Saturday, October 8th 2011, I went solo to Paestum, pronounced by the locals like Pay-ay-stoom. Justin did not feel like going. It was a tour through the military, so I wasn’t really alone or anything. It was a 2 hour bus ride which was scenic, so it wasn’t too boring. A few of the photos are taken from the bus when we were passing through Salerno, which has great views of the sea, part of the Almalfi Coast, and Capri. Overall, it was a nice one-time trip.
First I went to a Mozzarella Factory. It was less of a factory than just a few rooms and the domesticated water buffalo pens, aka cow pens. But they make the delicious Mozzarella di Bufala…aka Buffalo Mozzarella, that the area is famous for. I had lunch at their restaurant and ate some fresh cheese with bread and then some potato pasta, which tasted like potato stew.
After lunch I went to the ruins and the museum that houses the artifacts found at the ruins, mostly under the temples. It was all pretty neat. Let’s learn! The site of the Paestum ruins was originally called Poseidonia in honor of the Greek sea God Poseidon. There are three Greek temples, two dedicated to Hera and one to Athena. They area about 2600 years old-ish. A few hundred years after the Greeks were there the Romans came along and build a town there. So the ruins near the temples are all Greek, but the ruins elsewhere around the temples are Roman. They are the best preserved temples in the world due to the area becomming unlivable due to deforestation, the growth of marshes, and malaria in the 4th century. They were rediscovered when someone (much later) was building a road from Naples through the area. The road goes right through the site, and part of the ruins were recovered with earth and now sits below a few shops, the museum, and whomever’s private property. That’s my summary, knowledge is power!