35km (22 miles) S of Salerno; 100km (62 miles) SE of Naples
Lying just a short distance south of Salerno, the celebrated ruins of Paestum more than fulfill expectations and are enormously evocative. The three majestic Greek temples (which are remarkably well-preserved) sit on a grassy plain that really gives off the sense of an ancient, vanished city, enclosed in its still standing boundary walls. The temples are a magical sight, especially at sunset, and in spring and fall when Paestum's famous roses -- praised since antiquity -- are in bloom. The archaeological area can be reached as a day trip from all of the destinations covered in this guide; plan on spending a minimum of two hours exploring the temples and an hour for the museum, but count on a whole day for a more in-depth visit.