The ancient city in the southern region of Lucania, was a colony of the Greek city
of Sybaris. The city's original name was Poseidonia and its story has always been
shrouded in myth. In the 6th century BC, Paestum and the whole of Magna Grecia flourished.
Unlike Pompeii and Herculaneum, the city was abandoned, its temples of white marble
standing proud against dusky brown hills and deep blue seas are the only surviving
ancient Greek ruins in mainland Italy today. It was most likely founded in 650 BC
by the Doriani after their expulsion from the exclusive city of Sybaris on the Ionian
Sea. They called their new colony Poseidonia. Flourishing rapidly, it soon became
the largest city of the Gulf of Salerno. The city of Sybaris was destroyed in 510
BC, resulting in a decline in power and prestige and in 390 BC Poseidonia fell into
the hands of the Lucani, a tribe of local barbarians.