After driving along the beautiful Amalfi Coast we had one more destination: Paestum. We were really hungry for lunch and about 20 minutes before getting there we found a huge modern mall complex and a McDonald's with clean bathrooms. Such a blessing! We were refreshed, recharged, and ready to rock and roll.
Paestum: this site has one of the best collections of Greek temples anywhere - and certainly the most accessible to Western Europe. Serenely situated, Paestum is surrounded by fields and wild-flowers. The town was founded as Poseidonia by Greeks in the sixth century B.C. and become a key stop on an important trade route. In the fifth century B.C. the Lucanians, a barbarous inland tribe, conquered Poseidonia, changed its name to Paistom, and tried to adopt the cultured ways of the Greeks. The Romans who took over in the third century B.C. gave Paestum the name it bears today. The final conquerers of Paestum, malaria-carrying mosquitoes, kept the site wonderfully deserted for nearly a thousand years. Rediscovered in the 18th century, Paestum today offers the only well-preserved Greek ruins north of Sicily.
Our first glimpse of the temples!
Despite the fact that it was raining cats and dogs, we thought this was so cool to see! We've seen Roman ruins throughout Europe, but this was our first experience with substantial Greek ruins.
And that concludes our trip to southern Italy!
Next round of recaps: southern Spain!