6 Best Places And Things To Do in Ercolano, Italy

Ercolano, also known as Herculaneum, is a historic city located in the Campania region of Italy. It is famous for its archaeological ruins, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and provide a fascinating glimpse into the Roman civilization that thrived in the area before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Ercolano:

1. Herculaneum Archaeological Park

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The Herculaneum ruins are a must-visit attraction in the city. Unlike Pompeii, which was covered in volcanic ash, Herculaneum was engulfed by a pyroclastic flow, preserving the buildings and artifacts remarkably well. Take a walk through the ancient streets, explore the remarkably preserved houses, and witness the beautifully restored frescoes and mosaics. Address: Corso Resina, 187, 80056 Ercolano NA, Italy

2. Villa dei Papiri

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Located within the Herculaneum ruins, Villa dei Papiri is an ancient Roman villa that once housed an impressive library. Although the villa is still being excavated, visitors can explore its stunning architecture and beautiful gardens, which provide a peaceful atmosphere for a leisurely stroll. Address: Herculaneum Archaeological Park, 80056 Ercolano

3. MAV – Virtual Archaeological Museum

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If you want to gain a deeper understanding of the Herculaneum ruins and the ancient Roman lifestyle, visit the MAV, a unique virtual museum. It combines technology and archaeology to recreate the ancient city and offer an immersive experience through interactive displays, 3D reconstructions, and multimedia presentations. Address: Piazza Museo, 19, 80056 Ercolano NA, Italy

4. Herculaneum Conservation Project

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For those interested in the preservation and restoration of historical sites, the Herculaneum Conservation Project offers guided tours that provide insight into the ongoing work to protect and conserve the ruins. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the challenges of maintaining these ancient treasures. Address: Herculaneum Archaeological Park, 80056 Ercolano

5. Santa Maria a Pugliano

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This picturesque church is located on the outskirts of Ercolano and offers panoramic views of the city and the Bay of Naples. The church itself is worth a visit for its beautiful frescoes and serene atmosphere. Address: Via Santa Maria a Pugliano, 80056 Ercolano NA, Italy

6. Vesuvius National Park

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While not technically in Ercolano, a visit to the nearby Vesuvius National Park is highly recommended. Take a hike up Mount Vesuvius and experience the thrill of standing on an active volcano. The panoramic views from the summit are breathtaking and provide a unique perspective of the surrounding landscape. Address: Strada Provinciale 8, 80040 Ottaviano NA, Italy (Visitors’ Center)