31 Mar Herculaneum: the other lost city
Visiting Herculaneum after Ancient Pompeii is an essential experience to anyone who wants to increase his knowledge about social life and civilization at the time of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. And Hotel del Sole is just 15 minutes drive away from this important archaeological area.
The eruption in 79 AD destroyed Pompeii and many other small towns around. Herculaneum was one of these and differentiate itself because Romans came there for vacation and not business affairs. So the city is full of rich villas in which people used to relax, think, read and study in accordance with the popular otium practice.
Furthermore Herculaneum was a quiet place in a panoramic positions with a beautiful seashore overlooking the Gulf and Capri island.
So the visit to Herculaneum is similar but not alike the tour in Ancient Pompeii: two buried cities with different proofs and way of life.
Visiting Herculaneum means admiring the ruins and visualizing that in 79 AD there was a beach and the arches which you can now see were boat shelters at that time. During the tour you will find skeletons of the citizens who tried to escape the eruption but were killed by a 400 degrees hot wave.
To walk around the city you have to cross a suspension bridge which works as the main entrance. Original sidewalks, termopolium – ancient pubs – in the crossroads, houses. Compared to Ancient Pompeii here you can find many more private buildings in which there are exclusive furnishings and grave goods. Books, for example, were handwrited and very precious and an entire library is still preserved inside Villa of Papyri.
Excavations in Herculaneum brought to the light about 50 % of the buildings, the remainder is concealed under the modern city of Ercolano.
But gymnasium, thermae and places of worship are still visible during the special tour in a 2000 years old city.