called Magna Grecia, “greater Greece.” And the wonders of that western frontier of Greece can be well appreciated at Paestum. The town was founded by Greeks in the 6th century B.C. The Romans conquered it in the 3rd century B.C. But the final conquerors of Paestum, malaria-carrying mosquitoes, kept the site wonderfully deserted for nearly a thousand years. The striking setting includes the remains of three impressive temples — the lonely Temple of Ceres. The almost delicate Temple of Hera was dedicated to the Greek goddess of marriage in 550 B.C. And the highlight, the Temple of Neptune, is simply breathtaking. Constructed in 450 B.C., it’s a textbook example of the Doric style. As well-preserved and beautiful as the Parthenon in Athens, this huge structure is a tribute to Greek engineering and aesthetics. Rick Steves, Rick Steves Europe, Europe travel guide, Europe travel tips, Europe travel advice, Rick Steves travel videos, rick steves italy, rick steves paestum, rick steves amalfi coast, amalfi coast, paestum italy, italy travel, paestum travel, amalfi coast travel, temple of neptune, temple of ceres, temple of hera, ancient greece, greek temples, ancient greek architecture, what to see in italy, ancient greece italy, magna grecia, greek gods, greek mythology