As the article title says, not just theVesuvius razed with Pompeii. This Italian giant buried a long list of localities among which are the current Herculaneum ruins. His remains can be visited in the city of Ercolano, just over 10 kilometers south of the misunderstood city of Naples. The latter houses a arqueologic Museum with many original remains of Herculaneum that for conservation reasons can not be outdoors.
Herculaneum Not only Vesuvius razed Pompeii
One morning almost 2000 years ago, the volcano Vesuvius He began to expel a column of smoke as he had done so many times before. No one took it into account, the people who lived in Herculaneum I knew it is an active volcano but they had never been afraid of it. His confidence became a fateful mistake. The eruption It was so strong that a mass of hot mud swept through the city in a short time, accompanied by a rain of ashes and gases that made the existence of life impossible. Those who were lucky enough to survive the beginning of the eruption suffered the fall of rocks ejected at high speed, leaving the number of survivors almost non-existent.
This tragic event managed to keep the city almost intact until today, becoming the Herculaneum ruins in one of the 50 places collected by the Unesco inside of World heritage list, next to Pompeii and Annunziata Tower.
The visit - What to see in Herculaneum
It was time to get up early and go to the town of Ercolano, where there are the ruins of Herculaneum. We wanted to arrive from the first ones and skip the numerous organized excursions that arrive 2 hours after its opening. We were carrying a combined entry (€ 20) that allowed us to see other points that were buried by Vesuvius as Oplontis, Stabia and of course Pompeii.
The nearby Pompeii may be the most visited monument in the world, partly to the cruise ships that dock at Naples, but since these barely stop for a few hours, they don't have time to visit the ruins of Herculaneum. Even so, there are tours They visit it and we highly recommend getting up early.
Herculaneum Ruins - Hot Springs
Upon entering the complex we pass through a small walkway that crosses the pit, without taking the stairs down and thus enter the streets of the ruins of Herculaneum as opposite as possible. We are one of those who see things from back to front :-D.
Walking in a straight line along the Roman road, we can see how well everything has been preserved, although it is true that there are many restoration tasks. First we go through an old Roman terms, bathrooms that can never be missing in any city of the time, to end at the end of the street in the Sacello degli Augustali, center of worship of the city.
Sacello degli Augustali
After the temple, we pass the Salone Nero House and some curious wineries where he was probably staying market from the city. In this part it is very easy to observe the sewer of the city, that invention that has remained almost intact until today.
I recognize that from here we turn the visit into chaos. We decided to forget about Map and get lost in the city based on walking, entering all the houses we could and enjoy everything we found at our own pace. In some parts we read the reviews and in others we simply took a picture and looked for new surprises. Tourism without stress.
Streets of Herculaneum
We began to find homes in an excellent state of conservation and with many outdoor paintings that still retained part of their original splendor. The houses had kitchens at his entrance, right next to the streets and that surely were dedicated to selling a plate of food.
It is so good to get lost, that we even went back through streets that we had already passed and we found things that we had accidentally skipped, how are you hot springs very close to the outdoors. Next of course were the masculine ones.
Termas Femeninas - Ruins of Herculaneum
Maybe walking with the map of the Herculaneum ruins in hand we think that the center of the city (right in the street that is in two is), there are not too many things to see. If we think so we will fall into a serious error, since from this route we will have easier access to temples and houses that from the most important streets we could easily skip.
Central street of Herculaneum
Taking the last street we will arrive at the Palestra and a set of houses and temples of the best of the city. Here it is possible that you are already starting to meet people because this street communicates with the main entrance of the city through a tunnel.
Casa della Gemma and the Rilievo di Telefo
The houses that border this last part looked like people with high purchasing power. Numerous fresh they populated its walls as well as beautiful mosaics in some of its main rooms. Many of them represented scenes that the former owners used to perform, such as hunting and party organization.
At the end of the street and down some stairs before crossing a tunnel, is the most famous statue in the city, which represents Marco Nonio Balbo, an ancient Roman politician residing in the city, whose original is in theNaples Archaeological Museum.
Statue next to Marco Nonio Balbo - Ruins of Herculaneum
Attached to the statues we have the underground hot springs from the city, which a priori will seem small at the entrance, but once inside they are quite large. These are not very well lit, probably to delay their aging.
Underground hot springs - Herculaneum
The hot springs were the last thing we visited, taking the tunnel that takes us to the exit of Ercolano. 2h visit, which allowed us to visit theVesuvius and meet two incredible places in the same day.
More on the transalpine country in our section of Italy
Practical information - Tips for visiting Herculaneum
When to go?
Italy It is one of the countries with the highest influx of tourists, therefore the ideal is to try not to visit it during the high season (July and August) and Easter. We visited it in the month of January, which despite being a rainy month, made us very good weather.
The schedule from November to March is from 08:30 to 17:00, closing the rest of the months at 19:30. Ideally, visit it early in the morning to avoid cruises and crowds.
How to go to the ruins of Herculaneum / Ercolano?
It is very close to the city of Naples, a few kilometers south, taking the highway towards Pompeii and leaving in Ercolano. It is also possible to arrive in train through the lines Napoli-Sorrento, Napoli-Poggiomarino, Napoli-Annunziata Tower getting off at the Ercolano station.
Entry costs 11€, being free to those under 18. The combined costs 20€ with the right of access to 5 places: Pompei, Ercolano, Boscoreale, Oplontis, Stabiae, being valid for 3 days.
Excursions around Naples and Pompeii
Recommended places around
- Amalfi Lacosta.
- The incredible ruins of Paestum at only 1 hour.
- The ruins of Pompeii.
- Vesuvius volcano
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