Sunny Sorrento

Sunny Sorrento

Piazza Tasso, Sorrento

Piazza Tasso, Sorrento

Sights from our Circumvesuviana train

Sights from our Circumvesuviana train

sights from the train

sights from the train

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frescoes in some of the excavated homes of Herculanium

frescoes in some of the excavated homes of Herculanium

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Downtown Herculaneum

Downtown Herculaneum

Mt Vesuvius

Mt Vesuvius

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Mt. Vesuvius

Mt. Vesuvius

The ruins of Herculaneum

The ruins of Herculaneum

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mosaic floor

mosaic floor

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Outside the bar - this was their wine list

Outside the bar – this was their wine list

You can still see the remains of burnt wood

You can still see the remains of burnt wood

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They have placed these charred wooden doors in lass to protect them.

They have placed these charred wooden doors in lass to protect them.

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Mt. Vesuvius

Mt. Vesuvius

DSC04955 DSC04956 DSC04958We climbed Mt. Vesuvius today!  It was a gorgeous day and we set out to conquer!  In order to get to Mt. Vesuvius we needed to get to Herculaneum and that was via the Circumvesuviana Train again.  Once in Herculaneum we caught a ride in the van that takes people up as far as possible and then you have to climb the rest of the way.  It was pretty impressive – especially with the kind of day we had.  After a couple of hours we found ourselves back in Herculaneum where we visited the ruins.  Herculaneum is most famous for having been lost, along with Pompeii, Stabiae, Oplontis and the neighbourhood of Monte Bursaccio in Boscoreale, in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 which buried it in superheated pyroclastic material. It is also famous as one of the few ancient cities that can now be seen in almost its original splendour, because unlike Pompeii, its burial was deep enough to ensure the upper storeys of buildings remained intact, and the hotter ash preserved wooden household objects such as beds and doors and even food. Moreover Herculaneum was a wealthier town than Pompeii with an extraordinary density of fine houses, and far more lavish use of coloured marble cladding. The discovery in recent years of some 300 skeletons along the sea shore came as a surprise since it had been assumed that the town itself was largely evacuated.  After the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, the town of Herculaneum was buried under approximately 20 metres (50–60 feet) of ash. It lay hidden and largely intact until discoveries from wells and underground tunnels became gradually more widely known, and notably following the Prince d’Elbeuf’s explorations in the early 1700s. Excavations continued spasmodically up to the present and today many streets and buildings are visible, although over 75% of the town remains buried. We really enjoyed going through the ruins and were so impressed with what has been preserved for almost 2,000 years.  Same train ride back to Sorrento with a beautiful sunset.  We had laundry to do this evening and luckily the laundermat was close to one of our favorite restaurants so we got the job done while eating dinner.