Our journey in Pompeii continues. This city born on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius never stops telling something more about itself. There is always something to discover: an ancient domus, a temple. A simple sunset that greets the new day with a last caress to Via dell’Abbondanza, the main road of the ruins of Pompeii. Don’t worry, getting to Pompei is very simple.
It is very well connected also to the near cities of Oplonti, Boscoreale and Ercolano. I know, you’re on vacation. Beyond to a dive in the history, you want to grant a dive in sea. Ti do un consiglio: visita Castellammare, è ricca di spiagge, avrai solo l’imbarazzo della scelta.
Before returning to Pompeii, I have a little surprise for you: the route will be moved to the Cilento to the discovery of Paestum. A verfy ancient city, also colonized by the Romans.
What could be more fascinating than a long travel to the discovery of our own roots? Is not perhaps the Mediterranean sea the crib of the civilization? Let’s discover Pompeii and Paestum
Pompeii: History and facts
Well. Pompeii is waiting for you. One of the little cities in the world that continues living also after the eruption of the 79 a.D. Perfectly conserved under sand layers and lapilli. A city, like the Ave Fenix, literally revived from its own ashes. It is no coincidence that it is part of Unesco Heritage. What to see then?
Building of Eumachia
This public building is one of the largest of ancient Pompeii and it’s situated in the Forum area. It was built for will of the priestess Eumachia during the electoral campaign where his son, Marco Numistro Frontone, covered the assignment of I supreme magistrate.
It’s composed of a vestibolo, a columnate and a underground area (crypta). The domus is dedicated to Concordia Augusta and the Pietas, two roman divinities. The House of Eumachia was used as market of the wool or center of the corporation of the Fullones, of which Eumachia was protector.
Villa of Diomede
A really beautiful domus, with its 3500 square meters, is second only to Villa of the Mysteries. Preferred place of Alexandre Dumas during the Grand Tour, it was dug in 1771. It’s entirely constructed in marble and encircled by numerous garden that point out on the sea, its name comes from Arrio Diomede, a rich liberto.
It’s characterized by a peristyle that leads to the entrance hall. Then, on both sides, there are the patronal rooms richly decorated with sight on the coast, the ceilings instead are frescoed with paintings of great evocativa power. In the garden there was the house of the caretaker, the Procurator.
Villa Diomede today is closed to the public, but don’t worry: thanks to the technology you will be able to visit its rooms in 3D. In 2014a plan (villadiomedeproject) has been started: it virtually recreates atmospheres of the building.
Thermopolium of Asillina
The termopoli are the ancestors of the modern restaurants, they were really widespread in Pompei. They pointed out on the road with a counter in masonry where jars for the wine were kept. Along Via dell’Abbondanza you’ll see the Termopolium of Asilina, smaller than the Thermopolium of Vetutius Placidus.
In the Termopolium of Asilina they found: furnitures, a funnel, jars for wine, a pot still on the stove and a skylight to chase the evil eye. It will sound strange strange to you to discover that many typical plates of the ancient Pompeii are still today on our tables.
How about visiting Paestum now? If you are an archaeology lover, I think you met your match. If instead you want to take a walk in river to the sea, in this city you will find white sand beaches and bright water.
It was constructed by the Greeks around the 600 a.C. with the name of Poseidonia in honor of the God of the sea. With the arrival of the Roman it took its current name. Situated in the Cilento to south of Salerno, it is a fascinating archaeological site.
The archaeological area of Paestum has not been still brought completely back to the light. It’s encircled by imposing walls dated back to the V-III century a.C., along the roman thistle there are its main buildings: to north the Temple of Atena while in the centre there is a restricted area dedicated to public buildings. In the ellenic agorà were located the buildings used for meeting and cult ceremonies.
Among the roman constructions you’ll find the forum with the comitium, and behind it there’s the palaestra and the swimming pool. To the south there are the most interesting monuments: The Basilica and the Temple of Neptune, both in doric order, in a perfect conservation status. They attract every year million tourists. Little suggestion: wait until the sun goes down and enjoy the shadows and lights between the columns.
Temple of Era Argiva
Stop to admire the rests of the Sanctuary of Era, anciently pointed out on the mouth of the Sele river, to approximately 9 kilometers from Paestum. It was founded by the Greeks around VI century b.C. and it endured several restructures. Initially it had a single altar to the open air. Subsequently it was constructed the temple with eight columns.
Other buildings were then built: one for the reunions and other with the square shape in which they found numerous chassis. In these area probably handmaids weaved the peplum as offer to the goddess. In this place was found a statue of Era seated on a throne with a pomegranate in her hand.
The diggings of the Sanctuary have brought back to light seventy metopes that represent episodes linked to the myth of the twelve labours of Ercole, the Trojan cycle and Oreste and Giasone. These bas-relief are exposed at the National archaeological Museum of Paestum.
National Archaeological Museum of Paestum
It contains numerous artifacts going back to the VII century b.C. They represent a testimony of quotidian life and craft activities that were performed in the city. To its inside are guarded, as I anticipated, the sculptures of the Treasure of Era and the Tomb of the Diver. Would you like to find out more? You got it.
Tomb of the Diver
It’s a funeral art manufact of the greek age. It was found in 1968 at 2 km far from Paestum. It was so called because it depicts a man intent on diving from tall columns into a body of water. According to the students the painting represents the passage from the earthly life to the spiritual life. The fresco has been exposed during the summer Expo 2015 in the show: Nature, myth and landscape from the Magna Greece to Pompeii.
Some tips on how to get from Pompeii and Naples:
- If you’re coming by car to catch up Paestum from Naples you just have to take the highway E45.
- If you’re coming by train from Napoli Centrale station stop at Paestum Scavi.
- To reach Paestum from Pompeii by car you must take the A3.
Pompeii and Paestum: your opinion
Pompeii and Paestum, two city apparently far but joined by the history. What do you think? • Do you have any suggestions? Leave it in the comments. If you have intention to reserve your vacation to Pompeii don’t to lose our tourist kit. You will have to capacity of click all the useful information to your stay.