Paestum, Italy Mar 29th


There’s so much to see around the area, all in great driving distance. We are so lucky to have an abundance of history and beauty to explore and experience while we’re here. Sometimes I think it still hasn’t really hit us that we’re experiencing amazing things. I don’t ever want to take this time for granted, we’ve enjoyed everything we’ve seen and done here. Minus some craziness while driving and some hiccups at work, the pros outweigh the cons by the truckload for living out here.

We took advantage of some of the beautiful spring weather that’s decided to stay and took a trip out to a city called Paestum. It’s about an hour and a half to two hours from home. Leah and her friend Chuck were the catalyst for going, they invited us and we were more than happy to have a reason to visit some nearby ruins and have some tasty food.

First, a picture of sun bathing pugs. They’re happy about Spring too 🙂

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When we got to Paestum, there was a museum as well as the ruins to explore. We started with the museum. I put Ben in charge of the camera.

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a guy falling on his sword

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some of the pottery that’s been excavated from the ruins

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archers, hunters?, a guy fighting a snake!, and friends? I don’t know, the archers and snake guy are the only clear ones to me

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and then this guy is literally stabbing the other guy in the back, AND pulling his hair while doing it. not cool

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this museum smelled amazing. they had a rose theme and rose potpourri was scattered in bowls and other random areas

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i told you. more armless, headless statues

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i was trying to mimick the statue in the case

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we’re convinced everything’s been restored, the color is just too good!

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i wonder when the red words were written. they’re so bright!

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that had to be a gutter right?!

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more pottery

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armor!

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this Triton-esque headpiece would intimidate me!

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homemade sword?! looks hard to hold

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ahh from the tomb of the diver.

All five slabs forming the monument were painted on the interior sides using a true fresco technique. The paintings on the four walls depict a symposium scene, while the cover slab shows the famous scene that gives the tomb its name: a young man diving into a curling and waving stream of water. Two masters have been distinguished, the south wall being by a less impressive artist than the others.

When the tomb was discovered, these surprising frescos revealed its importance as they appear to be the “only example of Greek painting with figured scenes dating from the orientalizing, archaic, or classical periods to survive in its entirety. Among the thousands of Greek tombs known from this time (roughly 700–400 BC), this is the only one to have been decorated with frescoes of human subjects.”

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 The interior of the tomb, only a few objects were found: near the corpse (widely supposed to be a young man, despite the heavily deteriorated state of the skeleton) were a turtle shell, two globular flasks and an oil decanter. These must have been the deceased youth’s oil flasks, the ones he used to oil himself for wrestling practice at the gymnasium, and his favorite drinking cup. The oil decanter, done in black-figure technique from about 480 BC, is what helped the discoverer and other scholars to date the tomb to about 470 BC.

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I wonder what’s going on here… hmmm

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We couldn’t decide if this guy was singing or yelling or talking or something else.

It seems that all the paintings and artifacts show people used to play double flutes. That seems excessively difficult!

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weapons! some were carved better than others

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a cave with skeleton bones in it. eek

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arrowheads and knives

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the random bush nest in front of the museum

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ben barked at that dog, he was unfazed

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our delicious cheese plate from lunch. how everyone here isn’t fat is beyond me

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some history first…

Paestum, Greek Poseidonia,  ancient city in southern Italy near the west coast, 22 miles southeast of modern Salerno and 5 miles south of the Sele (ancient Silarus) River. Paestum is noted for its splendidly preserved Greek temples.

Poseidonia was probably founded about 600 bc by Greek colonists from Sybaris, along the Gulf of Taranto, and it had become a flourishing town by 540, judging from its temples. After many years’ resistance the city came under the domination of the Lucanians, (an indigenous Italic people) sometime before 400 bc, after which its name was changed to Paestum.

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this one is the Temple of Athena the goddess of wisdom and art. It was built in 6th century BC, arranged in East-West fashion with the entrance facing the east

The Temple of Athena in Paestum was, naturally, dedicated to the cult of Athena – known to the Romans as Minerva. This has been confirmed by the presence of numerous votive offerings and teracotta statues within the temple. The presence of “Minerva” on several items shows that worship of the goddess continued during the Roman period of Paestum. Apparently it was converted to a Christian church at some point because Christian burials have been located under the southern peristyle.

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view from the ruin

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you could see the ropes placed to hopefully hold the top frieze in place.

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I like how Ben blocked out the couple with his thumb

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it was windy! but beautful

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view of the temples on the other end and the city ruins in-between

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A sacred shrine, was cut into rock, has no doors, and held nine vases and jars, two of which held a sticky substance resembling honey or molasses. It was surrounded by a building to protect it. Archaeologists think it may be related to a secret cult of Persephone (the Queen of the Underworld), or to have been a symbolic tomb for the founder of Sybaris.

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city ruins

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Ben scolded me for sitting on it apparently I was blocking too much of the pillar

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So I stood next to it

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looking down the well?

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it was deeper than we thought

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no idea what that is. just glad the camera didn’t fall!

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this was a pool! and part of a gymnasium perhaps?

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maybe swimming between those things was a sport?

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i don’t know

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spot for a house? or shop?

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those mountains!

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there were so many lizards. we called it lizard city

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Ben worked really hard to get a picture of one that would stay still. those suckers are fast

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This was the inside of a house. Above this, the roof was open and would allow rain water to collect in the middle. I’ve seen houses that still do this!

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that’s Chuck, Leah, and Ben

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In front of the Temple of Hera II

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apparently it was too bright, don’t mind the squinting.

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This is the newest and largest temple of the three, only built in 450 BC, its structure was pivotal in the development of the Doric style in Greek architecture

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This dog followed us almost the entire time. She was very sweet and friendly. We named her Dora for Dora the Explorer. We convinced Leah to take her home, but she ran off when we got to the main street at the end of our touring 😦

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The temple of Hera I. This is the oldest temple, built before the Temple of Athena in the same century. There is an unusual row of columns in the middle that suggests it may have been used to worship two deities, namely Zeus and Hera.

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look at that view! I’d want to build a temple there too

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a mini colosseum?

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The Comitium, where Romans held their public meetings

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she was eating a tissue :/

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These silly shirts were at the tourist stands. They made us laugh, what a silly American thing to be selling in Italy.

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I love that man!

Overall, we had a fun day 🙂

There’s still so much to see and do I can’t wait for summer’s hotter temperatures so we can go to the beach!

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2 thoughts on “Paestum, Italy Mar 29th

  1. Once again, an amazing little journey for the two of you. You are right in your beginning comments when you said “we don’t want to take this for granted.” I know that I missed out on a lot of things because I didn’t realize how much amazing history and sites were so close at hand. This place looks breathtaking with the scenery surrounding the history. Love you two!!!!

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