Have a look at the ruins of this big antic city, visit the archeological area, and enjoy the beaches of the lido (the seashore).
Civilizations, and cities are mortal. Metaponto (Metapontum) was a very rich and flourish city of Magna Greacia (in south of Italy), situated on the gulf of Tarentum in the ancient times.
Sometime between 800 and 700 BC, adventurous Greek merchants began scouring the Mediterranean in search of trade wares for their home territories. As a consequence, several Greek colonies began to form along the southern coastlines of Italy and Sicily.
The Greeks brought with them a highly organized agricultural system, which enabled the colonies to flourish. Metaponto was one such colony. Fueled by Athenian prosperity, the late Classical and early Hellenistic periods (350-275 BC) saw in influx of new settlements into southern Italy, and Metaponto continued to grow.
In the 6th century B.C. Pythagoras came and in 532 B.C. established his his school of philosophy, which remained active for about two centuries after his death. The town was occupied by Pyrrhus and allied with Annibal against Rome. Later the slave-rebel Spartacus sacked it.
And now-a days, what remains of Metapontum ?
Not much: a museum, the archeological park, where you can discover remains of the center of the antic city : 3 ruined temples, and traces of the greek teather.
A few kilometers further, close to the highway, you can discover the Tavole Palatine, an ancient temple of Hera. The temple originally had 18 columns, with twelve on the long side and the remainder of the side. Fifteen columns wich were refurbished in 1961, remain standing today.
Right on the seashore, approximately 3KM from the present town of Metaponto, is the once desolate Lido di Metaponto, now with many amenities for seaside tourists and a splendid sand beach.
The same phenomenon appears all along the Ionian coast: beaches abandoned int he past because infested with malaria and unsafe have become a new source of economic development.