Ancient town of the Magna Grecia, near Salerno, it was probably founded, around 650 b.C., by a large group of Dorians who had been expelled from the city of Sybaris. The Dorians named their new colony Poseidonia, later called Paistom by Lucanians, local barbarians.
In 273 b.C., the Romans arrived who changed the city's name, Paestum. Now it is one of the most famous archaeological sites almost entirely composed within the enclosing walls of the antique Greek colony with four big gates.
Inside the town there are the Temple of Hera, dating back to 550 b.C., with nine columns on the short sides and eighteen on the long ones and remains of the decoration of the architrave; the Temple of Poseidon, built in 450 b.C., imposing and harmonious, formed by a base with three steps on which stand six columns on the short sides and fourteen on the long ones. The columns are all nine meters high and are united, on top, by an architrave supporting a sloping roof ending both on the front and in the back with two pediments; the Temple of Cerere of 500 b.C., with six columns on the short sides and thirteen on the long ones. Other important architectural remains are: the Forum, some urban quarters, and largely the remains of religious buildings from which come many metopes, now kept at the Museum of Paestum.