Thursday, June 17, 2010
Thursday, June 17th, Ostia Activa
This morning, we visited the last ruin we'll see in Italy. It's probably the perfect one to leave for last, as it's the easiest to see a large amount of structures in a short period of time. Paestum was a series of civilizations which lived along the western coast of Italy just south of Salermo.
Here is a description from Wikipedia: "Founded around the end of the 7th century BC by colonists from the Greek city of Sybaris, the original name was Poseidonia. in the 5th century BC, the city was conquered by the Lucani. From the archaeological evidence it appears that the two cultures, Greek and Oscan, were able to get together and thrive. What is known is it later became the Roman city of Paestum in 273 BC after the Graeco-Italian Poseidonians sided with the loser, Pyrrhus, in war against Rome during the first quarter of the third century BC. During the invasion of Italy by Hannibal the city remained faithful to Rome and afterwards was granted special favours such as the minting of its coinage. The city continued to prosper during the Roman imperial period, but started to go into decline between the 4th and 7th centuries. It was abandoned during the Middle Ages and its ruins only came to notice again in the 18th century, following the rediscovery of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The decline and desertion were probably due to changes in local land drainage patterns, leading to swampy malarial conditions (this is difficult to picture, with the present aridity; the site is now left to lizards and a few tourists)."
It was flat, and easy for three nearly waster travelers to enjoy and photograph. Here is a link to today's photos (the last of the trip): Paestum
See you all soon