September 7: Paestum to Praiano 12 km

Today is the famous ruins of Paestum. A short (3km) pedal finds the group standing in front of a "new" guide for a walking tour of the site. Paestum or Poseidon as it was called when originally settled over 2000 years ago by the Greeks was a port town almost directly on the water. Today it sits well inland as the water has slowly receded over the years. Like its city of Pompeii, Poseidon was well defined and contained three major temples, each of which were dedicated to a god. Today the three temples are still standing with very little of the original building destroyed. The streets are amazingly still intact as well as the outlines of the homes and shops.

As the Roman Empire moved across Italy and the Greek Empire collapsed, the city of Poseidon became the city of Paestum and grew in size including a city wall. Today the remnants of the wall can be seen also. In the 1800s the Italian government wanted to build a road and,unfortunately, chose to do so right through the ruins. Part of the wall was destroyed or buried beneath the road as well as separating the site into two distinct areas. One part, ironically ended up being a private property and now is in the garden of a elderly woman who neighbors the premises.

The road from Paestum to Salerno is heavily trafficked and not as scenic as the coastal roads, so the group is bused up the coastline. Once in Salerno a ferry is caught to the Amalfi town of Praiano. Amalfi according to legend was founded by the Romans. It later became an early Italian maritime republic. At one point in history it was greater in wealth and power that Pisa, or Venice or Genoa. However, after the 11th century it went into a rapid decline and was sacked by the Normans in 1135.

Praiano was always a fishing town until the tourists found its serenity. In ancient times the inhabitants built their homes on "barrel vaults" and built terraces made of stone to hold the land for the lemon, potato, tomato,grapes,corn and different types of legume turning the community into an agricultural one rather than fishing. Today the scent of lemons or the sign for limoncello is throughout.

The hotel sits on the edge of the cliff -- the view is spectacular -- the road outside goes up -- oh, Italy is always going to be a challenge, but worth every pedal!!

Lucinda, Our Local Guide


Entrance to the Amphitheater

Temple of Helena

Group Hike to Next Temple

Largest Temple and Most Well Preserved


Amalfi Coast from the Ship

And Some More

Another Beautiful Town


Other Side of Amalfi


Marilyn and Jackie


Amalfi Church

Marissa on the Road out of Amalfi

Amalfi Coastal Road

A View Below