Herculaneum was destroyed along with Pompei in 79 A.D. and rediscovered in 1709. It was a residential town without Pompeii’s commercial importance, surrounded by the villas of the wealthy Romans.
When the catastrophe of 79 A.D. occurred Herculaneum was submerged under a torrent of mud and lava that hardened into a soft tufa (a kind of course rock) that preserved many of the timber features and household objects which can be seen today.
A large portion of the old Herculaneum is still buried under the modern town and even today excavations are going on to discover what treasures lie buried under the rock, to the extent that some families are being rehoused so work can continue.
Vesuvius dominates the Bay of Naples. It is the only active volcano on the mainland of Europe. The slopes were once covered with vineyard and woods and provided an innocent looking backdrop for the bustling towns of Pompei and Herculaneum below.
We will take you to within 1.000 m of the top of Vesuvius and from here you can walk to the very top and admire the splendid panoramic view across the Bay. From blackened crater rises a single plume of smoke, a reminder that the volcano is only sleeping for now?