Velia is no longer a city. It was an ancient Greek city fonder around 538 BC known then as Elea. It was a very large city extending from the sea to the mountains. It had a tower at its highest point. From there you could see the sea in all directions and watch for pirates or the fires from other town’s towers indicating the pirates were on their way. Today this city is just a ruin but the tower still stands. You can buy tickets to tour this wonderful ruin or a combo ticket to view Velia and Paestum (see yesterday’s BLOG).
Velia is located near the current beach town of Ascea Italy. Ascea is in the southern end of Campania and has beautiful beaches. We found these wonderful rocks at the beach. They were smooth and looked polished with white strips on the grey rock. When we toured Velia, we saw these same rocks used in their construction of buildings 2,500 years ago. As you walk this ruin you will see some buildings totally standing but without a roof, others are just foundations outlining the original building. There is a forum and pathways through this ancient city.
As you walk you can almost hear the horse-drawn carriages on the cobbles town streets. You can imagine people hanging out windows or walking around this town.
This was once a major city in southern Italy long before the Roman Empire.
You can drive from the A3 Autostrada south on SP 430 to Vallo Scallo and then on streets to Ascea or take a train to Ascea. As you enter the city of Ascea from the north you can see Velia on your left. There is ample parking and a small gift shop.
George & Jo Anne