Michael and Pam's Travels Our European Motorhome Adventures and other Travels

In the shadow of Vesuvius, Herculaneum, Italy 2018 ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

Date:  29th August 2018

Travelled:  69 kilometres from Salerno to Mount Vesuvius in Campania, Italy.

Visited:  ParkErco Herculaneum โ‚ฌ11pp and the Mount Vesuvius.

Stayed:  Cafe car-park Mt Vesuvios, free. No services.  N40.81955, E14.41234

Budget:  88 days @ โ‚ฌ97 per day.

Our second night at the sosta in Salerno is as good as the first.  We rise relatively early as another hot day is on its way.  There is no shade at the sosta and the Hymer heats up quickly in the early morning sun.  Pam tidies up whilst I roll the scooter back on the rack and secure it for another day on the Italian roads.

I service the Hymer, whilst Pam argues with the man at the gate about the bill and we roll out into the morning traffic.  There is a Carrefour supermarket just up the road (as we cannot find a Lidl), so we top up the larder, before joining the E45 towards Napoli.

The traffic moves along well enough and we turn for Ercolano and Herculaneum.

Like Pompeii, Herculaneum was a victim of Vesuvius in 79AD. Whilst Pompeii was on the southeastern slopes, Herculaneum is almost due west.  We purchase our ticket but there are no maps or guidebooks in english, but co-incidentally there are lots of english speaking guides available.
OK, so we have been in Italy long enough now to expect the unexpected.  Herculaneum circa 79AD, described as a port town can be found in the middle of current day Ercolano.  Surrounded by low-rise apartments, bad roads and lots of rubbish.

Whilst Pompeii was buried under a shower of hot pumice, Herculaneum was overcome by a wave of mud some 16 metres deep. Hence from the entry point into the site everything you see is much lower than the surrounding town.
The Casa dโ€™Argo. Obviously an upmarket house given the columned portico.
Apart from the frescos. there is this beautiful shrine covered in mosiac.
More frescoed panels.  The current site is limited by the surrounding housing, so its an easy walk and from our experience much less dusty than Pompeii.
Pam finds a nice fountain in one of the villas.
There are several large villas on the site, the rest taverns, small shops and small houses.
Pam standing on the Terrace, behind her was once a sandy beach and the bay of Naples.
Below the terrace on the previous photo a series of arch portico (12) that face the beach and water.  It appears when the erruption started many locals ran down on the beach, taking cover in these porticos.  The mud surged in, itโ€™s all over red rover to use the Australian venacular

So thatโ€™s Herculaneum.  Honestly although it has been several years since we visited Pompeii, we werenโ€™t overly impressed at the time.  Pompeii is a huge site and almost everything worth a look at is a copy or gated shut.  With little signs saying this and that is a copy and the actual item is on display in the museum in Naples. Our neighbour Gaye recommended we visit Herculaneum.  What you see is what you get.  Mind you we were pissed off with coping a โ‚ฌ10 parking fee.

A typical piece of road surface. This section on the way to Vesuvius. The Hymer doesnโ€™t like Italy.

Itโ€™s hot and humid, our plan now is to drive up nearby Mount Vesuvius and hopefully given the altitude a cool breeze.

Making the slow and steady climb up Vasuvius.  At 1200+ metres nowhere near at hign as Etna but much cooler than Herculaneum down below. The area obviously suffered from a wildfire last year.
Bit of zoom on the iPhone, the Bay of Naples.

We pay our โ‚ฌ5 parking fee and park as directed on a side road.  Then walk back up the 300 metres or so to the bus stop, then take the shuttle up the last kilometre to the start of the walk.  It sounds a bit complex and it obviously was because half way up I realised I had left the iphone in the Hymer, so no photos !  Anyway from the drop off point its another 800-900 metres walk up to the crater.  I donโ€™t mind saying itโ€™s steep.

Morning breaks after a quiet night on Vesuvius. No eruptions, just some random dog barking at 2pm, then nod until 6.30am.

Michael and Pam

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