ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS AT HERCULANEUM
We enjoy a journey back in time at the archaeological site of Herculaneum, which has preserved its ancient treasures in almost perfect condition.
What we will see
- Archaeological excavations in Herculaneum
- Villa of the Papyri
- Collegium of the Augustales
- Suburban Baths and Forum Baths
- Theatre of Herculaneum
What we will do
- Accompanied by a guide, we leave the port of Naples and head south to Herculaneum. In ancient times, the local Roman aristocracy chose Herculaneum as the location for their finest and most luxurious villas, the majority of which commanded magnificent views of the sea.
- While the wooden structures of Pompeii were burned by the ashes, the destruction of Herculaneum was caused by a flood of hot mud that sealed and therefore protected entire homes. This is why today in the archaeological site of Herculaneum visitors can admire inlaid floors, mosaics and even paintings that are in almost perfect condition. The archaeological area, together with the ruins of Pompeii and the villas of Oplontis, was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1997.
- The excavation work at Herculaneum began officially in 1738 using the method of underground tunnels. The period between 1828 and 1875 saw a campaign of "open air" excavations but these were interrupted for a very long time. Almost all of the area which constitutes the present archaeological site only came to light in 1942.
- During our visit to the archaeological excavations we discover the beauty of this place, with its wealth of unique and fascinating remains. Along the way we discover many luxurious houses, each of which preserves special features: mosaics, paintings, wooden doors or partitions, statues or splendid terraces. One of the most magnificent residences is undoubtedly the Villa of the Papyri in which 58 bronze and 21 marble statues were found, in addition to 1,700 papyrus scrolls (which explains the name), which were discovered, enclosed in cases, in the library.
- There is also ample evidence of religious life in this place, demonstrated by the Collegium of the Augustales. Dedicated to Augustus, it was always protected by a guard, whose skeleton was found inside, lying in bed. Even recreational activities had an important role, as the presence of the Suburban Baths, the Forum Baths, the Gymnasium and the Theatre of Herculaneum suggest.
What you need to know
- It is recommended that you wear comfortable shoes for the tour of the excavations.