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Herculaneum map | Navigate your way through the ancient ruins

The ruins of Herculaneum are a must-visit when in Naples. The town was a victim to the Mount Vesuvius eruption of 79 AD, much like its neighbor Pompeii. Visitors today have a chance to go back in time and learn about the way of life in Herculaneum before the eruption, as well as examine its ruins. Here are some handy maps to help you both arrive at and explore the location.

Herculaneum location

Herculaneum map

Once you enter the ruins, you can use this map to navigate your way through its major attractions. Below is the route you can follow, especially if you're on a self-guided tour. Note that the highlighted spots are some of the most popular attractions within the ruins, though there are plenty of other attractions as well. Feel free to stop by those at your convenience.

Herculaneum route map

Navigational guide

1
Ticket office

From the ticket office, walk down the ramp to enter the site. The ramp gives you a good overview of the ancient Roman town as it is located 25 m below ground level.

2
Boathouses

The ramps is towards the south of the site, leading you to the shoreline overlooking the ancient beach. From here, you can visit the fornici or boathouses that still have the skeletal remains of the residents trying to escape the eruption.

3
House of the Deer

Walk up the ramp from the boathouses to the House of the Deer, a luxurious sea-facing villa known for its iconic statue of a deer being attacked by dogs.

4
House of the Relief of Telephus

Next, head to the House of the Relief of Telephus which is located opposite the House of the Deer (no 3 on the map). It is the second-largest house (with over a dozen rooms) in Herculaneum. Here, you can see an embossed relief depicting Achilles healing Telephus. The Ionic columns in the house are also worth appreciating.

5
Palestra

Head to the Palestra after, adjacent to V Cardo. The ancient Romans used this space for ball games and wrestling. Explore the gymnasium spanning two terraces. You can see a fountain, a fish pond and a space for religious rituals.

6
House of Neptune and Amphitrite

From the Palestra, walk over the the House of Neptune and Amphitrite (no 10 on the map). This aristocratic house is notable for having a shop inside its compound, besides the stunning fresco of Neptune and his sea-nymph wife, Amphitrite. The eruption has preserved the colors of the fresco, making it one of the most vivid statements in the house.

7
Samnite House

Located at the corner intersection of Cardo IV and Decumanis Inferiore is the Samnite House, one of the oldest finds in Herculaneum. Featuring wall plasters that imitate colored marble, the Samnite House whispers nobility and elegance even after all these years.

8
House of the Wooden Partition

Diagonally opposite is the House of the Wooden partition, renowned for the sliding wooden doors that still work on their hinges. Pay attention to the geometric mosaics and the wall paintings in the room to the right of the entrance.

9
Thermal Baths

Cross over to the Thermal Baths, an impressive public bathing structure that has separate chambers for men and women. Spot the black mosaic in the women's baths depicting Triton, dolphins and other sea creatures.

10
House of the Augustals

Further up on III Cardo, enter the House of Augustals. This house has one of the best preserved frescoes inside Herculaneum. On the left wall is a fresco of Hercules ready to enter Mount Olympus. The wall opposite shows Hercules battling the Etruscan god Acheloo.

11
House of the Skeleton

Walk back a little to see the House of the Skeleton. Though it doesn't have too much to look at, it became popular after a skeleton was discovered inside its upper floor.




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From Naples: Herculaneum Half-Day Tour
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Campania Express One-Way Tickets: Naples to/from Herculaneum
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From Pompeii/Naples: Pompeii & Herculaneum Guided Tour with Archaeologist
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