Our first stop was an overlook in Sorrento, where Carmello filled us in on some local history as well as lists of many famous people who have visited Sorrento and even been in his cab.
Then we headed to the inland Autostrada (expressway) to head south toward Paestum. We would visit the Greek ruins in Paestum, then head back north along the Amalfi Coast.
We arrived in Paestum around 11am. Carmello parked at a local pizzeria where we would have lunch after sightseeing in the ruins.
Paestum (PASTE-oom) is known to be one of the best collections of Greek temples anywhere. The town was founded as Poseidonia by Greeks in the 6th century B.C. In the 5th century the Lucanians conquered Poseidonia and changed its name to Paistom. The Romans took over in the 3rd century B.C. and changed the name to Paestum. Finally, malaria infested mosquitos conquered Paestom and kept it deserted until it was rediscovered in the 18th century.
Temple of Ceres, although later discoveries showed that the temple was probably dedicated to Athena instead.
Roman pool The stones walls at this end likely supported a wood deck.
A shallow rinsing pool at the entrance to a home
Temple of Neptune, dates from 450 B.C.
The Temple of Hera was constructed in 550 B.C.
It is thought that the Temple of Hera served as an inspiration for the Parthenon in Greece, which was built later.
Temple of Neptune
Temple of Neptune
After walking the grounds of the Greek ruins, we made a quick visit inside the museum, then headed to the pizzeria for lunch.
After lunch we headed back north along the Amalfi Coast. The Amalfi Coast if filled with mountainous coastal scenery, hillside towns and historic ruins. The Amalfi coast road was built in the 1800's. The mediterranean is a breathtaking 500 feet below. In many places the road is barely wide enough for cars, let alone all the tour buses that travel this route in the summer.
Mosaic tiled church dome
Brandon was feeling froggy while in Amalfi Town.
We stopped in Ravello, and finally Amalfi Town as the sun began to fade. We ended up skipping Positano and decided to come back another day.
Carmello, our enthusiastic driver for the day!!