Visiting ancient Herculaneum, in the bay of Naples, is an experience that will last for a long time. There are no other ancient cities which can compare to Herculaneum for its amazing state of preservation after the city was covered under a pyroclastic flow during the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius in AD79.
Herculaneum is famous for the well preserved frescoes, mosaics, wooden partitions, furniture and many other petrified organic materials which are so important to understand its life.
Ticket office of the Archaeological Area of Herculaneum
Ancient Herculaneum is a city which was buried under a thick layer of volcanic material in 79 AD, during an eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
The volcanic material reached Herculaneum at a speed of 100 km per hour and it was still liquid when it entered the houses of the beautiful and rich city facing the bay of Naples. Therefore the volcanic flow, known as the surge, supported the different floors of the buildings and, once the gases evaporated, the liquid rocks hardened again and sealed everything.
Wooden doors, windows, glass, furniture, iron, bronze objects, food, dresses, jewels, frescoes and mosaics were all well preserved by the volcanic material.
Herculaneum is so well preserved that it looks like a medieval town with balconies overlapping the hallways and shops still containing petrified wooden doors, wooden shelves, a wooden press or terracotta jars. The dwellings of the beautiful aristocratic buried city are still decorated with frescoes and mosaics and a few of them still contain the original petrified pieces of furniture.
The inhabitants of the ancient city, who tried to escape the city, were found in 1981 inside warehouses aligned along the ancient beach. They were trying to get on a wooden boat which, due to the rough see, was overturned on the beach and people remained trapped inside the vaulted rooms, frozen in time. The plaster casts of their remaining skeletons give us an idea of the sort of horror they had to suffer.
The guided tour includes a visit to the Antiquarium: The rich inhabitants of Herculaneum brought with them jewels and precious stones which are actually hosted in the museum, where other findings, like marble statues, bronze objects and medical tools are also displayed.
We will then visit the wooden boat which is housed, together with a fishing net, a few oars, an anchor and other objects in the Boat Pavillon.
During the visit of the ancient town we will see the famous Collegium of the Augustals which keeps the amazing frescoes representing Hercules, the demi-god who is considered to be the founder of the city which took his name. Finally we will see houses, thermal baths, shops and streets and we will jump back in time to the amazing Roman Age.
In the Archaeological Area
Walking tour with a qualified guide
I am a freelance professional so I can be available everyday should there be the need.
Herculaneum is closed on Wednesdays
In order to get the best out of this particular amazing tour, comfortable shoes are necessary as well as a hat and a bottle of water.