Fodor's Expert Review Museo Archeologico Virtuale (MAV)

Herculaneum (Ercolano) Museum/Gallery

With dazzling "virtual" versions of Herculaneum's streets and squares and a multi-D simulation of Vesuvius erupting, Herculaneum's 1st-century-meets-the-21st-century museum is a must for kids and adults alike. After stopping at the ticket office you descend, as in an excavation, to a floor below. You'll experience Herculaneum's Villa dei Papiri before and (even more dramatically) during the eruption, courtesy of special effects; enter "the burning cloud" of AD 79; then emerge, virtually speaking, inside Pompeii's House of the Faun, which can be seen both as it is and as it was for two centuries BC. The next re-creation is again Villa dei Papirii. Then comes a stellar pre- and post-flooding view of Baia's Nymphaeum, the now-displaced statues arrayed as they were in the days of Emperor Claudius, who commissioned them.

Visitors here are invited to take a front-row seat for "Day and Night in the Forum of Pompeii," with soldiers, litter-bearing slaves, and toga-clad figures moving spectrally... READ MORE

With dazzling "virtual" versions of Herculaneum's streets and squares and a multi-D simulation of Vesuvius erupting, Herculaneum's 1st-century-meets-the-21st-century museum is a must for kids and adults alike. After stopping at the ticket office you descend, as in an excavation, to a floor below. You'll experience Herculaneum's Villa dei Papiri before and (even more dramatically) during the eruption, courtesy of special effects; enter "the burning cloud" of AD 79; then emerge, virtually speaking, inside Pompeii's House of the Faun, which can be seen both as it is and as it was for two centuries BC. The next re-creation is again Villa dei Papirii. Then comes a stellar pre- and post-flooding view of Baia's Nymphaeum, the now-displaced statues arrayed as they were in the days of Emperor Claudius, who commissioned them.

Visitors here are invited to take a front-row seat for "Day and Night in the Forum of Pompeii," with soldiers, litter-bearing slaves, and toga-clad figures moving spectrally to complete the spell; or to make a vicarious visit to the Lupanari brothels, their various pleasures illustrated in graphic virtual frescoes along the walls. A wooden model of Herculaneum's theater, its virtual re-creation, reminds us that it was here that a local farmer, while digging a well, first came across what proved to be not merely a single building, but a whole town. Equally fascinating are the virtual baths. For an extra €4, you can see the Sensurround film of Vesuvius erupting. The words of Pliny the Elder provide a timeless commentary while the floor vibrates under your feet.

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Museum/Gallery Family

Quick Facts

Via IV Novembre 44
Ercolano, Campania  80056, Italy

081-7776843

www.museomav.it

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €11.50; €7.50 museum only, €5 eruption simulation only, €10, Closed Mon. Oct.–Feb.

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