The ruins at Paestum include one of the best collections of Greek temples anywhere and certinly the most accesible to Western Europe.
Setrenely situated,Paestum is surronded by fields and wildflowers.It also has a functional zone with a bus stop,train station,church,and a straggle of houses and cafes .
This town was founted as Poseidonia by Greeks in the sixth century B.C.,and became a Key stop on an important trade route.In the fifth century B.C.the Lucanians,a barbarous inlande tribe,conquered Poseidonia and tried to adopt the cultured ways of the Greeks.By the time of the Romanswho took over in the third century B.C.,the name Poseidonia had been simplified to Paestum.While most visitors do Paestum as a day trip.
Tourist information:There's as small TI window at the train station (daily 8:30 -18:30) and bigger one next to the Paestum Archaeogical Museum (daily 9:00 -13:00 &15:00-17:00,tel 0828-811-016)
Getting to Paestum
While Naples has direct connections to Paestumfrom elsewhere you'll likely have to transfer in Salerno.
From Naples:The simplest way to reach Paestum in by direct train from Naples' Centrale Station( 1,5 hours).Buy tickets from the ticket windows or machines at the station (stamp before boarding).For a morning visit from Naples ,it's wise to get an early start- especially in warm weather,check the schedule at stations or www.trenitalia.it
From Amalfi or Positano: First,take either a bus or boat to Salerno,where you can pick up the train to Paestum on its way arrive from Naples(30-40 minutes).Buy your train ticket at the ticket machines,ticket office,or the newstand in the Salerno train station (stamp before boarding).Buses from Amalfi terminate at the Salerno train station ,but if you arrive in Salerno from the Amalfi Coast by ferry ,you'll walk from the ferry dock a few short blocks up to the train station (about 10 minutes,mostly level).
If you're in a pinch for example,there's often a middly lull in the train schedule you could take local CSTP bus #34 from Salerno to Paestum ( about hourly,less on Sun,1-hour trip).It seems convenient to the port( it departs from Piazza della Concordia -look for bus shelter between the big parking lot and the main roadno posted schedule),but you can't buy tickets nearby -the closest sales poinbt is the tobacco shop a block in front of the train station.In Paestum ,this bus drops you only slightly closer tothe ruins than does the train.
From Sorrento: While it's technically possible to day-trip from Sorrento to Paestum by pubblic transport( via Amalfi and Salerno),it makes for a very long day marred by worry about making connections back.
Consider renting a car or hiring a taxi for the day.From Sorrento,Paestum is 60 milesand 3 hours via the coast ( longer with summer ttraffic),but a smooth 2 hours by autostrada.To reach Paestum from Sorrento via the autostrada drive toward Naples,catch the autostrada ( directions:Salerno),skirt Salerno(direction:Reggio Calabria),exit at battipaglia,and drive straight through the roundabout.Along the way, you'll see signs for mozzarella di bufala,cheese made from the milk of water buffalo.Try it here-it can't be any fresher.
Arrival at Paestum
If you arrive by train,cross under the tracks,exit the tiny station,and walk through the ancient city gate;the ruins are 10 -minute walk straight ahead,up a dusty road.When you hit the street with hotels and shops,turn right to find the museum and site entrance.Buses from Salerno stop near a corner of the ruins ( at a little bar/cafe').There's no official baggage storage at the train station or museum.If you're desperate,you can try nicely asking one of the bars along the main road( they may want a small payment).
Planning your time
Allow two hours to see the ruins and the museum.Which one you see first depends on your interest and the heat.You'll enjoy the best light and smallest crowds late in the day.
Orientation to Paestum
Cost: Euro 10,includes site and museum.
Hours: Museum open daily 8:30-19:30 ( last ticket sold at 18:45),except closed the first and third Mon of each month.Site open daily:8:45 to one hour before sunset( asd late as 19:30 June-July,as early as 15:30 in mid-Dec,last site ticket sold one hour-before closing).
The site and museum have separate entrances.The museum,just outside the ruinsin a cluster with the TI and a small early-Christian basilica.Most visitors buy tickets at the museum and use the entrance across the stree,but another ticket office and entrance is nearthe recommended Ristorante Nettuno( at the south end of the site).On days when the museum is closed,you have to buy tickets at the site entrances.
Information:While there are scant descriptions at the site itself,the self-guided tours in this chapter provide all the information you need for both the site and the museum.The museum bookshop sell several mediocre guidebooks.
Dull euro 6 autoguides are available to rent at the museum.The euro 1,50 booklet,sold at the ticket desk,gives only general information and is more souvenir than guide.Info tel.0828-811-023
Local Guide:Silvia Biaggio is a good guide who gives a fine two-hour walk of the site and museum.Arrange in advance,mobil +39 347-643-2307,www.silviaguide.it,,firstname.lastname@example.org.She also offers walking tours of Pompei and Herculaneum.
Eating:Several cafesand bars cluster around the museum (all open long hours daily in summer);La Basilica cafè,Facing a pretty litttle garden between the parking lot and TI,is the most straightforward and reasonable option,with good euro 5-8 pizzas and other lunch (Via Magna Grecia 881,tel 0828-811-301).Ristorante Nettuno with qualityfood and good temple views,is at the south entrance to the site.They have a fine little glassed-in cafè facing the ruins(affordable light food,including a fixed-price lunch) and a dressier,more expensive restaurant across the path
By Train Ten slow,milk-run trains a day head to Salerno ( 30-40 minutes) and Naples(1,5 hours).In Salerno,you can change for the bus to Amalfi,or walk down to the Harbor to catch an Amalfi -or Positano -bound ferry.Yon can buy train ticketsat machines in the (unstaffed) Paestum station.
