HERCULANEUM AND VESUVIUS
The city that according to legend was founded by Hercules returning from his labors, is a must for every traveler.
At the center of the Gulf of Naples, a few steps from Pompeii, welcomes visitors for two attractions on all: the Vesuvius and archaeological excavations. The volcano, called by the Romans and by the inhabitants of today “the mountain”, the most famous and dangerous of Western Europe, whose last eruption dates back to 1944 is today in a quiescent state, like an old sleeper. Since then it is surrounded by lush nature and Mediterranean vegetation that welcomes all visitors who choose to reach the crater, admiring a truly unique landscape that leaves speechless among flowers, vineyards and large volcanic rocks.
An area chosen by the Romans for summer residences, to enjoy the unique landscape and mild climate, a few steps from the city of Pompeii, with the wonder of Villa dei Papiri, still buried and discovered in part, the oldest Roman library faithfully rebuilt in the Getty Villa on Malibu Hill in California. This is where modern archeology was born in the eighteenth century, after the discovery by a farmer who, digging a well to collect water, came across one of the most beautiful theaters of the Roman Empire. Just a few steps away, the King decided in the 1700s to build his summer residence in the Palace of Portici and to follow the marvelous villas that were built, today they constitute the enchanting Golden Mile that finds in Villa Campolieto one of the most elegant noble residences of the Vesuvian area. And how not to be surprised by the flavors of a nature that offers products that accompany the summer tables: the tomatoes of Vesuvius, the wine Lacrima Christi, apricots and bread, as it once was. And the journey continues and is now enriched with new stages: the Vintage market of Ercolano, born after the war, today a destination for directors and choreographers of Cinecittà and theater companies, where you can find everything, accessories and clothes unobtainable, unique items , antiques, in short, a colorful and fun journey through time. A journey that continues to discover the Virtual Archaeological Museum, the first digital home in Europe dedicated to culture, a journey through 3D and MultiD reconstructions to understand the beauty of Roman villas, crossing the streets of the time and experiencing the terrible eruption of Vesuvius, symbol of death and rebirth, the same relationship that has belonged to Herculaneum for over 2000 years.
In the morning of August 24th in 79 A.C. an enormous cloud shaped like a pine obscured the sky in the Gulf of Naples: so the terrible eruption of Vesuvius occurred that in a few hours would have buried Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae. An exceptional document of the time, the letter of Pliny the Younger to the historian Tacitus, meticulously describes that catastrophic event as the naturalist Pliny the Elder had lived it, who died during the eruption. … A cloud was forming – it was not clear from where it was generated, then it was learned from Vesuvius – that in shape and likeness no tree would express better than the pine …
Pompeii, the only highly evocative Roman archaeological city, already a World Heritage Site since 1997. An ancient city to be crossed in its public and private atmosphere, between the forum, the theater and the amphitheater, home to a memorable concert that saw Pink Floyd perform in 1972 and private residences, shops and that every year attracts over 3 million visitors, the story of what has stopped at a precise moment in time that does not find equal in the world. A large open-air museum in which to admire the lives and casts of people caught in the sizing moment of the tragedy, revealing the pathos of a millennial instant that has come down to us. A destination for fans, historians and the curious; it can not be missed by those who choose to land between Naples and Sorrento for a holiday full of leisure and rest, a memory that will leave its mark on the way back, of a ghost town where the stones tell so much life.
The extraordinary occasion that the visitor of Pompeii lives is to know directly the history of Pompeii, not through books, but his direct experience, admiring a city of two thousand years ago that has been motionless throughout the centuries in all its activities, public and those private, those of the rich and those of the poor, of men and women, of the powerful and of the slaves. Pompeii is a journey into the unforgettable past. It is the everyday life of an ancient Roman, a man who has worked, loved, discussed politics, he enjoyed two thousand years ago and that now we can follow step by step, in the most private points of his home, and in the places of his public life. Discover the last moments of 30,000 inhabitants in three days of eruption that covered the city of ash and lapilli through the houses, from the most modest to the villas, beautifully frescoed, revealing the taste for beauty, the pleasure of welcome and rest , the exaltation of idleness that is not to be considered as the absence of activity but the possibility and the need to dedicate to yourself, to meditate, to read and reflect. The truth is that Pompeii is an extraordinarily political city: just look at the daily work activities that emerge from the ruins, from small trade to industrial activities, from the production of bread in large scale to the many places that remind modern bars in which you can relax, until dry cleaners and farms. Nothing has changed since then if the discovery of what we have in common makes us close to the inhabitants of the immortal Pompeii.