During European Museum Night on May 14, visits to Italy’s Paestum and Velia will be lit by small lanterns given to the visitors.
At the same time as the special evening openings of as part of the event, at the symbolic cost of 1 euro, it will be possible to visit the museum and archaeological area of Velia in accessible and lit areas. For the occasion, the Archeological Park of Paestum and Velia will be offering two theme-based guided tours.
In Paestum, director Tiziana D’Angelo will be accompanying the public on a visit to the southern sanctuary in the path of the Grand Tour, an educational trip that was taken by wealthy youths across Europe to Italy between the end of the 16th century and that of the 17th. Paestum was an obligatory stop in the itinerary, which was designed to deepen the youths; knowledge of the classical world. With its three well-conserved Doric temples it was possible to admire Greek culture without actually going to Greece. Paestum and the Grand Tour are linked to such well-known people as Winkelmann, who created his theory on Greek art there; Giovanni Battista Piranesi, who created famous etchings of the archaeological area; and Johann Wolfgang Goethe, who saw the Doric temples as the epitome of classical art. To better understand the atmosphere of the 17th century, the visits will be lit by small lanterns.
In Velia, the true protagonist of the visits will be the ancient port and, especially, the relation that has always linked the city to the sea. Sailors from Phocaea arrived via sea and founded the Elea colony and the economic interests of the community revolved around the sea, which also served as a way to create ties and exchange knowledge. The visits will focus on the lower part of the city near the ancient beach and will be curated by archaeologist Francesco Uliano Scelza. This visit to explore the relations between the city and the sea since the Roman Era will also be conducted with lanterns.