Herculaneum, also known as Ercolano in Italian, is an ancient Roman town located in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, near Naples in the Campania region of Italy. Like Pompeii, Herculaneum was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, but it was preserved in a different way, providing unique insights into ancient Roman life. Here’s an overview of Herculaneum:

Herculaneum was founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC and later became a Roman town during the Roman Republic. It was a prosperous seaside resort favored by wealthy Romans, known for its luxurious villas, bathhouses, and seaside villas.

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD buried Herculaneum under a thick layer of volcanic ash, mud, and pyroclastic flows. Unlike Pompeii, which was buried by volcanic ash and pumice, Herculaneum was engulfed by superheated pyroclastic flows, which preserved the town and its buildings in remarkable detail.

Herculaneum lay buried and forgotten for centuries until its rediscovery in the 18th century. Excavations began in the mid-18th century and have continued to the present day, gradually uncovering the well-preserved ruins of the ancient town.

Today, Herculaneum is an extensive archaeological site that offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore an ancient Roman town frozen in time. The ruins include streets, houses, shops, public buildings, and even organic materials such as wooden beams, doors, and furniture that have been preserved by the volcanic ash.

Some of the most famous attractions in Herculaneum include the House of the Skeleton, the House of the Wooden Partition, the House of the Deer, the Thermal Baths of the Forum, and the Villa of the Papyri, which contained an extensive library of papyrus scrolls.

Herculaneum is easily accessible from NaplesSorrento, and other cities in the region. You can reach Herculaneum by train, bus, or car. The archaeological site is open to visitors every day of the week, except for certain holidays, and there is an entrance fee to access the site.

Visiting Herculaneum offers a fascinating glimpse into ancient Roman life and the devastating power of Mount Vesuvius. It’s a must-see destination for history lovers and anyone interested in archaeology and ancient civilizations.


In 1709, the then Duke of Elbeuf, while building his seaside residence at Portici, heard of a man who had discovered ancient marble and columns while digging a well in the nearby town of Resina. The duke bought his farm and began to dig underground shafts and galleries and discovered statues, columns and marble which he used for his Portici residence.

Excavations of Herculaneum began in 1738 in today’s Ercolano, a suburb of Naples.

At the end of the 18th century, a great diversity of objects began to be discovered, such as wall paintings, tripods, braziers, bronze statues, perfume bottles and ceramics.

In 1980 hundreds of skeletons of inhabitants who had taken refuge in the boathouses were found. These excavations, carried out in the port area of ​​Herculaneum, allowed the discovery of more than 200 skeletons of various ages and social status.


The price of admission to Herculaneum, like many historical sites in Italy, can vary depending on factors such as age, nationality, and any discounts or special offers that may be available. Here’s a general overview of the typical prices for admission to Herculaneum:

As of my last update, the standard admission fee for adults (18-64 years old) to Herculaneum is usually around €13-€15 per person. However, it’s important to check the current prices, as they may change over time.

Reduced admission fees are often available for certain groups, such as seniors (over 65 years old) and students with valid student IDs. The reduced admission fee for seniors and students is typically lower than the standard adult rate, often around €9-€11 per person.

Children under a certain age (often under 18 years old) are usually eligible for free admission to Herculaneum. Additionally, there may be certain days or times when admission is free for all visitors, so it’s worth checking for any special offers or promotions.

If you choose to take a guided tour of Herculaneum, the cost of the tour may include admission to the site. Guided tours are led by expert guides who provide insights into the history and significance of the ruins. Prices for guided tours can vary depending on the duration and type of tour.

Audio guides are available for rent at Herculaneum for an additional fee. The cost of renting an audio guide is usually around €5-€7 per person. Audio guides provide self-guided tours of the archaeological site with informative commentary in multiple languages.

It’s important to note that the prices mentioned above are approximate and may vary depending on factors such as changes in currency exchange rates and any updates to pricing by the management of Herculaneum. Additionally, certain discounts or promotions may be available for group bookings, advance purchases, or online reservations, so be sure to explore all options when planning your visit.


Getting to Herculaneum is relatively straightforward, as it is located near Naples in the Campania region of Italy. Here are several ways to get to Herculaneum:

Herculaneum is well connected by train, with the Circumvesuviana train line providing direct service from Naples to Ercolano Scavi station. Trains depart regularly from Napoli Centrale station in Naples, and the journey takes approximately 20-30 minutes. Once you arrive at Ercolano Scavi station, it’s just a short walk to the entrance of the archaeological site of Herculaneum.

Several bus companies offer service to Herculaneum from Naples and other nearby cities. Buses depart from Naples’ central bus station, Piazza Garibaldi, and the journey takes approximately 30-45 minutes depending on traffic. Be sure to check the bus schedule in advance, as departure times may vary.

If you prefer to drive, you can reach Herculaneum by car from Naples or other nearby cities. The journey takes approximately 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. There are parking lots available near the entrance of the archaeological site where you can park your car for a fee.

Many tour operators offer guided tours to Herculaneum from Naples, Sorrento, and other nearby cities. These tours typically include transportation to and from Herculaneum, as well as guided visits to the archaeological site with expert guides who provide insights into the history and significance of the ruins.

Regardless of how you choose to get to Herculaneum, it’s recommended to plan your visit in advance, especially during the peak tourist season, to avoid long lines and crowded conditions. Herculaneum is one of Italy’s most important archaeological sites, so it’s best to arrive early in the day to make the most of your visit.

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