Also this place is famous for the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD : with its lava the volcano stopped forever the time and the life of the city but its mud and ash made it possible to preserve almost perfectly the ancient houses, theaters and temples. Like Pompeii Herculaneum with its excavations it is visited by millions of tourists every day. The city came to light in 1709 during excavations for the creation of a well, some marble emerged, coating of an ancient theater. The excavations continued throughout the 18th and 19th century. Herculaneum owes its name to the god Hercules, according to Greek mythology, seems to have gone near Vesuvius and has founded a city in his name, Hercolaneum. Compared to Pompeii, Herculaneum has less imposing and more intimate dimensions: it was considered by the Romans a residential locality. I want to give a suggestion before visiting the excavations: Take a look at the newly opened pavilion, it houses the remains of a ship found charred on the beach with a few dozen skeletons and coins. Probably is the last desperate attempt to escape from the eruption.
The excavations found are only part of the ancient city, under the modern Ercolano neighborhoods are still buried. In these places the History never stops surprises and merges continuously with the Present. The excavations are made up of neighborhoods enclosed in an intersection of three orthogonal hinges and two decumani. Among the narrow streets of newfound Hercolaneum are many points of interest, here’s some advice.
House of the Atrium and house of Stags
The house of stags is perhaps the most elegant homee of ancient Herculaneum. You can visit the terraces from which to admire the splendid panorama of the Gulf of Naples. Inside it was found a statue of two deer eaten by a dog. The House of the Atrium consists of an entrance hall with mosaic pavement. For this domus, the view is spectacular, overlooking the sea.
House of Nettuno and Anfitride
The house owes its name to the glass paste mosaic decorating the eastern wall of the building. In the north side there is a nymphaeum covered with a mosaic embellished with marble theatrical masks. Not far away it is arranged a tank that fed the fountain. The house is bordered by an old shop that preserves the remains of amphorae and a brass bed.
Villa dei Papiri
The building is one of the most evocative of Herculaneum: it was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. C. and rediscovered since 1750 under the guidance of the archeologists Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierr and Karl Jakob Weber, the latter was the only one with the plant building. Within its walls the Villa kept a library with more than 1,800 papyrus, some of them concerning the Epicurean philosophy. Many of these have gone lost during exploration, others have been analyzed and rescued, but there is a large number of papers that has yet to be translated from the greek and studied. Its construction took place between between 60 and 50 BC. The owner, according to archelogists, could be Cesonino Lucius Calpurnius Piso, father of Julius Caesar or his son, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Pontiff. Villa dei Papiri stood, before the explosion of the volcano, overlooking the sea along the coastline.
The environments open to the public are: atrium, basis villae and some rooms at a lower level. It has a square-shaped structure divided in turn into four squares that surround the rooms, those in the south dedicated to services and those in the northern residential. The entrance opened onto the sea, preceded by a porticate with columns, it is paved with a mosaic of black and white tiles.
Continuing you can see the impluvium surrounded by statues and fountains. In the ambulatory were found statues in marble and bronze, depicting: the drunken Satyr, Seated Hermes, Pan with the goat, herm depicting probably Seneca and runners. The works are on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples. Before you leave give yourself one last walk that leads to the viewpoint. Ercolano also has other ideas: The Golden Mile, a stretch of the SS18 Tirrena lower ranging from archaeological excavations at Herculaneum Palace Vallelonga in Torre del Greek. So he called for the beauty of its landscapes and the elegance of eighteenth-century villas.
One last thing, do not miss the MAV (virtual archaeological museum) through 3D movies you can immerse yourself in the daily life of Pompeii and Herculaneum before the fatal eruption of 79 AD