Pompeii and Herculaneum - Italy
Tucked away in the Bay of Naples are some of Italy’s most incredible historical sites, especially Pompeii and Herculaneum. Both these ancient town’s are famous the world over for being the cities that were destroyed so extremely when the nearby Volcano Vesuvius erupted in 79AD. However, far from being wiped out, the cities were actually preserved when the volcano erupted. After years of careful excavation, the towns are now an incredible insight into ancient Roman life. Pompeii reveals houses, baths and brothels that are frozen in time. The Temple of Apollo is also a hugely dramatic structure, with Vesuvius always ominously looming in the background. Herculaneum wasn’t as damaged as Pompeii, and the richer port town has a lot more original Roman features that survived the devastation. Touching the wooden beams and doors that were actually built by Roman hands nearly two thousand years ago is a truly time-spanning experience.
Where is it?
Herculaneum is situated immediately beneath Naples in the south of Italy, while Pompeii is situated a little further down the same coastline. Both sit in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.
What is it?
The towns were two of several that were destroyed by the nearby volcanoes humungous eruption in 79AD. They are now dramatic and revealing insights into Roman life and the tragic eruption that wiped out virtually every inhabitant at the time.
Best time to visit?
The best time of year to visit is between March and May, as this is the most temperate time of the year to visit the Mediterranean Italian coast.
The Central Thermae in Herculaneum are a brilliant example of Roman Baths, with this Thermae particularly well preserved. The pools have stunningly intricate mosaic floors, with various octopus and gods adorning the ladies pool and incredible spiral patterns the men’s.