The grand Vesuvian villas lined up along "the golden mile" are normally just for visits, but you can actually stay in the Miglio d'Oro. The "park" here is to be taken literally—its entrance is presided over by an original statue of Hercules (Ercolano's mythical founder) rearing above a tiered fountain, behind which extends an orchard strewn with boulders that might have landed on the town in 79 AD. The spacious guest rooms are decorated in a combination of whites, blacks,
and grays, providing a fitting contrast to the sea view outside. A former stable with a volcanic floor contains the breakfast room, and on the first floor there's an exquisite restaurant. Some rooms are in the top price bracket, but others cost as little as €99. Book well ahead during high season.