Only a short while ago I wrote a post about my visit to the Pompeii ruins in Naples and shared some photos from my little adventure. In this post I mentioned that I had visited another ancient Roman city affected by the infamous Vesuvius eruption that destroyed the city- Herculaneum.
Although I mentioned Herculaneum briefly, I felt this amazing place really deserved its own post. Admittedly I had never heard of it before, but on looking up things to do in Naples on Trip Advisor, it came up and had amazing reviews so we decided to go and see it for ourselves.
Hugely overshadowed by the larger city of Pompeii, Herculaneum, located in the commune of Ercolano in Naples, is just as fascinating, if not more so. Although much smaller than it's rival city, it's much easier to navigate and seemed much more well preserved. It's full of beautiful mosaics, art work can still be seen on the walls of the ruins and there are even top floors left on some of the ancient buildings.
Herculaneum gave me a vivid picture of life in this lovely ancient fishing village, popular for rich Romans during holiday season. I was also moved almost to tears as we came across skeletons found in the boat sheds at the waterfront.
Herculaneum wasn't affected by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius as immediately as Pompeii, so when it was discovered and very few human remains were found, it was believed that most of the inhabitants had escaped after early signs of the eruption. Later excavations proved that this wasn't the case. Over 300 skeletons belonging to men, women and children were found in the boat sheds where they were taking refuge. A surge of hot ash and debris had reached them and it was so hot that they tragically fried to death on impact.
Pompeii is on almost everyone's bucket list, but if you ever get to tick it off, I strongly recommend going to Herculaneum too. This beautiful and very overshadowed village is just as breathtaking as Pompeii and also just as tragic. To miss the chance to walk around this wonderful ancient village would be a huge experience lost.
Have you ever been to Pompeii or Herculaneum, or do you have plans to in the future?
Get lifestyle, food and travel tips in your inbox every week!