Is Paestum worth visiting? You can skip the rest of what I have written here if you don’t need details because the answer is a resounding, YES! However, I would advise you to read the 7 reasons why I recommend visiting this ancient site.
When I was first invited to my friend’s wedding in Santa Maria di Castellabate, I had to search Google maps because I had no idea where this little town was located in southern Italy! I found it and then put it into perspective in relation to the Amalfi Coast, Naples and even Cassino, where my family lives.
One of the first things I noticed on the map was Santa Maria di Castellabate’s proximity to Paestum! Maybe you’re reading this because you googled something like, “Is it worth visiting Paestum?”, but for me, I’ve always wanted to go.
I’ve been to Pompeii at least five times, so I was ready to see other ancient sites in the area. (On the map above, you’ll see Paestum Capaccio just north of the marker on Castellabate.)
When I first caught sight of one of the temples when I was driving to the park, it almost brought me to tears. It was surreal to just see something this ancient, and well preserved while just driving in the Italian countryside!
Top 7 Reasons to Visit Paestum
1. Paestum was Built by the Greeks. See Greek Architecture without Leaving Italy!
Poseidonia, as it was originally called, was founded around 600 BC by the Greeks. It was dedicated to the Greek god, Poseidon, and didn’t actually become Paestum (a Roman colony) until about 300 years later. I had no idea that Paestum was built by the Greeks, and despite not ever having been to Greece I now have seen their “work” firsthand!
2. UNESCO World Heritiage Site.
If this reason alone doesn’t convince you, the others probably won’t. To see the temples in the condition that they are in in 2019 is nothing short of awe-inspiring. So much of the construction is still perfectly intact. If you are interested, you can read more about the three temples which are some of the best preserved in the world.
“The temple is built of enormous blocks held together with simple dowels without the use of mortar: this building technique has enabled the building to withstand earthquakes and other natural calamities.” -Parco Archaelogico di Paestum.
3. The Archaelogical Park is Relatively Small and Doesn’t Require an Entire Day.
Compared to visiting Pompeii, walking through Paestum is definitely easier and takes much less time. I could almost see one end of the park from the other. This is due to the fact that only 61 of the 300 acres of Paestum have actually been excavated and studied. The other acreage is on private land. Can you just imagine what has yet to be discovered?
4. Informative Signs Throughout the Park.
I loved the many informational signs posted in front of the temples and ruins. It explained what I was looking at, how it was constructed and used at the time it was built and often included diagrams and drawings.
5. The Museum is Included in the Ticket Price and has Incredible Artifacts and Displays.
In fact, I could have spent hours in the museum because of the sheer number of displays and artifacts! It was incredible and really well done.
Here are a few more photos.
6. The Cost is Minimal.
From December through February, the current full price ticket including the archaelogical park and museum costs 6 euros. Reduced price tickets are only 2 euros.
7. Paestum is Relatively Undiscovered by Tourists.
Look back through the photos I’ve posted here and you’ll notice something in every shot. As you can see, there’s hardly anyone at the archaelogical park and there were just a few people in the museum, too.
Remember, these photos were taken in June, not January.
It was absolutely wonderful to be able to enjoy this scenery without hordes of tourists around me and in front of me.
Here is the website page which contains the ticket information.
Unfortunately, this is the only part which is translated into English.
I’d like to add another reason to go to Paestum, however, it has absolutely nothing to do with the park. Paestum is located in the very area where the original bufala mozzarella comes from! If you are in the area, you simply must go to a caseificio. I bought a bit more mozzarella and ricotta than I should have, but I don’t regret it one bocconcino!
Is Paestum worth visiting? What do you think? Hopefully I’ve convinced you to visit Paestum! I know that many of you will not plan to go further south than the Amalfi Coast, but that is very sad, given how close Paestum is from there.
This post is not sponsored. I paid for my ticket, visited, and loved the park, so I want to encourage my readers to share in my wonderful experience here.
Only a 45 minute drive south of Paestum is another historical gem of the region, Archaeological park Elea Velia. I simply didn’t have time to visit during this trip, but you can be sure it’s on my list for next time.
Is Paestum worth visiting