By Bus to Salerno Buses depart from Paestum to Salerno roughly every hours( less on Sun;one-hour trip).Buy a ticket from one of the bars in Paestum,then go to either of the intersections that flank the ruins,flag down any northbound bus,and ask,Salerno?From Salerno you can continue on to Amalfi or Positano by ferry or walk up to the train station to catch an Amalfi-bound SITA bus or a train to Napoli.
MoneyItaly uses the euro currency:To convert prices in euros to dollars,add about 10 percent.The standard way for travelers to get euros is to withdraw money from ATMs ( which locals call a bancomat) using a debit or credit card,ideally with a Visa or MasterCard log.Before departing,call your bank or credit-card company:Confirm that your cards(s) will work overseas,ask about international transaction fees,and alert themthat you'll be making withdrawals in Europe.Also ask for the Pin number for your credit card in case it'll help you use Europe's chip-and PIN payament machines.
Dealing with CHIP AND PIN Much of Europe ( including Italy) is adopting a chip -and Pin system for credit cards,and some merchants rely on it exclusively.
European chip-and -Pin cards are embedded with an electronic chip,in addition to the magnetic stripe used on your American -style cards.This means that your credit(and debit)card might no work at payment machines,such at those at train and subway stations,toll roads,parking garages,luggage lockers and gas pumps.Major US banks are chip-and-signature cards,for which your signature (not your PIN) verifies your identity.In Europe,these cards should work for live transactions and at most payment machines,but probabily won't work for offline transactions such as at unattended gas pumps.If a payment machine won't take your card,look for a machine that takes cash or see if there's a cashier nearby who can manually process your transaction.Often the easiest solution is to pay for your purchases with cash you've withdrawn from an ATM using your debit card(Europe's ATMs still accept magnetic -stripe cards).
Dynamic Currency Conversion If merchants or hoteliers offer to convert your purchase price into dollars ( called dynamic currency conversion,or DCC),refuse this service.You'll pay more in fees for the expensive convenience of seeing your charge in dollars.
If an ATM offers to lock in or guarantee your conversion rate,choose proceded without conversion.Other prompts might state,You can be charged in dollars:Press YES for dollars,NO for Euros.Always choose the local currency.
Staying Connected To call Italy from the US or Canada:Dial 011-39 followed by the local number.( The 011 is your international access code and 39 is our Italy's country code.)
To call Italy from a European country Dial 00 -39 followed by the local number.( The 00 is Europe's international access code.)
To call within Italy Just dial the local number.
To call from Italy to another country dial 00 followedby the country code(for example,1 for the US or Canada),then the area code an number.If you're calling European contries whose phone numbers begin with 0 you'll usually omit that 0when you dial.
Tips Traveling with a mobile phone-whether an American one that works in Italy,or an European one you buy when you arrive-is handy,but can be pricey.
Consider getting an international plan;most providers offer a global calling plan that cuts the per -minute cost of phone calls and texts,and a flat-fee data plan
Use Wi-Fi Most hotels,holiday houses and many cafe offer free Wi-Fi,and you'll likely also find it at tourist information offices,major museums,and public-transit hubs.
With Wi-Fi you can use your smartphone to make free or inexpensive domestind international calls by taking advantage of a calling app such as Skipe,FaceTime,or Google +Hangouts.
When you can't find Wwi-Fi,you can use your cellular network to connect yto the Internet, text,or make voice calls.
When you're done,avoid further charges by manually switching off data roaming or cellular data.
It's possible to stay connected without a mobile phone.To make cheap international calls from any phone (even your hotel-room phone),you can buy an international phone card in Italy.
These work with a scratch -to -reveral PIN code,allow you to call home to the US for pennies a minute,and also work for domestic calls.Calling from your hotel-room phonewithout using an international phone card is usually expensive.
Helpful Hints - Emercency Help
Help For English -speaking police help,dial 113
To summon an ambulance,call 118
If you have a minor illness,do as the locals do and go to a pharmacist for advice.Or ask at your hotel or to the owner of your holiday house for help-they'll know of the nearest medical and emergency services.
For the concerns,get advice from your hotelier or the owner of your vacation rental
For passaport problems,call the US Embassy ( in Rome,24-hour line-tel-06-46741) or US Consulates(Milan -tel.02-290-351,Florence-tel.055-266-951,Naples-tel.081-583-8111)or the Canadian Embassy(in Rome,tel.06-854-442-9119.
To replace a passport,you'll needd to go in person to an embassy or consulate.Canceland replace your credit and debit cards by calling these 24-hour US numbers collect:Visa - tel.303/967-1096 MasterCard-tel.636/722-7111,American Express -tel.336/393-111.In Italy,to make a collect call to the US,dial 800-172-444;press zero or stray on the line for an operator.File a police report either on the spot or within a day or two;you'll need it to submit an insurance claim for lost or stolen railpasses or electronics ,and it can help with replacing your passport or credit and debit cards.
Time Italy uses the 24-hour clock.It's the same through 12:00 noon,then keep going:13:00,14:00,and so on.Italy,like most of continental Europe,is six/nine hours ahead of the East/West Coasts of the US« Read other articles