I recently shared photos from Pompeii, but today I will share our explorations into the ruins of a second town that was buried by the same eruption of Vesuvio in 79 AD. Sitting on the coast of the Bay of Naples, the eruption completely covered the city of Ercolano (Herculaneum). There was anywhere from 30-68 feet of volcanic material that fell, sealed, and preserved it so that even organic materials survived! Original wooden features are still in place including, doors, window frames, shutters, and furniture. There are even two-story buildings in-tact! Scientists have also discovered 300 skeletons near the ancient beach which has revealed great insight into who these people may have been and how their lives were lived. I’m probably not supposed to play favorites between these two historical cities that lay in ruins, as they are both equally important and magnificent, but… this one was my favorite. Ercolano is much smaller in size compared to Pompeii and lesser visited. Yet I feel it still packs a bigger punch without making one feel overwhelmed. The depth in which Ercolano was buried preserved it better than Pompeii, but at the same time it’s less excavated because of that reason (and the toughness of the rock/surrounding ground); less digging = less discoveries = neglected attention. For our first visit I was most captivated by the men’s bath house, the amount of organic material that survived including, a set of doors, steps, and a bed, and of course, the skeletons. That day was pleasant and we were the only ones in the ruins. The sky was full of clouds that blocked most of Vesuvio from view, but even so I could still feel its large presence looming in the background.
Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!