Excavations Herculaneum, really gives you an idea of how ancient Romans lived

Excavations Herculaneum , really gives you an idea of how ancient Romans lived

Excavations Herculaneum .. really gives you an idea of how ancient Romans lived. For the independent traveller there is an additional advantage over Pompei. There are far fewer visitors to Herculaneum than Pompei and you can explore the ruins at leisure without being overwhelmed by tour groups.

These excavations also cover a much smaller site than do those of Pompei and thus seeing the whole site is much less exhausting.

Excavations Herculaneum

Herculaneum was destroyed by an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79, the same eruption that destroyed Pompei.

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 B&B The Fauno is just 16 km from the Excavations Herculaneum, you can easily reach by car (15 minutes) or with train of Circumvesuviana ( 500 mt . from the B&B).

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Excavations of Herculaneum

Excavations Herculaneum

In many ways Herculaneum is arguably a more interesting place to visit than Pompeii. Surrounded by volcanic rock, its location gives you a far clearer idea of the magnitude of the volcanic eruption. While roofs in Pompei collapsed under the weight of falling ash, only a few centimetres of ash fell on Herculaneum, causing little damage.

Subsequently, there was a succession of six flows of boiling mud (a mixture of ash and gases) which then solidified. These gradually buried the city’s buildings from the bottom up, causing relatively little damage. The good state of preservation of the site is due to its rapid filling by these flows, which prevented the buildings from collapsing. The high temperature of the first flow carbonized wood in the buildings and extracted water from it.

Restoration work is ongoing, and while a lot of the timbers have been replaced, there is still much of the original timberwork present, albeit, badly charred. Finally, the volcanic rock, ortufo, that covered the site for 1700 years formed an airtight seal. As a consequence there are many well-preserved buildings, many with the upper stories still intact, and some excellent frescoes and mosaics on both walls and floors to be seen.

Additional Excavations Herculaneum Tips

Walking shoes, or those with low heels, are highly recommended. In addition, in warmer weather you may want to bring your own bottle of water. For those with much younger children I advise a backpack style carrier if your stroller is not heavy duty and up to the ancient Roman roads. Allow 2-3 hours to tour the site.


Corso Resina, Ercolano (NA)

School parties must book in advance
For all information:
Sezione Didattica – tel: +39 081 8575331

School parties’ admission and reservations

Opening Times

November – March, every day from 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last admission 3.30 p.m.)
April – October, every day from 8.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. (last admission 6 p.m.)

Closed: 1 January, 1 May, 25 December

Main Routes

by train:
Circumvesuviana Napoli-Sorrento or Napoli-Poggiomarino or Napoli -Torre Annunziata (stop Ercolano)

by car:
Autostrada A3 Napoli-Salerno (exit Ercolano)


Single ticket – valid for 1 day
Full price: € 11.00
Half price: € 5.50 (*)

Free of charge: for EU citizens under 18 or over 65 years old.

(*) Reductions: for EU citizens aged 18-24 and EU permanent school teachers.
Reductions and free tickets can be issued only by showing a valid document (passport, identity card, driving license).

  • Baths. Both the male and female baths, which are next to each other, are well preserved. They were fed by a large well, which brought water from a depth of 8.25m, heated by a large furnace and distributed around the baths by a network of pipes that also served to provide central heating.

  • House of Neptune and Amphitrite. Worth the visit alone for its stunning mosaics, particularly that of Neptune and Amphitrite (a sea goddess and wife of Poseidon), after which the house is named.
  • Gymnasium. This large complex extends over much of the southeast side of the excavations and is on your right as you walk down to the ticket office.
  • Villa of the Papyri. The coastline was significantly altered by the eruption but this large and luxurious villa originally stretched down to the sea in four terraces. Its sea front was about 250m long. It is below you on your right as you leave the ticket office and head towards the audio guide kiosk. The villa contained a fine library of scrolls and, although these were badly carbonized, there is hope that modern technology will soon make it possible to read them without destroying them by opening them.
  • House of the Deer, :-). This was another luxurious waterfront dwelling.And very popular.
  • Samnite House. This is one of the oldest properties so far discovered on the site. Excavations suggest that, at various times, the upper floor was rented out and the courtyard was sold off. What remains now is a large roofed and elegantly decorated atrium with a few small rooms around it.
  • House of the Beautiful Courtyard. . The attractive courtyard is said to resemble an Italian medieval courtyard more than a Roman building. In a display case there are two skeletons fused with volcanic rock.
  • College of the Augustales. The Augustales were an order of Roman priests responsible for attending to the maintenance of the cult of Augustus, who was considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire. The building consists of one large, well-decorated roofed room.

  • Herculaneum is the Latin name of the site – the Italian name is Ercolano, and like Pompei (with one I, the new town next to the excavations) there’s a modern city of Ercolano around (and above) the Ercolano excavations.
  • Allow roughly 2 hours on site at Herculaneum; it’s quite small, especially in comparison to Pompeii, and even if you stroll you won’t need much more time than that.
  • When you walk down the steps from the train station, you’re greeted by a small parking lot full of taxis and their eager drivers. Walk through this phalanx of cars, ignoring the drivers offers of rides to Ercolano and Vesuvius, because the walk from the station to the Ercolano entrance is short and all downhill. (Yes, the walk back is uphill, but it’s not bad. Really.)
  • The same note from the Pompeii tips above about parents toting kids in backpacks or expecting them to walk (rather than using strollers) goes for Herculaneum, too – even more so because Herculaneum is more hilly than Pompeii in addition to being cobblestoned.
  • You’ll be able to refill that water bottle I suggested you bring to Pompeii at the many similar water fountains of Herculaneum, too, so hang onto the bottle.
  • Bring a guide of some kind – a podcast audio guide or walking tour – with you.  If you stay at the B & B Pompei Il Fauno, upon your arrival you will receive free loan with a detailed guide map for your visit to the archaeological site of Herculaneum. You get a map and booklet for free with your ticket, just like you do at Pompeii, but the information in the booklet isn’t as interesting as what you’d get from a real walking tour.

Via IV Novembre n.44 80056 – Ercolano (NA)
E-mail: info@museomav.it
Telephone:+39 081-19806511
Fax: +39 081-19806599

MAV (Museo Archeologico Virtuale), Via 4 Novembre 44 (200m up the hill from the entrance to the excavations: on the left.), (info@museomav.it). 09.00-17.30 Tues-Sun.  An enjoyable interactive museum that recreates life as it was in Herculaneum and Pompei before the eruption. Great fun for kids, although some parents may not appreciate the virtual visit to one of Pompei’s brothels! Buildings are reconstructed before your eyes at a wave of your hand; you can brush ash off a fresco; make a virtual pool of water over a mosaic ripple; see 3-D images of jewelry found at the sites; walk next to marching legionaries; learn of the lifestyle of the Roman times at an interactive table, and visit public baths and the brothel! €7.50 (reduced €6.00)

The Museum

A dip into the past through a multisensory experience, to learn and discover in detail, a dive into the past through a multisensory experience, to learn and discover in detail the historical realities of Herculaneum and Pompeii before the eruption of the Vesuvius 79 AD. This is the mission of the MAV structure that was created in the heart of Herculaneum and provides new ways of using cultural.

The visitor will be transported in a virtual context faithfully reconstructed by the use of modern technologies.

The journey begins after passing a sort of ancestral door dematerialized bodies in streams and connective intelligence leading to the discovery of names and faces of the ancient Herculaneum, with which it is aware of the history of the community and their way living.