The Mediterranean Exchange of Archaeological Tourism, thanks to the precious collaboration of the Archaeological Park of Paestum and Velia and the Regional Directorate of Campania Museums, reserves visitors free admission to the sites and museums of Paestum, Velia, Eboli, Padula and Pontecagnano from Thursday, October 27th to Tuesday, November 1st, 2022.
The online registration and the printing of the personal badge are required. After the check at the registration desks at the Tabacchificio Cafasso and the Archaeological Museum it will be possible to collect the tickets for the Archaeological Park of Paestum, the National Archaeological Museum, the Archaeological Park of Velia.
For the Charterhouse of Padula, the Museum of Pontecagnano and the Museum of Eboli it is instead necessary to only show the personal badge, printed after the completed online registration, at the entrance of the site.
The following sites give free entry.
National Archaeological Museum of Paestum
The Museum collects unparalleled relics coming from the city and the territory of Poseidonia-Paestum: prehistoric funerary equipments, recovered architectonic and sculpture relics found during the diggings. Some artifacts of great interest are the seated fictile statue of Zeus from the sixth century BC, a large feminine bust, lacking her head, from the end of the sixth century BC, the bronze hydria amphoras from the sixth century BC. The painted slabs coming from some of the 120 tombs so far recovered are beautiful, one of the most famous is the painted tomb of the Diver from 480 BC. Sculptures, marmoreal registrations, cult objects, fragments and amphoras are the testimony of the Roman Age in Paestum.
Archaeological Park of Paestum
Poseidonia was a Greek colony founded at the end of the seventh century BC by the Sybarites. Conquered at the end of the fifth century BC by the Lucanians, in the third century BC it became a Latin colony with the name of Paestum. Protected by five kilometers of pentagonal walls, the imposing Doric temples rise, dating back to the fourth and fifth centuries BC: the Basilica of Hera, the Temple of Neptune or Poseidon and the Temple of Ceres. The Basilica is the most ancient of the temples of Paestum: it rises solemnly, with the gilded columns of the arch, orienting to east. The most classic and perfect example of a Doric temple of the Greek world is surely the temple of Neptune. The temple of Ceres, dedicated to Athena, rises at the Northern extremity of the sacred zone. The diggings cover an immense area of the city with other huge buildings like the baths, the porch of the Forum, the amphitheatre.
Archaeological Park of Velia
Velia, the ancient Elea, was founded around 540 BC by the Focei settlers who came from Asia to battle Cyrus’s army. Parmenides and Zeno were born here and with them the Eleatic school, reference in the philosophical culture of the antiquity. The city structure is clear in its relics, and it is entered by the “Rosa Door”, the only surving example of Greek architecture with round arch. The wall of the sacred fencing is particularly valuable, with its charming stoà or porch, paved in bricks from the Hellenistic Ages.
National Archaeological Museum of Eboli and the Media Valle del Sele
The Museum is housed in the Convent of St. Francis, founded in the thirteenth century and extensively remodeled in the sixteenth. Before the Second World War it was used as the town hall, the district court and the local high school. The bombing of the war caused its partial destruction and abandonment. It has been retorned to public use after a recent restoration and the entire west wing of the complex is made available to the Municipal Administration by the Archaeological Superintendence of Salerno and Avellino, that oversaw the setting of the Archaeological Museum.
Currently, the Museum collects artifacts, mostly tombs, from the old town of Eboli, that, thanks to its location in the coastal plain at the mouth of major routes such as the Tusciano river valley and the path of Ofanto-Sele river, represents in the ancient times a boundary between territories participating in different cultures.
The exhibition is chronologically organized tended to present the main stages of more than millenial life of the settlement: Prehistory, Iron Age, Orientalising period, the sixth and fifth centuries, and, for now, it ends with the rich documentation of the fourth century BC. By its nature in the near future it is bound to also host the testimonies of the territories around the middle course of Sele river.
But it should be noted that this particular museum, created to tell the story of a not culturally homogenous former district, will feed and grow with the results of field research, which is why the exhibition, that on the upper floors is still under construction, will become dialectically linked to the archaeological investigation and the subsequent reconstruction of the ancient landscape. In the lobby there is the base of a statue with an inscription (183 AD) known as Eburina Tombstone, which had been reused in the bell tower of the church of Saint Maty in Intra. This epigraphic text makes it clear that Eburum enjoyed the status of Municipium.
National Archaeological Museum of Pontecagnano “Etruscans on the border”
The construction of the new National Archaeological Museum of Pontecagnano – founded by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture with the contribution and participation in the Campania Region and the local municipal government – is the final stage of an ambitious project led by the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage the provinces of Salerno and Avellino in close collaboration with the University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’ and with the University of Salerno, and configures itself within the exceptional importance of the archaeological heritage as it gathers the most significant proofs of the Etruscan expansion in Southern Italy, returned from one of the most important site of ancient Campania and Southern Italy.
The new and larger structure shows in a strictly scientific, but at the same time charming and attractive way, through the development of various issues, the results of the intense and constant research begun in 1964 in the municipality of Pontecagnano following the discovery, one of the most significant of the last fifty years, of a large Etruscan settlement, which had urban characteristics as early as from the Archaic Age.
The importance and the size of the site are documented by more than 8000 very rich funerary equipments, that attest the attendance from the First Iron Age (end of X – early ninth century BC) to Roman times, when the Etruscan-Italic settlement overlaps the Picentia colony (263 BC). The main core of the museum’s display is made up of princely outfits of the Orientalising period (late eighth-seventh century BC), at the peak of the flowering of the center.
Charterhouse of Saint Lawrence in Padula
The Charterhouse of Saint Lawrence is the largest monastery in Southern Italy and it is among the most interesting ones in Europe for architectural grandeur and richness of artistic treasures.
The building started in 1306 by order of Tommaso Sanseverino, Count of Marsico and Lord of Vallo di Diano, and continued, with extensions and renovations, until the 19th century.
Few elements of the most ancient structure survived: among them, the beautiful front door of the Church, dated back to 1374 and the cross vaults of the church itself. The most relevant transformations were made in mid-1500s, after the Council of Trent. The interventions of gold-plating of the plasters of the church were made in the 17th century by lay brother Francesco Cataldi, while the frescoes and the transformations of use of the existing spaces were realized in the 18th century. The Carthusians left Padula in 1807, during the French decade of the Reign of Naples, when they were deprived of their properties in the Vallo, Cilento, Basilicata and Calabria.
The rich ornaments and all the artistic and library heritage went almost completely missing and the monument knew a state of precariousness and neglect.
The external court is a great rectangular yard around which most of the productive activities were established.
The original sixteenth-century structure, realized with local stone and rigidly scanned by the Doric order of the twin columns, was enriched with statues and pinnacles during the Baroque age.
The Church, with a single nave and five chapels on the right side is divided into two zones by a wall. In front of the threshold after crossing it, there is a helicoidal stair gently leading to the vestibule of the library.
The big cloister, with its almost 15000 square meters of surface is one of the biggest in Europe. The building was started in 1538, completely redoing a pre-existing cloister.