Ancient Messine: One of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, Ancient Messine was founded by the Theban general, Epaminondas and Argaean allies in 369 BC. The city, built according to the Hippodameian system, flourished during Macedonian and Roman times as the capital of the Messinian state. The decline of this remarkable political and artistic centre began from the first decade of the 4th century AD. The city suffered a strong defeat by the Goths in 395 AD. Archaeological findings indicate continuation of life in later centuries during which locals and intruders coexisted. Near the archaeological site of Messine is the village of Mavrommati, which retains its traditional style, consisting of a small square, a central tap with cold running water and taverns. Mavrommati has 222 inhabitants and is 30km northwest of Kalo Nero.
The Temple of Epicurean Apollo (22km): The Temple of Epicurean Apollo at the Bassae of Figaleia is one of the greatest and most imposing monuments of antiquity. Dedicated by the Figaleians to Apollo because he assisted them in overcoming a plague, the temple rises imposingly at 1130 metres tall in the centre of Peloponnese on the mountains between the prefectures of Elis, Arcadea and Messinia. The temple was built in the second half of the 5th century BC (420 -410 BC) and is attributed to the architect Iktinos, who also designed the Parthenon. This monument, one of universal importance and one of the best preserved in classical antiquity, was the first to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Greece in 1986. Part of the temple frieze broke in 1814 and is now exhibited in the British Museum in London.
The Palace of Nestor (29km): The Mycenean Palace of Upper Englianos, better known as the Palace of Nestor, is the only Mycaenean palace to be preserved in such good condition. Located 4km south of the town of Chora (in the Municipality of Nestor in Messinia) the Palace of Nestor is the central building surrounded by a fortified wall and dates back to the late Helladic Period. It was a two-storey building which included a warehouse, workshops, baths, light wells, reception rooms and a sewerage system and is located in the elongated hill of Upper Englianos. It is the most well preserved Mycenean palace to be discovered to date. During excavations in 1939, about 1000 Linear B tablets were also found and identified along with numerous artistic items dating from 1300 BC. The palace complex, used by King Nestor, was destroyed by fire at around 1200 BC.
Ancient Olympia: Olympia, 39km from Kalo Nero, was a city in ancient Greece in the region of Elis. Known as the venue of the Olympic Games in classical times, this event was comparable in importance to the Pythian Games held in Delphi. The gold and ivory statue of Zeus by Pheidias, known in ancient times as one of the seven wonders of the world, was found there. The origins of the Olympic Games date back to 776 BC and were held every four years. In 394 AD, Byzantine Emperor Theodosios I banned the Games from taking place as they were considered pagan.