Our home base in Sorrento allowed us to make an easy trip to visit the ruins of Herculaneum. Herculaneum was an ancient Roman town destroyed by volcanic pyroclastic flows in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Since the town was covered in 60 feet of mud after the eruption, the ruins are better preserved here than many neighboring towns and include organic-based objects, such as carbonized wooden doors and furniture, food, and skeletons. [Note: The original bones were respectfully removed and replaced with copies].

Takeaways: 1) Herculaneum was a wealthy town. 2) The frescoes and mosaics decorating the homes here are impressive. 3) It's heartbreaking to see the skeleton casts of people in the boat houses waiting for rescue. 4) The eruption also reshaped the surrounding coastline.

1) Visit in the morning to avoid the crowds.
2) Sign up for a guided tour. It's helpful to have someone point out the important details.
3) Wear comfortable shoes


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