Herculaneum is a destination not to be missed on a trip to Campania. Already nominated for the title of Italian Capital of Culture, it is a territory rich of founded attractions. According to legend, Hercules discovered it as a pleasant place to rest after his efforts.
In fact, it is located in the middle of the Gulf, between Vesuvius and the sea, just a few minutes from Naples and Pompeii, where he shared the tragic fate, buried by the eruption of 79 AD; as told by Pliny the Younger.
Up to that moment it was a favourite place of vacation and leisure for the Romans, with beautiful villas overlooking the sea that still shows their beauty to the public.
From the Romans to the Bourbons, the step is short: the pearl of the so-called “Golden Mile”, Herculaneum saw the alternation, starting in the 1700s, of superb villas, commissioned by the royal families following King Charles III of Bourbon, who established in Portici one of the Bourbon residences, which can still be visited today in its splendour.
In Herculaneum was built the first playground of Italy in the park of Villa Favorita. The park contained carousels that cheered up the feasts of the nobles and that today is an English garden by the sea that can be visited free of charge. A mixture of nature, lava stone and history that today represents a destination of international character: the archaeological park of Herculaneum, destroyed in 79 AD by the eruption of Vesuvius, UNESCO site since 1997 with over 500,000 entries per year and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve constituted by the National Park, with over a million entries per year.
Did you know that the city of Herculaneum is twinned with Xi’an, in China? Both cities are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and were discovered by chance: the first was in 1710, by a farmer who, while looking for water from a well, came across the ancient marbles of the theater; in the 70s the extraordinary army of terracotta was discovered by local farmers.
How to get there
By car: Motorway A1 Naples – Salerno, exit Ercolano Scavi
By train: Circumvesuviana towards Sorrento or Poggiomarino (Via Scafati), Ercolano Scavi station.
The Resina Clothes Market
A must-see destination for vintage lovers. A piece of city history that began after the war, with the arrival of clothes from the United States as a result of the Marshall Plan. Still today there are many young people who come from all over the world to buy a jeans or a jacket that cannot be found. And there are numerous films and video clips in which clothes are used that are rented in the Herculaneum Market.