Where Naples Coast & Islands - - CONTENTS - Spe­cial thanks to GUGLIELMO CAMPAJOLA owner of LA CAFFETTIERA Parco Arche­o­logico di Paes­tum via Magna Gre­cia, 918, Paes­tum. T: 199199100 www.museopaes­tum.beni­cul­tur­

Interview with Gabriel Zuchtriegel, site-di­rec­tor of the Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Park of Paes­tum

How many peo­ple visit Paes­tum each year?

Last year, 3,000 peo­ple vis­ited the site but the num­ber is grow­ing. We are plan­ning on con­duct­ing sur­veys on the ori­gin of our vis­i­tors that will also rate their de­gree of en­joy­ment. How­ever, judg­ing by the num­ber of au­dio-guides rented, I would say that more than half of our vis­i­tors are Ital­ians.

How long does it take to visit the ex­ca­va­tions?

One week. How­ever, in one day you can man­age to gain a fairly com­pre­hen­sive over­view of the pri­vate houses, the fo­rum and the walls.

What do you like most about the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal site?

En­ter­ing the tem­ples is al­ways a thrilling ex­pe­ri­ence and one that is now once again pos­si­ble fol­low­ing their re­cent re-open­ing after a twenty-year hia­tus. Tak­ing in the land­scape sur­round­ing the site from the in­side is par­tic­u­larly ex­cit­ing. It makes you feel at one with the land­scape, the monuments and his­tory. Paes­tum is an ab­so­lutely fas­ci­nat­ing place, it’s like en­ter­ing an oa­sis of peace that is cut off from the rest of the world, a truly spe­cial space.

You have fo­cused on mak­ing the ex­ca­va­tions child-friendly. How have you achieved this?

With ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­i­ties for schools and fam­i­lies. My ‘Ro­man Days’ ini­tia­tive has proved to be par­tic­u­larly suc­cess­ful. Two days dur­ing which chil­dren have a chance to meet gla­di­a­tors, priests and se­na­tors. It’s a way of in­tro­duc­ing chil­dren to his­tory and ar­chae­ol­ogy. We will be re­peat­ing the ini­tia­tive on 23 and 24 July.

How does the Mu­seum fit into the wider area of Ci­lento?

We try to act as a gate­way to Ci­lento, an area that is not only rich in tra­di­tion but also one that boasts an ex­tra­or­di­nary his­toric, artis­tic and ar­chae­o­log­i­cal her­itage. Thanks to brochures and our web­site, we of­fer tours to Velia and Padula as well as var­i­ous itin­er­ar­ies that also en­able vis­i­tors to dis­cover the in­land. We col­lab­o­rate with Ept, with the com­munes in the area and with the Na­tional Park of Ci­lento: the feed­back has been ex­tremely pos­i­tive.

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