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Southern Campania

Campania south of the Amalfi Coast is less touristy but still offers a host of interesting things to see and do, such as the following:

Greek ruins at Paestum
Paestum

This amazing site features three ancient Greek temples (each of which look like the Parthenon in Athens). The museum and surrounding area also have ancient Roman ruins, statues, and art. Also interesting is a paleochristian church, right next to the tourist information office (which is to the left of the museum, as you face it).  Ruins open from 8:45 AM until 1 hour before sunset (last admission 1 hour before that).  For more information, check out the official website, Wikipedia entry, Stars & Stripes article, and an excellent Sacred Destinations website.  T-Sat 9-1 and 4-7, Sun 9-1, €4 for archeological park, €6.50 for combination with museum, free with Artecard, Via Magna Grecia 919, 082-881-1023, 40°25.4'N 15°0.4'E

Restaurants

The following restaurants are listed in guidebooks (also listed under Capaccio, the name of the town that includes Paestum):

  • Ristorante Nettuno - In the archeological area, just S of the ruins, 082-881-1028, They seem to have raised their prices since Rick Steves wrote about them, as their €12 fixed price lunch is now €22, but it's still a fairly nice place; also rec'd by Frommer's, Michelin, Carla Capalbo, and TCI.
  • #Agriturismo Seliano - situated about 2 km north of the Paestum ruins; offers lunch as well as rooms. via Seliano 11, 40°26.8'N 14°59.66'E, 082-872-4534, 082-872-3634, closed off season (Nov-Feb).  Arthur Schwartz (no relation to Wikinapoli's founder!) runs weeklong foodie tours and cooking classes based here.  Recommended by Rick Steves, Fodor's, Alice, Carla Capalbo, 2015 Repubblica, and Time Out.
  • ?Gelso d'Oro da Nonna Sceppa - About 4 km north of the ruins, Via Laura 53, 40°26.78'N 14°58.73'E, 082-885-1064, closed Thurs during off season, a big, popular restaurant, rec'd by Time Out, Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Michelin, TCI, Mangiarozzo, Carla Capalbo, and Frommer's.
  • #La Pergola - Via Magna Grecia 1, 40°27.41'N 15°0.71'E, 082-872-3377, closed Mon, great regional dishes, as the name suggests they have a nice garden with a pergola, €30-40, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Gambero Rosso, and Espresso.
  • Tenuta Capodifiume / Le Trabe - Via Capodifiume 4, 082-872-4165, closed Mon, Sun evening, supposed to be good for families, also rents rooms, rec'd by Espresso, Michelin, TCI, and Frommer's.
  • Il Granaio dei Casabella - Va Tavernelle 4, rec'd by Frommer's
  • Lo Vottaro - in Trentinara, a medieval hill town overlooking Paestum (~30 min east of Paestum); Via Paolillo, 328-863-5664, 329-779-3347, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia and Mangiarozzo, ~€25; reserve ahead.  Food blog (in English) and Luciano Pignataro review (in Italian)
  • Gelateria Rivabianca - rec'd TCI
  • Le Trabe - expensive (~€65 / person), rec'd 2015 Repubblica
  • Restaurant Il Rosmarino at Oleandri Resort - rec'd by someone (?)
  • Nostro Bar Ristorante -  Slow Food Planet 2016

Getting There/Parking

  • Driving from Naples takes around 2 hours.  Follow signs for A3-Salerno, and then take the Battipaglia exit (SS18), which leads you almost straight to Paestum (there are brown signs that direct you once you get close).  There is free parking on the southern end of the ruins, but you can only buy tickets at the north end (so the best plan is to park in the south, walk past the touristy souvenier shops to the ticket window, see the museum/church, and then check out the ruins walking south, exiting at the parking lot)
  • An alternative is to take a bus or train.  Regular trains run from Naples 11 times a day, taking between 1.5-2 hours. You'll want a TIC NA-10, which is €6.90 one way (as of 2015). Alternatively (say, if you're coming to or from the Amalfi coast) you can take a train or bus from Salerno.  When you get out of the Paestum station, walk west for about half a kilometer to reach the ruins (go straight out of the station - you'll see the old city wall directly in front of you). Get your return tickets before you get to Paestum - there is no ticket office there.
Lodging Nearby

Apart from Agrigurismo Seliano, listed above, here are some nearby hotels, etc:

Making Mozzarella at Tenuta Vannulo
Mozzarella

This area is saturated with some of the best fresh mozzarella (which has a slightly sweeter taste than the Caserta-style mozzarella).  Travelling down SS18 from A3, you'll see dozens of creameries, farms, and other mozzarella dealers.

