Paestum – Dolly Travels

Author: , May 25th, 2016

PaestumWe left Bella Roma behind for a few days to visit Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast and the ancient ruins of Paestum.

We hired Raffaele Monetti to take us on a day trip along the Amalfi Coast, down to Paestum. This area had been a city founded by the Greeks in the sixth century B.C. When the Romans invaded and captured the city in the third century B.C., they destroyed most of the buildings, but due to religious superstitions, the Romans were fearful of destroying the temples; therefore, the shells of 3 large Greek temples are still standing.

As I walked along an ancient road, I imagined myself dressed in the fashion of a Greek woman, carrying a basket of fruit and bread to my home in this city. I wondered how many feet had walked on this road, what did women of two thousand years ago think about as they walked on these stones?

I am always amazed at the knowledge of archeologists who uncover ancient ruins and know what they are seeing. How can they tell one pile of rocks from another? I am also impressed with the workmanship of the architects, engineers and builders of these temples, that they were able to draw up the plans and construct these huge edifices with only the tools available to them two thousand years ago.

We saw the ruins of an ancient tomb, one that is a mystery even to the experts, as to the purpose of this tomb. When the archeologists opened the tomb, there was no body in it. Also, another mystery is the placement of the tomb, as usually graves and tombs were placed outside the city walls.

We finally had to leave the ruins behind; my active imagination needed a rest, and it was getting late. Raffaele drove these two tired tourists back to Sorrento. It had been a full day of interesting sights and history lessons. We knew that food, drink and a good night’s rest awaited us in Sorrento.

Ciao for now,

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Campania Gay Travel Resources

Amalfi Coast and Paestum

Author: , May 9th, 2013

Paestum, ItalyOur dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on the go again, this time in Italy. She has graciously allowed us to republish her travel blogs. Enjoy!

Another Wow!!

What a day we had today. Our driver, Raffaele Monetti (look him up in Rick Steves’ Italy guidebook) picked us up at our apartment at 8:00 this morning in his 6 passenger Mercedes van. He drove us down the Amalfi coast, pointing out different sights and giving us some history of the area as we drove.

We stopped in Positano for about 45 minutes, so we could look around the small city, then on to Amalfi. The beauty of the coast was so fabulous. The houses look like they are Super-glued to the hillside, but they have been very stable there for centuries, through invasions by Romans, and Moors.

As we drove along the winding road on our way to Amalfi, Raffaele pointed out this natural sculpture. It is a rock formation that looks like the Virgin Mary, with flowers in her hands, and some flowers in her hair.

Raffaele told us that this formation has stood there for centuries, and the greenery in her hands and in her hair never turns brown, but always stays green, even when the hot summer sun turns everything else brown. That story made a chill run down my spine.

We stopped in Amalfi for another half hour or so, then went on to Paestum. I had never been there before, and was so anxious to see it. The drive to Paestum was another 2 hours from Amalfi. But that visit was well worth the trip.

This area with the Greek temples dated back to 6th century B.C. We are talking over 2500 years ago. All the temples were built with stone from the area, mostly limestone. When the Romans arrived, they did some repairs with brick, but even those repairs date back to 3rd Century B.C.
(I tell you, there is nothing like travel to increase your knowledge of history. To walk the stone walks that the Greeks and the Romans used, with the imprint still of the chariot wheels, just brings history right up close and personal.)

We had a wonderful lunch before our visit to the ruins, at Ristorante Basilica, where we had fresh buffalo mozzarella, green beans fresh from their garden, roasted small artichokes, fresh tomatoes, then focaccia bread, warm, with fresh herbs, pizza with the buffalo mozzarella and artichokes, fresh strawberries with lemon and a bit of sugar for dessert. We could have stayed there all day, but we had Greek temples to see. All these foods are grown or produced right near Paestum. Even the water buffalo, who provide the milk for the cheese, live only in this area.

Finally, Raffaele brought us back to Sorrento by way of the Autostrada, but we were all tired….10 hours of viewing the most wonderful landscapes one could even imagine seeing.

We were going to go out to dinner, but as tired as we were, we settled for a lovely dinner of leftovers and wine. Life just cannot get better than this!

Tomorrow is our last day in Sorrento, so everyone has their own idea of what is important to see. Then, for sure, we are going down to Marina Grande to Delfino’s for fresh seafood for dinner.

Next stop: Orvieto.

Love you all. Please keep in touch and keep following my blog.

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