Visit Pompeii and Herculaneum for a suggestive experience
From the sea to Pompeii for a dip in history
A sailing holiday can be a completely new experience, fascinating and full of emotions to remember for a long time. Imagine pairing that with a visit to the most famous archaeological site of the entire world!
Campania has it all: historical and archaeological beauties, nature, the most wonderful sea. It’s the perfect destination for sea-enthusiasts who like diving in history too, and Pompeii and Herculaneum are unmissable for sure.
The archaeological area of Pompeii
Having remained buried for about 17 centuries, Pompeii was slowly brought to light starting from the eighteenth century, a time when the first finds were discovered. After several interruptions, a decisive impulse to excavations in these areas occurred in the first half of the 1900s, mainly thanks to the archaeologist Amedeo Maiuri. New discoveries on this site are made every day: there is so much more to discover!
Even if they shared the same destiny, the two archaeological areas of Pompeii and Herculaneum have very distinct identities, so visiting both is a piece of good advice. During the excavations in Pompeii, in 1836, the archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli realised that there were spaces left in the ash layer by the decomposed bodies of 79 a.C. and so devised the technique of injecting plaster into them to recreate the forms of Vesuvius’s victims that today make Pompeii the most famous archaeological site in the world. This technique is still in use today, with a clear resin now used instead of plaster because it is more durable, and does not destroy the bones, allowing further analysis.
Coming by sailboat, the area is reachable in a short time and you can disembark to spend a day discovering this incredible city that gives such a unique snapshot of Roman life, frozen at the moment it was buried.
The evocative places of Pompeii
In Pompeii you will be conquered by imposing buildings: you will seem to hear the echo of the bargaining and political debates that took place near the famous Forum. The imagination will run to the ablutions that people underwent in the baths and will reconstruct the ancient splendour of the theatres that once offered the stage to comedies and musical performances.
Do not miss a visit to the Villa of the Mysteries, one of the most representative buildings of the archaeological area, which has recently undergone a major restoration activity that has restored the beautiful frescoes depicting Dionysian rites to their former glory.
Herculaneum, another centre of ancient Rome
Travelling on a sailing boat kind of suits a visit to ancient sites like Pompeii: you’re really going to feel differently visiting the beauties of the most important excavations of ancient Rome. But another milestone of this area is Herculaneum, in some ways overshadowed by Pompeii, but equally important and quite different from Pompeii. You can reach Herculaneum very easily with public transport, such as the Circumvesuviana or the buses that run frequently to the site.
The beauties of Herculaneum
In Herculaneum, you’ll see wooden remains and almost intact furnishings, preserved by the huge mudslides that have covered them for a long time, which allowed us to reconstruct the ancient habits of domestic life and offer valuable evidence of the culture and art of the time. A great example of that is Villa dei Papiri, a sumptuous Roman villa, whose excavation was started in the mid-eighteenth century at the behest of Charles III of Bourbon.
The villa, whose excavation has recently been resumed, has preserved over the centuries a treasure consisting of over 90 sculptures and 1,800 papyri, with Greek and Latin texts mostly of Epicurean philosophy which represent one of the more extensive book collections from antiquity.
It is not the usual holiday, visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum by sailboat: but it’s the best way we can imagine. Ready to find out?