Tenuta Vannulo

One of the most popular mozzarella farms is Tenuta Vannulo, which is entirely organic and features an estate (tenuta) serving delicious buffalo yogurt, budino (pudding), gelato, and ricotta as well, at Via Galileo Galileo 10, 84040 Capaccio Scalo, 40°26.7'N 15°1.3'E, 082-872-4765 (or 082-872-7894).  Especially on the weekends, you have to go early (or at least reserve over the phone--reservations are required for certain specialty items, like the beautiful knotted trecce mozzarella) to ensure that there is enough cheese left!  Also, if you get there before about 11:00 or 11:30, you can watch their staff make mozzarella through a viewing window.  Email them (or call and ask for tour group director Andrea Wolf) if you're interested in reserving a tour and tasting (for groups of 10 or more) for €4 each.  Our tour, led by lead buffalo farmer Noemi, was especially informative (albiet in Italian--ask for English when you reserve if your group doesn't speak Italian).  Among the highlights was seeing the automatic milking machine, which uses computer chips to allow the buffalo to get milked whenever they want!  You can also reserve group lunches for about €25 a person.

Other Cheesemakers in Paestum/Capaccio

  • Barlotti - rec'd 2015 Repubblica, Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016, Slow Food Planet 2016
  • Rivabianca - rec'd 2015 Repubblica, Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016
  • Il Granato - rec'd 2015 Repubblica
  • La Fattoria del Casaro - rec'd 2015 Repubblica, Slow Food Planet 2016
  • La Perla del Mediterraneo - rec'd 2015 Repubblica
  • Torricelle - rec'd 2015 Repubblica
  • Masseria Lupata - rec'd 2015 Repubblica
  • Caseificio Fratelli di Lascio - rec'd Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016

Other Attractions

  • Cilento National Park - beautiful park which includes a great deal of unspoiled coastline; supposedly some of the cleanest beaches in Italy (you wouldn't believe Naples is just up the coast!)
  • Casa Vinicolo Cuomo (Winery) - in Capaccio, a little ways north of Paestum, not far from Tenuta Vannulo, and was rated one of the best "everyday wines" by Slow Food: Via Feudo La Pila 12, 082-872-5376
  • Maida (“Gusto Cilentano”) - in Capaccio/Paestum, rec'd Golosario di Paolo Massobrio 2016
  • On A3 between Salerno and Matera/Paestum:
    • Battipaglia - between Salerno and Paestum
      • La Fabbrica dei Sapori - restaurant, via Spinetta 84, 082-863-0021, closed Mon, has WiFi and a play area for small children, €25 fixed price not including drinks, rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso, and TCI.
      • Tavernola - Locanda di Campagna - restaurant, via Noschese 26, in Santa Lucia (just outside Battipaglia), 082-863-1065, 335-206-341, 335-708-5933, www.tavernola.it, closed Sun dinner, Tues, rec'd by Mangiarozzo and Carla Capalbo (who calls it a "lcountry inn")
      • Cheese
        • Iema - rec'd 2015 Repubblica
        • La Fattoria - rec'd 2015 Repubblica
        • Tenuta Doria - rec'd 2015 Repubblica
        • Colle Bianco (in Bellizzi, just N of Battipaglia) - rec'd 2015 Repubblica
        • Mail (in Bellizzi, just N of Battipaglia) - rec'd 2015 Repubblica
    • Eboli - a bit further E on the way to Basilicata
      • #il Papavero - Corso Garibaldi 112, 082-833-0689, 339-732-4563, closed Sun eve and Mon, rec'd by several chowhounds, Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Michelin, TCI, Mangiarozzo, Carla Capalbo ~€30.
      • Casa Madaio Cheese Shop - Via Serracapilli, 082-836-4815, rec'd by Carla Capalbo for excellent selection of local cheeses
      • Gelateria Tutti Gusti - rec'd TCI
    • Scicignano degli Alburni - slightly south of the fork between A3 to Calabira and E847 to Matera; in the small town of Scorzo is Trattoria La Taverna da Tonino - via Nazionale 141, 082-897-8050, 333-197-3873, rec'd by Mangiarozzo.
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Luke Swartz,
Mar 30, 2012, 9:14 AM
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Luke Swartz,
Mar 30, 2012, 9:15 AM
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