This tour/shore excursion to Salerno and Paestum includes an English-speaking driver with his Mercedes car or minivan (according to the number of guests) at your disposal for 8/9 hours - Local Expert Guide for 8/9 hours at your disposal - Entrance fees of Paestum ruins and Museum
An English-speaking guide, the driver and his air-conditioned Mercedes vehicle will meet You by your cruise/accommodation at the pre-arranged time You decide to start this tour. Then, you will be transferred to Salerno to visit the Cathedral of St Matthew. One of the most visited places in Salerno, the Duomo, is an XI-century religious structure built on an earlier foundation. The Cathedral was founded by Roberto il Guiscardo. In March of 1081 the crypt was inaugurated and in July of 1084, the church was consecrated by Pope Gregory VII in person, who took refuge in Salerno. The Cathedral is modelled along the lines of the abbey Desiderio of Montecassino with a basilica-like plant composed of three longitudinal aisles, a transept and a portico. The present appearance is due to a large part to the baroque renovation, initiated after the earthquake of June 5, 1688 by Neapolitan architect Arcangelo Guglielmelli, then modified and completed by the Roman architect Carlo Buratti. In the Cathedral it is remarkable the Atrium, whose columns came from the nearby ruins of Paestum, while in the crypt one can find the famous Tomb of St Matthew, brought here in 954.
Then, You'll continue for Paestum, located south of Naples. It is the most important ancient Greek site of Italy. The area of Paestum was inhabited in ancient times by indigenous people, as attested by some recent discoveries of a vast necropolis of the Neolithic age. Towards the end of the VII century BC, a city was founded by Greek settlers from Sybaris, that took the name of Poseidon (the city of Neptune). The city soon became prosperous, a large agricultural and maritime centre that also survived the destruction of Sybaris (510 BC) by tightening its relations with the Etruscans. The Romans, who arrived here in the III century B.C., gave to Paestum the name it still bears today.
Paestum boasts some of the most beautiful Greek temples: the Temple of Neptune (also known as Temple of Hera II), the so-called Basilica (also called Temple of Hera I) and the Temple of Athena (also called Temple of Ceres). The Temple of Neptune is the largest and the best preserved. It was built around 450 BC. Its great structure and the perfect proportions create an impression of solidity and of elegance and make this building the most perfect example of Doric temple in Italy and Greece. This visit will take roughly 2 hours. There, with Your private English-speaking guide, You'll visit the Greek temples - entrance fee is included. After 1 hour of free time for lunch (it is also possible to have lunch first and then you visit the temples), You'll visit with Your guide the Paestum Museum - entrance fee is included- with prehistoric material, painted pottery and fine metopes from the Temple of Hera. The exhibits in the Paestum Museum document the evolution and transformation of the city, from the foundation of the Greek colony until the establishment of the Roman colony and it illustrates the changes in the social and public aspects of daily life. Of great interest are the painted tombstones, including the famous Tomb of the Diver dating back to 480-470 BC. It was found by the Italian archaeologist Mario Napoli in 1968 during excavations on a necropolis located less than two kilometers south of Paestum.
After that, 45 minutes of free time and back to the cruise ship.