Herculaneum and Pompeii

The excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii are one of the most visited places in all of Italy. Tragedy and fascination go hand in hand at these sites, because all that will be seen there has been preserved thanks to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD.

Here, we give you some advice on how to visit these places.
 

How to get

It's possible to visit both sites in one day because they are about 10 kilometres apart. They are served by the metro line Circumvesuviana that between 16/3 and the 03/11 runs additional faster trains between Naples and Sorrento. The station is right in front of the sites' entrance

https://www.eavsrl.it/web/content/campania-express-2019     

Pompeii is also connected by the Trenitalia from Naples and from various stations in the Cilento Park. 
 

Book the ticket

Specially if you decide to visit the sites in high season (Apr-Oct), we advise you to buy your tickets on the internet (we can help you with that). The cost of entry to each site is 15 euros. Pompeii and Herculaneum, are the most famous sites, but the lava flow affected also the towns of Oplonti, Stabia and Boscoreale. All these places are close to each other, and it is possible to buy a cumulative ticket for all five excavations at the price of 20 euros in total. Over 65 and under 18 enter for free.
 

Wear appropriate clothing

The best season to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum is spring, as it is not too hot yet, and moving under the sun for long stretches inside the archaeological site will not be too difficult. You will have to remember to wear right and above all comfortable, simple clothing, putting comfortable shoes that will allow you to walk without particular difficulties. Inside the excavations, there are refreshment points, and also services. However, we advise you to bring a bottle of water.
 

Do and don't 

There are numerous restaurants in the area that offer set menus at reasonable prices (with around 12 euros for a 3-course meal) but it is possible to eat packed lunches in the picnic area inside the park. It is strictly forbidden to bring food and drink outside the dedicated areas. In the same way, it is forbidden to smoke, throw rubbish on the ground or smear anything. The park and its visitors are subjected to strict controls to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of the archaeological site. Even a stone, apparently useless, in this place, has its own history and for this, it must be respected.

Pompeii
Pompeii



What to see in Herculaneum

Compared to Pompeii, Herculaneum offers visitors a more complete testimony of the Roman world, albeit less lavish. A few steps from the archaeological site, you'll find one of the most famous virtual museums in Italy, the Mav. 

Ruins of Ercolano, city buried by Vesuvius
Herculaneum
 

MAV  (Virtual Archaeological Museum)

The Virtual Archaeological Museum (MAV) is a museum rich in technology and culture, within it, thanks to the incredible realistic videos, you have the opportunity to relive the splendour of the golden years and, consequently, also the tragedy that occurred during the eruption of the volcano. ​ It perfectly compliments the visit to the excavations and it's a must if you are travelling with children.

museomav.it

MAV  Virtual Archaeological Museum
Photo credit - MAV Museo Archeologico Virtuale
 

The Samnite House

One of the noteworthy aspects of Herculaneum are certainly the buildings. In fact, all the private houses and villas still preserve their timeless beauty. One of the most beautiful is certainly the Samnite House, located in the historic area of ​​the city, called Cardo IV Superiore. This building is one of the oldest in Herculaneum, where you can admire the original appearance of the time. Inside you can admire testimonies and finds of exquisite workmanship, such as the decorated coffered ceiling, frescoed according to the styles of the time. Another noteworthy building is the Partem Domus lignea, also dating back to the Samnite era, but restored soon after.
 

La Grande Taberna

Other attractions not to be missed, are, without a doubt, the gymnasium, to which are connected a row of shops located in the cardo V, which represent the symbol of the commercial activity of Ercolano. The most famous is La Grande Taberna and the traditional workshop of a blacksmith named Plumbarius. In addition to commercial activities, there are also sacred buildings, located mainly in the southern part of the city, built for the worship of Venus and in honour of four other local gods.

Mosaic and Neptune and Amphitrite in the ruins of the city of Herculaneum
 

Villas of the Golden Mile

Corso Resina is a stretch of road that goes from the site of Herculaneum to the border of Torre del Greco, it is also known as Miglio d'Oro (Golden Mile) for the presence of some of the most beautiful and sumptuous Vesuvian villas of the 18th century, built or embellished by famous architects including Luigi Vanvitelli. These include Villa Aprile, Villa Favorita, Villa Ruggiero, which today host cultural events, shows and concerts. In 1997 the area of ​​the Miglio d'Oro, together with the Vesuvius complex, was included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. 

Ruins of Ercolano, city buried by Vesuvius
 


What to see in Pompeii

 

The House of the Faun

Among the most luxurious residences in Pompeii there is the House of the Faun, so named for the satyr statue placed in the middle of the rainwater collection tank. To get an idea of ​​the splendour of this building, just think the mosaics, composed of about one and a half million pieces, depicting the battle between Darius III of Persia and Alexander the Great found in its pavement.
 

The Garden of the Fugitives

The plaster casts of the Garden of the Fugitives offer a plastic representation of the drama of Pompeii: here, in fact, many bodies of the victims were found in escape from the eruption, adults and children caught in the last gestures of life in their original position.
Garden of the Fugitives Pompeii
Photo credit - pompeionline.net
 

The Lupanare

You will be very impressed by the contrasts of Pompeii: what to visit to have an authentic cross-section of his daily life? Among the attractions of greatest appeal is the Lupanare, the city's most important brothel, decorated with paintings of erotic art.
 

Villa dei Misteri

You have decided to revisit Pompeii after a few years: what to see to relive the excitement of the first time? Without a doubt, the Villa dei Misteri, reopened to the public in 2015 after a significant restoration. The charm of its mysterious and emblematic frescoes is even stronger today!
 

The Temple of Apollo

Together with the Doric temple, the Temple of Apollo is counted among the main religious centres of Pompeii and among the oldest buildings in the city. They were decorated with statues, such as that of Apollo the Archer guarded in the original version at the Archaeological Museum of Naples.

Cave Canem Beware of dog mosaic in Pompeii

Interior of Casa della Fontana Piccola

Ruins Pompeii