Departure time: 08.00
Departure in the morning by de luxe motor coach to Herculaneum. Visit of the archaeological excavations (2 hours approx). The historian Dionigi di Alicarnasso attributes the founding of Herculaneum to Hercules from his return from Spain; while Strabone holds that the city was first in the hands of the Opici-Ocsi, then the Etruscans, then the Pelasgi and at last the Sannites. As in Pompei and Stabiae, Herculaneum also most likely entered into the orbit of the ‘Nucerina’ confederation. Having rebelled against Rome during the Social War, it was seized and conquered in 89 B.C. by Titus Didius, legate to the Roman General Lucius Cornelius Silla.
The city was built on a volcanic plateau having a sheer drop to the sea. It lay at the foot of Vesuvius and was delimited on its western and eastern sides by two rivers. Two inlets provided natural and secure landing points. Its urban planning, with division into regular plots of land, was put into effect in the first half of the 4th century B.C. During the Augustan era serious renovation work was needed on the city’s buildings. Many public buildings, in fact, were rebuilt and completely restored as the acqueduct, the public fountain network, the castella acquarium, the temples in the Sacred Area, the ‘Suburban Thermal Baths’, the ‘Central Thermal Baths’ and the Gymnasium. The ruinous earthquake of 62 A.D. rendered many buildings dangerous. After the exploration along underground passageways in the theatre area between 1710 and 1711 the excavations of Herculaneum officially began in 1738. The excavations, which have been carried out here since 1981, have revealed many interesting discoveries. Recent excavations have been carried out at the grandiose Villa of the Papyri, a large part of which is still buried. (For Villa dei Papiri visit please contact us). Return in hotel in the early afternoon.
** Clients from European Union under 18 and over 65 are entitled to free admission to State archaeological sites and museums unpon production of a valid identity document.