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Herculaneum Pompeii Ostia Antica ?

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Jul 25th, 2015, 09:00 AM
  #1
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Herculaneum Pompeii Ostia Antica ?

Posters were helpful with train instructions to Herculaneum from Rome. Some responders helpfully suggested the other sites. Now we are conflicted after looking at all choices. We only have 3 days, so we can't do more than 1. I guess some of you have seen 2 or more of these sites. Help ?
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Jul 25th, 2015, 09:28 AM
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I've been to Herculaneum & Ostia Antica. Both are easy but Ostia has the advantage of proximity to Rome and the setting is wonderful & parklike, shady and uncrowded when I was there. There's also a cafeteria for snacks or lunch.

Herculaneum is more comprehensive so, if your interest is in getting a feel for an ancient town, this is the one I'd recommend for someone who may not have the stamina or desire for the size of Pompeii with possible heat & crowds. It's within a town so also has places just outside for refreshment.
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Jul 25th, 2015, 09:28 AM
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Ostia Antica was wonderful, and a short train ride from Rome, I think it was about 1/2 hour. We spent about 1/2 day there, if I remember correctly. Pompeii requires a lot more time, but if you choose Pompeii, you will be awestruck. Haven't been to Herculaneum yet, but it's on my list.
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Jul 25th, 2015, 10:20 AM
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Pompeii is by far the best - a real town excavated that takes quite a few hours to explore - if you have the time and the stamina to tour it. Note there is NO shade and it gets VERY hot. (We have been in May when high temps were about 80 and Pompeii felt much hotter.)
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Jul 25th, 2015, 10:57 AM
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Practically all the good artefacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum are in Naples National Archaeological Museum.

Things like the mosaics, glassware and pornography are so exceptional, you really need to see them however averse you are to museums usually: there are a few phallic street direction signs and a couple of replica mosaics scattered around Pompeii, but most of the really good stuff just isn't on the sites any more.

Herculaneum is by far the most visitable and (imho) the nicest and least painful site in the whole classical world (from Taxila in Pakistan to Bowness on Solway in Cumbria) to get a real idea of the world ordinary people of the era lived in. Pompeii, though grand, goes on exhaustingly forever and was a Roman rich gits' pleasure resort (think 19th century Rhode Island.) I'd spend half a day at Herculaneum and half a day in central Naples.

Rome's museums of the classical era have many better things. But nothing, really, that makes you realise as well as the Naples museum what wonderful objects those rich gits had around them every day
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Jul 25th, 2015, 12:07 PM
  #6
kja
 
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With such limited time, I would think that Ostia Antica would better meet your needs, but that's the one of the three that I haven't seen.


"Herculaneum is by far the most visitable and (imho) the nicest and least painful site in the whole classical world ... to get a real idea of the world ordinary people of the era lived in. Pompeii ... was a Roman rich gits' pleasure resort."

I've read the reverse -- the residents of Herculaneum were wealthy, whereas Pompeii was a work-a-day city.
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Jul 25th, 2015, 12:31 PM
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Herculaneum, from what I've read, was primarily a fishing village and the location on the water and layout supports that idea.
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Jul 25th, 2015, 01:14 PM
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We did both Pompeii and Herculaneum on the same day. Yes, it was alot to take in, but we were glad we saw both. We went to Naples [from Rone] specifically to see these 2 sites. We were fortunate to have gone in April when it wasn't beastly hot. We did a private tour at Pompeii.

We also went to Ostia Antica while spending time in Rome. 30 minute train ride and almost no one there; we spent a couple of hours there and we glad we went to see it. We used Rick Steeves audio walking tour; it was quite good.

We used several of R.S. other audio walking tours as well.
https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-rea...io-tours/italy
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Jul 26th, 2015, 06:46 AM
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All three sites were real towns. Ostia Antica is actually a much more diverse and cosmopolitan town than Pompeii. It was a vibrant port city for over 600 years, and it only went into its final decline in the early middle ages.

I've been to both Ostia Antica and Pompeii multiple times, but haven't been to Herculaneum; we were supposed to go there this September, but that's off now.

If you're very interested in Roman history, Ostia Antica covers a much wider sweep of it than either of the others. Plus, as the main port of the capital of the Empire, it had a greater commercial and historical significance.
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Jul 26th, 2015, 08:16 AM
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I have no doubt that Ostia was once a vibrant town with a long history. And in some ways it's the most pleasant to visit. But there's less of it now to see in the way of standing structures that give one a sense of what it was.

A few of my pictures from Herculaneum:
http://www.travelgumbo.com/blog/herculaneum-79-a-d

From Ostia Antica:
http://www.travelgumbo.com/blog/a-day-among-the-ruins-1

I wish I'd taken more of Herculaneum in particular but I wasn't thinking "blog" when I was there. It was also in late December, while Ostia was obviously springtime. Herculaneum is really a town, whereas Ostia is a ruin. A beautiful ruin, as you can see, but not nearly the sense of what it was, to a layperson.
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Jul 26th, 2015, 08:56 AM
  #11
 
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We visited Ostia Antica before turning in our rental car at FCO which is very near to the site.
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