Ercolano – a forgotten city
Have you heard of Ercolano? Well, I’m not suprised if you don’t, because most of you know only Pompei. Unfortunately, Ercolano also shared the fate of the tragic events. However, its history is much different than this one from Pompei. For some people Ercolano is even more interesting treasure than Pompei. Houses in Ercolane are well preserved and more rich of mosaic and different items. Despite that, the whole fame goes to Pompei. What distinguish Ercolano from Pompeii? What’s story hide this ancient city? How much time do you need to see it? I will try to answer these and other questions in this content! 🙂
How to get to Ercolano?
The best starting point will be Naples. It is the closest large city with an airport. From two stations: Napoli Porta Nolana and Napoli Garibaldi (main railway station), goes the Circumvesuviana train towards Sorrento. 20 minutes later it is already at the Ercolano station. At this point you should also get off if you are going to Vesuvius. Unfortunately, I will not tell you the tickets price, because I had a card at that time (something like the Naples Pass). Thanks to it, I could travel by public transport and enter museums for free (including Pompeii and Ercolano). However, you have to pay for additional bus that takes you from Ercolano train station to the museum. It takes several minuits and believe me that walk is not the best solution there. 😀
The journey to the Ercolano from Naples took us no more than 40 minutes. It was the end of September and the weather was fantastic. The sun was still hot, but very pleasent. Short pants fit still to this climate. There were also less tourists, though this may be due to the fact that some of them are only going to Pompeii. It’s good for us, but it’s a pity for them! Ercolano has a completely different story, as you will notice at the very beginning of your visit. See how below of the level of the contemporary city is located. Why such a difference? During the Vesuvius eruption of 24 August 79, Ercolano was completely flooded by volcanic mud. The city covered by mud, was forgotten until the eighteenth century, in which it was discovered again by accident. In 1709, during the excavation of the well, a piece of the theater was found. Since then, archaeological research has been ongoing to this day. Probably the whole city will never see the light of day again, because some of the buildings are located under contemporary buildings.
What else distinguishes Ercolano?
A slightly different course of the disaster is not the only issue that distinguishes these two cities. Although it is said that thanks to this layer of mud, Herculaneum has survived much better than Pompeii. In truth, we can not admire it in all its splendor, but there left so many beautiful well-preserved items and mosaic that are worth your attention. Where did these beautiful mosaics come from in Herculaneum? As it turns out, the rich immigrants from Pompeii inhabited the local city. Tired of the noise and life of a large city, they moved to its quieter suburbs, which they shared with other affluent families. That is why the preserved houses here hide much more beautiful and sophisticated colors, mosaics or objects.
How to plan your visit?
In this matter, it is always hard to find an universal rule. In fact, you can spend a lot of time here, renting a guide and listening the story of every mosaic or building! I’m sure that you will get a lot of valuable information that will be hard to find on the internet. The only question is, do you have patience, time, willingness and money for that? 🙂 I spent here with my grandmother about 2,5 hours. I knew more or less what to look for, but I still discovered some places by accident …. because, for example, crowds of people gathered at interesting places! 😉 Although I had a map, I often felt lost, because the small streets, houses, places looked the same and it was hard to reach what I wanted.
So what should you pay attention to? Central Bath, Samnicki House, Deer House, Argus House, House of Neptune and Amfitrida, as well as the Skeletons.
Unfortunately, the skeletons are supposedly not real. These are only well-made castings that remind us of the danger. Vesuvius is a very dangerous volcano, because unlike Etna, it accumulates powerful energy. Therefore, its explosion may be tragic for the inhabitants of nearby areas.
Here you can check open hours and tickets.
That’s all from Ercolano! I hope you enjoyed my content and you will discover this amazing place by your own! 🙂
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