Ancient Greek Temples and Mozzarella di Bufala in Paestum, Campania

If you tell a Roman that you are going Paestum for the weekend, invariably he or she will tell you: “Make sure you pick up some mozzarella di bufala.”

A Very Short History of Paestum

Paestum is a sight to see without the culinary pit stop. A city known as “Poseidonia” when it was part of Magna Grecia, Paestum is home to three extraordinarily preserved Greek (Doric) temples that date from 600 to 450BC. The two temples to Hera and the temple to Athena sit on a wide, grassy plot of land that is much easier to navigate than the not-too-distant Pompeii, the more famous ruins an hour north of here.

The Archeological Site of Paestum

Together with a museum that contains fragments of paintings, vases, and other artifacts, the Parco Archeologico di Paestum is a pleasant, well-paced history lesson that you can explore in half a day…or longer, depending upon your speed and interests.

The Dairy Products of Paestum and Its Subregion

Consorzio Tutela Mozzarella di Bufala Campana

When I mention Paestum to residents in Rome, they agree that the ruins are worth seeing. But they also start to talk about the food, in particular the dairy products.

Paestum is in the heart of Mozzarella di Bufala country. This dairy route starts from just south of Rome and spreads down to the other provinces of Lazio (Latina and Frosinone); most of Campania, including Salerno, Paestum’s province; and to the mountainous western part of Puglia (Provincia di Foggia). This culinary sub-region’s claim to fame and flavor is the water buffalo, the large, black, horned beasts that produce the milk for yogurt, gelato, and the most highly prized types of fresh mozzarella, mozzarella di bufala.

One could easily combine a quest for mozzarella di bufala and dairy products à la bufala with a trip to Naples, Caserta’s Palazzo Reale (Royal with Cheese?) or the Riviera di Ulisse (Beaches and Cream?). But I think the combo of Greek / Yogurt (Greek ruins + buffalo yogurt) that you get by way of Paestum is a winner.

There are several excellent dairies/vendors of mozzarella di bufala on the byways between Paestum and Salerno including Tenuta Vannullo, where we picked up, among other things, large glass containers of buffalo yogurt (plain and one flavored with blueberry). You can see the buffaloes grazing on the green pastures when you pull up to the tenuta — the unmistakable cattle are visible from the road — and there are stables, a dairy, a yogurteria, and a museum on the premises. Guided tours of Tenuta Vannullo are available, too.

The Consorzio Tutela Mozzarella di Bufala Campana has a member map of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana producers. Why not feed your farm-to-table fantasies with a stop at one of them?

Read the rest of the “Farm to Table” posts from the Italy Roundtable

This post was last modified on 16 July 2019 4:59 pm

Melanie Renzulli @italofileblog

View Comments

Recent Posts

NASA History in Rome: The Birthplace of Michael Collins

Visiting Rome is always a history lesson. But many people -- even Romans -- don't know that Rome played a…

1 day ago

7 Fountains in Rome That You Definitely Should Not Cool Off In

Rome's grand, historic fountains look awfully inviting after a hot day of sightseeing. But you absolutely, positively should not try…

3 days ago

Leonardo da Vinci: Where to See His Works in Italy

Leonardo da Vinci, the original Renaissance Man, was born in Italy more than 500 years ago. Yet despite being one…

1 month ago

Luxe Stays in Italy: Three New Choices for 2019

Two hotels in Rome and one in the countryside of Emilia-Romagna are some of the most-talked about new luxury properties…

2 months ago

Sightseeing in Milan: 3 Places to Go Beyond the Duomo

The Duomo is magnificent. But do you know what else to do in Milan? Here are three ideas for first…

3 months ago

Rome Wasn’t Built In a Day. So How Long Did It Take?

Rome has been written about so many times that we've all seen variations on the cliché phrase "Rome wasn't built…

3 months ago

Italofile uses cookies to personalize content and ads as well as to analyze traffic.

Learn More