Travel Guide to Hercolaneum


Nowhere in the world can you have a deeper insight into how Roman life would have been than in Pompeii and Herculaneum.  While Pompeii was covered in volcanic ash when Vesuvis ernupted in AD 79, Herculaneum, already partly destroyed by an earthquake in AD 63, being much closer to the volcano was completely submerged in mud, essentially fossilising the whole town.  This fossilisation allowed the preservation of many more objects, however delicate.  Although smaller than Pompeii, it is though that Herculaneum was a much wealthier town.

It is not advised to stay in Herculaneum, another one best suited to a few hours’ visit.  We recommend staying in central Naples and perhaps visiting Herculaneum and Pompeii or Sorrento as a day trip.

How to get to Herculaneum

Herculaneum doesn’t attract the kind of numbers that Pompeii does, and is definitely not as well catered to them.  From Naples central station take the ‘Circumsuviana’ train in the direction of ‘Sorrento’ (the same train that takes you to Pompeii) and get off at ‘Ercolano’.  A return ticket from Naples should cost about 3.40 euros.  Although not well sign-posted, the site of Herculaneum is a short walk (around 600m) down the hill from the train station.

Main sights in Herculaneum

1.Terme Suburbane (suburban baths).

2.Casa d’Argo (Argus House) a good example of a noble Roman family’s house.

3.Terme del Foro (Forum baths) brilliant mosaic floor.

4.Casa dei Cervi.  A two-storey villa with a nice courtyard and interesting statues.

5.Sacello degli Augustali.  A school from the time with fantastic murals.

Opening Times:  April-October    daily 8.30 am-7.30 pm
Novemer-March    daily 8.30 am-5 pm
Last entry is an hour before closing time.
Price:            Entry is 11 euros (EU students 5.50, under 10s and over 65s free).