Ercolano

Hotels Ercolano
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Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata
World Heritage Site UNESCO



Together with the nearby Pompei this is possibly the best known and most frequently visited archaeological town in the whole of Campania: because here even the streets, the shops, and the squares of the ancient Roman city have all been preserved for ever in the fearful fixedness of the lava from the great eruption of 79 ad. According to legend, the ancient Ercolano was founded by a demigod, the mythical hero Hercules; after falling under the influence of Naples and Cuma, in 307 bc. it was taken over by the Romans.
The excavations (already started clandestinely in the early 18th c.) brought to light a section of the Ercolano which had a regular town plan with large areas rectangular in shape. The best known public buildings so far are the theatre, the thermal baths and a large training-ground-gymnasium. However the most fascinating parts are certainly the private houses and the high-class villas, many of which have retained their wooden furniture and structures; in some of the villas precious papyri have also been found containing philosophical and literary texts. Among the most beautiful villas we can single out the Samnite house, the wooden Tramezzo house, as well as the house of the Cervi and that of the Atrium with mosaics, which are arranged in a very attractive way on the ramparts dividing the city from the sea.
Many of the furnishings and decorations which were found in the villas are now in Naples museum. We can also mention, finally, that the city of Herculaneum (Ercolano), was called Resina up to 1960: today this name is still used for the famous and very colourful market which takes place on the city streets, and where you can buy everything, from antique cupboards to clothes from the American films of the 1950s.


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