or Ercolano, is a much
smaller ruin than Pompeii and worth visiting for a look at a
different kind of volcanic destruction. Unlike Pompeii, which was covered
with some 10 to 12 feet of ash and volcanic debris when Vesuvius
erupted, Herculaneum was
overwhelmed by a flood of boiling mud that pushed back the
shoreline by 400 yards and covered the town some 70-80 feet deep.
If you wish to visit both
Pompeii and Herculaneum, you can buy one ticket (valid for three
days) that allows entry to these two sites as well as Oplontis,
Stabiae, and Boscoreale (the adult price of about €20.00 is a
slight bargain if you plan to visit two sites, but a huge value if
you will visit all five; note you can only visit each site once
during the three days).
To visit Herculaneum,
it is probably easiest to take the Circumvesuviana to Ercolano.
When you exit the station, walk down the hill, following the main
road until it ends at the bottom. The entrance to the site will be
in front of you.
Because Herculaneum is
so much smaller than Pompeii, it is relatively easy to see in half
a day (note that there is no food service within the
archaeological site itself). It is also much less crowded. As in
Pompeii, some buildings will be closed, and many that are open
will be in disrepair.