Usually bypassed by harried tourists, ancient Paestum's defensive walls offer the opportunity for a unique walk where the going is relatively easy and the views are great. Once completely surrounding the town and originally built by the Greeks, they were restored by the Lucanians and then the Romans and today they are some of the best-preserved sets of ancient walls left standing. Five meters (18 ft.) thick on average, with several towers, they mark a pentagonal perimeter of 4,750m (15,584 ft.), with four main gates at each of the cardinal directions. In 1828, when the Bourbon government built the Via delle Calabriae -- today's Via Magna Grecia -- they caused the almost complete destruction of the northern gate (Porta Aurea) and part of the southern walls. The western side is the best preserved. At the monumental western gate, Porta Marina, you can climb the walls and walk on the patrol paths, enjoying the great views over coast and ruins.
Though famous for its archaeological area, Paestum is also a great seaside destination. Marina di Paestum is the place to bask in the sun, with miles of sandy beaches; the warm sea is great for swimming, too.
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