Paestum-yes or no and why

We will be visiting Naples and amalfi coast towns in Oct. for a second time. Can anyone give us their opinion re Paestum visit? Unfortunately, the ferry is not running to Paestum in Oct so we will need to go by train or bus then spend overnite there. essentially it will take approx 2 full days out of our trip. Is it worth the detour? Is the another stop along the way we should include?

Posted by Linda
Bromley, Kent,, UK
1759 posts

This Sorrento based company runs guided day tours to Paestum out of Sorrento and Amalfi up to the end of October. We have been to Paestum three times over the years and the last visit, on the tour, was the easiest as far as the journey was concerned. It was well paced and the guide was knowledgeable. The site and the museum are fascinating. PS - you also get to see a bit of Salerno and IMO the visit to the Cathedral there is well worth it. Take a picnic wih you if you do not want to pay for a meal at the lunch stop.

Posted by Monique
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
582 posts

I am not sure if your visit would be adding to your trip, or taking away a couple days that would be spent elsewhere, and that may make a difference. Having said that though, I really enjoyed our trip to Paestum. It still remains one of my favorite Italy memories. We went in late spring, so we rode the Amalfi Coast bus down to Amalfi (from Sorrento) then transferred to one they took us to Salerno, and then caught another one to Paestum. It sounds like a lot, but the actual trip part was the highlight. But it's really a unique setting in a beautiful countryside and if you can spare the extra days and the "detour", I'd say give it a go!

Posted by Frank
Wilmington, DE
1547 posts

I did a day trip to Paestum from Sorrento (via Amalfi) and was back in time for supper. It was a long but enjoyable day, and I was glad I did it. It's the one chance to see Greek temples without going to Greece or Sicily. You don't say where you're staying, but Paestum is an easier day trip from Naples than from Sorrento.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
5667 posts

Paestum has great Greek temples, a large archeological zone, a small but very good museum, and a beach. If you decide to overnight there, my favorite hotel is Poseidonia al Mare, less than a kilometer from the ruins. The hotel will pick you up at the train station, loan you bikes, and give you a great breakfast (including eggs and bacon, in addition to an extensive buffet). The hotel has a discount agreement for a cabana on the beach as well.

Posted by Kat
49 posts

I could have sworn that I posted a response to your question, but it must have just been late night wishful thinking. Paestum is absolutely worth the time, but you don't need to take two days for it. Last summer I went there as a daytrip from Naples, and it's totally doable. If you catch the right train at the right time (check for times... Napoli Centrale to Paestum) it will only take about and hour and twenty minutes to get there. You don't need to take the ferry, and you don't need to catch a bus in Salerno. The train may take a teensy bit longer, but it's a direct route. The train station in Paestum is a lonely little place, but it's quite easy to get to the ruins from there. Just head due west through the massive old stone walls, and walk through the countryside for about ten minutes until you reach Via Magna Graecia, which runs right along the archaeological complex.

Posted by Kat
49 posts

Also... If you're going to be doing daytrips from Naples, I have a suggestion for the second day you save by not staying overnight in Paestum. Go to Santa Maria Capua Vetere (the site of ancient Capua). The amphitheater there is one of the largest in Italy, and it's almost totally off the tourist path. When I was there last year, it was just me and a few other people wandering around. You get to see and explore waaaay more than at the Colosseum; you can walk out onto the sands, and all around under the stands (!). It's pretty darn awe-inspiring. Your ticket (like 5 Euro total) also gets you into the mithraeum, which the ticket vendor from the amphitheater can walk you over to. It's one of the best preserved painted mithraea in Italy; it's amazing. From Santa Maria Capua Vetere, you're about 10 minutes by train from Caserta, which has the Italian answer to Versailles. It's a gorgeous palace, but the gardens are the true show stopper. The garden is absolutely immense, and its grandeur can't really be overestimated.

Posted by JS
Bay Area
2185 posts

Thank you all so much for your suggestions re Paestum. I will look into the recommendations you all made. I am really looking forward to our upcoming trip.

Posted by Stephanie
KnoxvilleT, TN, USA
6 posts

If you go to Paestum, there is a buffalo mozzarella factory there that is supposed to be fantastic.