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Hotel Caruso Belvedere

Paestum

Located approximately 2 hours’ drive from Ravello, this place of myth and legend, originally called Poseidonia, with its stunning architecture and breathtaking views, offers an unmissable day out.

Paestum was founded as a colony by the Greeks around 600BC near the mouth of the River Sele. It was called Poseidonia in honour of Poseidon, the God of the Sea (Neptune to the Romans), because they had safely crossed the ocean under his divine protection and achieved prosperity. The Etruscan influence on the area had considerably decreased, so Poseidonia was able to expand and dominate the area. Later on, in 510BC, when the ancient city of Sybaris was destroyed, Poseidonia was able to flourish both economically and politically, in spite of opposition from other colonies.

It is thought that many Sybarites who left their destroyed town were welcomed in Poseidonia and enriched the commercial activities of the colony with their experience and initiatives. During this flourishing period three temples were built, the Basilica, the Temples of Poseidon and Ceres, and works of art, such as the incomparable Greek fresco of the diver’s tomb (480BC), were created.

The magnificence of this colony led the Lucans, an inland population, to conquer it. They occupied it in around 400BC and changed its name to Paistom. Numerous tombs containing interesting frescoes and objects remain from this time. The Lucans ruled until 273BC, when the town became a Roman colony and was renamed Paestum. The Romans enriched the city with impressive structures, among which the portico of the forum, the thermae and the amphitheatre remain.

Contact our Concierge to book an excursion to Paestum with a private driver.

 

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