Pompeii or Herculaneum

Sep 4th, 1997, 07:05 AM
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Pompeii or Herculaneum

We have the choice of spending most of a day at either Pompeii or Herculaneum on a trip to Italy in mid-September. Any thoughts on which site is the most interesting and/or easiest to see in 4-5 hours? Thanks.
Sep 4th, 1997, 07:38 AM
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Dear GLR,
I will see both.... In 1988, I visited both sites for the first time. Herculaneum seemed to me being more genuine than Pompeii. The lava coming from the
Vesuvius had better preserved it than the ashes thrown to Pompeii. In 1996, I went back and I couldn't recognize Pompeii. I saw garbage everywhere, cans and plastic bottles inside the houses and pottery, film packets on the floor... Graffiti proliferated... (this may have changed by now, I hope). A lot of interesting villas indicated
in my travel book where closed and I couldn't visit them. I found afterwards why. Take with you some "lire"... they will open better the doors than keys. I preferred Herculaneum. It is small and beautiful. You will have a good view of a Roman village (they even found some, carbonized, furniture). To go from one site to another is very easy. I took the train which stops 200/300 meters from Herculaneum archaeologic site. I did the same from Naples, which worth also a visit! If you go in the Summer : take a bottle of water and a hat... it is really HOT!
Sep 8th, 1997, 08:12 AM
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My husband and I visited pompeii in April 1996. We spent a week in the village of Sorrento. The trip we took was a tour of Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius. Both were wonderful, but a lot of walking. Even though the temperatures were only in the high 70's (we live in Phoenix and are used to hotter weather) it did seem very warm. The only problem with Pompeii is that there were a lot of tour groups and sometimes it was hard to get down some of the streets. My advice is skip that street and come back to it. One street would be solid tourists and another would have no one on it.

I think wherever you go you will enjoy it. Italy is a very beautiful place!
Sep 8th, 1997, 08:46 AM
tim norris
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Herculaneum or Pompeii: Well, Pompeii is world famous and it would be a mistake to miss it, although I agree that Ercolano, as the name appears at the train depot, is better preserved. When Vesuvius erupted ash covered Pompeii, but gas and a flood of hot mud swept over Ercolano sealing it. It is small and easy to see the entire site in about two hours. From there you can take the train to Pompeii, about twenty minutes or less and take in some of the major sites there, if they are open, that is. That is a good point, when I was there the Villa of the Mysterious was not open, my primary reason to go, so I was glad that I had stopped at Ercolano where the baths, villas, and town as so far excavated revealed a genuine sense of a Roman seaside life. The town surrounding the site is also genuine southern Italia...so enjoy.
Sep 8th, 1997, 09:24 AM
tim norris
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Herculaneum or Pompeii: See both. Ercolano, as it will appear on the train platform, is by far a more intriguing place. It was buried under about sixty feet of hot mud, thus sealing it for our inspection. Pomepii is the more famous, and it is considerably larger...but it is only about twenty minutes down the line if you are traveling by train, so both can be seen in a day. The baths, villas and mosaics at Ercolano are in excellent condition and because of the small size of the site you do not feel like you need to push on quickly because it can all be seen without trudging down stone streets that become maze like if you do not follow a good map of the site. And, indeed, many of the good sites in Pompeii may be closed. I had wanted to see the Villa of the Mysterious when I was there but it was closed. And most of the good stuff from Pompeii has been carted away to museums in Naples, unlike Ercolano. Anyway, enjoy.
Sep 8th, 1997, 10:10 AM
tim norris
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See both but spent most of your time at Ercolano, spelled as it will appear on the train depot or a map of the region. It was covered by sixty feet of hot mud in 79AD and sealed the town nicely. Pompeii was mostly burnt from falling ash and then covered. Ercolano therefore has many fine buildings still in some facsimile to there original plan and design. The baths are a highlight as are the mosaics and the streets. In both sites see the streets scarred by chariot wheels, digging deep gauges into the stones. Don't miss the brodello at Pomepii, or the Villa of the Mysteries, if is it open.
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