Herculaneum is not as big as Pompeii, it can be visited thoroughly in about 2 hrs.
The first approach is spectacular: most of the ancient town lay at the bottom of an archaeological hole about 60 feet deep. From the top, you can see the entire excavated area at once, dominated by the Mt. Vesuvius in the background: impressive view and great pictures!
At the very bottom lays the marina, where about 300 human skeletons were found together with a fossilized boat and some fishing tools.
Crossing a modern bridge, we will start to discover the garden of the “House of the Albergo”, where quince trees were replanted following the evidence of carbonized roots of these ancient fruit trees.
Our next stop is the Council Hall of the Augustales, where beautifully preserved frescoes depicting Hercules Myth’s episodes were painted.
You will visit the House of Neptune and Amphitrite, to see the wonderful mosaics decorating the outdoor ‘biclinium’ (dining room); this was probably the house of a merchant; in fact, next door you have a store with its counter, containers for food and wine and the wooden shelves carbonized still hanging on the walls!
Then you will discover the Bath House (an ancient Spa), still covered with mosaics. It will introduce you to the world or Roman Daily Care and social life: a gym, a changing room, a tepid room, a hot room and at last a cold tub.
Nearby Grande Palestra – large outdoor Gym – is a glorious public sporting place to see. It still lays buried for about 3 quarters, but we can move into the cross-shaped pool to feel like being an ancient archaeologist moving under the volcanic couch.
And of course not to miss is at least one of the nearly intact houses, according to availability, to admire luxurious mosaics, frescoes, and statues.
Herculaneum is not as big as Pompeii, in a 2-hour visit we are able to see most of the ancient town and certainly all the highlights. Anyway, each walking tour will be adjusted to the interests and walking attitude of the participants. Also, be aware that this private guided walking tour has to adapt to the availability of different areas of the Ruins which changes daily and cannot be planned.
My husband and I like short, productive tours. We booked a two hour private tour at Herculaneum and we were so happy to have Fabrizio as our guide. He was incredibly knowledgeable about the general history of Naples and surrounding areas, the details of the architecture and objects we saw in Herculaneum, and the day to day life of the people. The facts and stories he shared were fascinating and kept our interest the entire tour. He was also incredibly open to suggestions and tailoring the tour to us. We highly recommend and wish we had booked more tours for our trip in Italy with Leisure Italy!